Yon Makino was just a fresh-faced kid in Jr High School when he enrolled in an Aikido class at a local community college. Upon finding one of his public school teachers also enrolled - thus giving him the perfect opportunity to joyfully throw around an authority figure - he became hooked. He continued studying Aikido through High School under instructors affiliated with Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. Although Aikido was not available during undergraduate years, good fortune had it that a fellow student at graduate school in WY, had recently been awarded Shodan by Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan and was teaching Aikido there! Upon graduating, he volunteered in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic, carefully choosing to bring a copy of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan’s Aikido and the Harmony of Nature as part of his 80 lb travel baggage allowance, to study during his time there. This book was a major influence in his Aikido thinking, and Yon started an Aikido club for village high school students who showed tremendous interest in learning. Returning to the states, he studied at Aikido Kokikai of Maryland for several years, then moved to San Francisco, where he studied for several years under Robert Nadeau Shihan–another major influence in his Aikido understanding. There he tested for 1st Kyu in 1995. When he returned to school for business graduate studies at Kellogg, he studied Shito-ryu karate for 2 years and after graduating, moved to Cincinnati, OH where he studied for several years under Charlie McGinnis Shihan at Aikido of Cincinnati. With a job-related move to Phoenix, Yon began training and teaching at Arizona Aikido, where the late Tsuneji Sakakibara Sensei took him under his wing, becoming yet another major influence in his Aikido development. There he received Shodan in 2001, Nidan in 2003, and Sandan in 2008 from Mitsugi Saotome Shihan through Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan and currently holds rank of Yondan awarded in 2013 from Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.