“We learn to fight so we don’t have to fight” Mr.Myagi from “The Karate Kid”
Giacomo Reggente Sensei has been training in various martial arts throughout his whole life. Born in Brazil, home of BJJ, then coming to America and learning Chinese Kempo Karate from a young age at the YWCA in Philadelphia, to Tai Chi Chuan while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, and finally to Aikido here in New Jersey, which led to the opening of Mushin Ryu Aikido Dojo.
Giacomo Sensei: “For me, Aikido is the backbone to which I layer all the arts I have studied. Aikido embodies not only self-defense, but a philosophy of being wich transitions to all aspects of life, whether it be personal, business, or family, Aikido has enabled me to deal with life’s challenges and difficulties with a sense of calm and focus. It is said that there are many paths up the mountain, Aikido has been the path for me.”
I have been honored to have been taught by adept instructors and friends here in New Jersey where my Aikido journey first began. Under the tutelage of Mark Ahlquist Sensei, Yondan, Osameru Aikido, I took my first steps in a thousand mile journey and crossed the bridge to yudansha under Osameru Aikido. Ahlquist Sensei has continued to be both a close friend and teacher for many years.
While under the auspices of Mark Ahlquist Sensei, I was introduced to my teacher Anthony Pallante, Nidan under Robert Danza Sensei, who helped me to advance my studies in weapons training and Tachi Waza in the Iwama Ryu tradition. Infused with; Bagua, Fencing, and a plethora of other various arts, Tony has been an inspiration and continues to be both teacher and friend to this day. For the serious and dedicated martial arts student, one’s foray into the art is never truly over.
I have also been blessed to have as an instructor the late Peter Tamagni, Rokudan, Shihan, of Vineland Aikikai, USAF. Under Tamagni Shihan’s guidance and instruction, my Aikido received a heavy Judo influence along with tried and tested real-world application of the techniques via Tamagni Shihan’s on the job experience as a Police Lieutenant; one of Vineland’s finest, for many years until his retirement. Tamagni Sensei passed on in 2015 after a hard fought battle with cancer. He was a true warrior to the end, there is not a day that my practice does not reflect the teachings he instilled in me. He may have passed on, but what he passed on to me was a true gift that I wish to share with all my students and friends. Vineland Aikikai was a wonderful experience for me, a great debt of gratitude is also extended to Ed Williams Sensei, Godan, Mike Terrusso Sensei, Yondan, and Paul Rigby Sensei, Sandan, George Hudson Sensei, Sandan, and last but not least Daphne Vasalotti Sensei, Nidan without whose collective help I would not have achieved my current endeavor of opening Mushin Ryu Aikido Dojo.
In my continued quest for knowledge in Aikido, along with the person who first introduced me to Aikido, was Frank Spera Sensei, Sandan, under Osameru Aikido. We started our first dojo, Choestsu Aikido Dojo, in my home here in Woodstown, NJ under Fumio Toyota Shihan of the American Aikido Association and the International Aikido Association. The interest and size grew rapidly, and after much contemplation, I chose to go the path of Ronin, that of a Masterless Samurai. Remember, this is your Aikido, no matter who is opening the door or showing you the path, it is you who must walk the path, it is you who must choose the direction of your training.
The path of Aikido has lead me to Scott Harrington Sensei, 7th Dan, Shuyokan Aikido, Nidan in Tang Soo Do, and published author of “Aiki Toolbox” Harrington Sensei has deep roots in the Yoshinkan Aikido as Godan, and in Daito Ryu, the mother of Aikido. I am honored and continue to train with Scott Harrington Sensei and to call him a friend.
No matter the stage on my Journey, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with and learn much from my friend and teacher, Dave Maturo Sensei, Yondan of South Jersey Aikido Academy under Sam Carney Sensei and Joe Diaco Sensei, Sandan, of New Jersey Takemusu Aiki Dojo, under Vincent Salvatore Sensei, Rokuan, of the California Aikido Association.