Our instructors are qualified and experienced individuals who truly care about your personal growth and work very hard to help make sure you maximize your potential.
Shawn Sensei is the owner of GAMASD. He has been training in Martial Arts for over 30 years. He is married with four children and has been teaching martial arts full time for the past 16 years. Shawn Sensei has a BS in Physical Education and kinesiology.
- 5th degree Black Belt in Aikijujutsu /Aikido
- Black Belt in Alliance Brazilian Jiujitsu under Professor Jacare Calvacanti and Professor Ian McPherson
- Certified Alliance BJJ Instructor for Adults and Children
- 2nd degree Black Belt in traditional Karate (Kyokushin style)
- Kyoshi (expert instructor) in Shinkendo (Samurai Swordsmanship) under the direct tutelage of Toshishiro Obata
- 3rd Degree Black Belt in Toyama Ryu (Swordsmanship)
- 1st Degree Black Belt in Bojutsu Tanrendo
Lead BJJ Instructor
Ian is the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor here at Georgia Martial Arts & Self Defense. He has a Masters Degree in Exercise Science from Kennesaw State University. Ian is a third degree black belt who has trained in the art since 2002.
- Competed as a world class athlete
- Won IBJJF World and the Pans Championship as a brown belt
- Received his black belt in 2010
Ranked #5 in GraciesMagazine’s “Fighters To Keep Your Eye On”
Kids Aiki Instructor
Abby is the Children’s Program Coordinator and Business Manager for GAMASD. She has been training for over a decade and is now a Black Belt in Aiki-Jujutsu. She is our senior Kid’s Instructor for our Aiki-Jujutsu program
- Kenshuin teaching rank for Aiki-Jujutsu
- Current Rank of Shodon 1st degree blackbelt
- Training Alliance BJJ for two years
- Certified Fitness Kickboxing Instructor by the I.S.S.A.
- Assist with Women’s Self Defense Program
- Leads our Female Empowerment Program for girls age 8 to 17
- Dojo Summer Camp Coordinator
Jennie Maldonado is the fitness instructor for Georgia Martial Arts & Self Defense. She has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Health and Science from Kennesaw State and a Master’s in Psychology from Capella University. Jennie is married and has two daughters, one who trains with us.
- Certification in nutrition coaching
- Certification in behavior change and youth exercise from National Academy of Sports
- Jennie is an avid obstacle course racer
- Has competed in several races
- Competed in the World Championships and North American Championships
Gerry is one of the Judo Instructors at Georgia Martial Arts & Self Defense. Gerry’s family includes his wife Rachel and daughter Natalia. He graduated from KSU in 2011, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems. Gerry currently works in the IT Infrastructure field.
- Judo practitioner and competitor since 2002, received his black belt in 2006 from Sensei Bob Byrd and Bruce Toups.
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student since 2008, received his black belt from professors Steven Broughman and Juan Guevara in 2018.
- High School and college level wrestling (2 years)
- Mixed Martial Arts starting in 2008, retired in 2011 due to an injury (amateur record 7-1, pro record 3-1).
- Muay Thai kickboxing student under Steven Broughman (5 years)
- Boxing student under coach Nathan Livramento (deceased).
- Ran and coordinated the Kakuto Submission Challenge tournaments
- A member of the Georgia Judo board of directors.
Kevin Mason joined Georgia Martial Arts & Self Defense in 2001. He assists with the Aiki Jujutsu program and is a senior level instructor. His current teaching rank is Shodan Renshi.
- Is a third degree black belt in AIki Jujutsu
- Black belt in Kemvo karate and Gojuryu
- Practices Kali
Lyle is one of the kids instructors here at Georgia Martial Arts & Self Defense. He has been training with us since he was four, and is a Shodon 1st degree blackbelt.
- Has been training with Alliance BJJ for the last four years
- Rank- Shodon 1st degree blackbelt
- Going into the navy after he graduates highschool this May.
Brian is a brown belt under Professor Ian McPherson. Brian has also been in law enforcement officer in the metro Atlanta area since 2005. Brian began training Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu in September 2014 to help with defensive tactics in his law enforcement career.
- Tough competitor in tournaments since he was a white belt
- Has won multiple Superfights at professional BJJ events
Eric has been training with us for 11 years now, and has been teaching Shinkendo for 5 years. He is a long time martial artist and is a second degree black belt in Aiki-Jujutsu.
- Teaching rank of Jun Shidoin in Aiki Jujutsu
- Rank of Hyaku-e in Shinkendo
- Teaching rank of Shoden Renshi Kami
- Practices and teaches Filipino Martial Arts or Kali under the FCS organization lead by Tuhon Ray Dionaldo
Celeste is our Accounts Manager here at Gerogia Martial Arts & Self Defense. She has been training with us in Aiki Jujutsu and Shinkendo for the last 5 years.
- Rank of Gokkyu in Aiki Jujutsu
- Rank of Ichimonju in Shinkendo
Working in Environmental Protection
Began training Judo in 2005, under William Rawls in Hartselle AL, in 2015, Began training with Bryan Hurley of Huntsville Judo Club, Assistant Instructor at Huntsville Judo Club and Decatur Judo Club from 2016-2019.
Nidan, Second Degree Black belt in Judo in 2016
Black Belt in Traditional Japanese JuJitsu 2015
Brown Belt in Karate 2011
Blue belt in BJJ 2016
2x National Champion Freestyle Judo
6x finalist at national judo tournaments
I started training at the school in 2005 when I was 10. After becoming more interested in competing, I began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2014. I’ve been an active competitor since white belt which has helped me develop a wide knowledge base of modern jiujitsu. I love getting to share my experiences and my jiujitsu in the classes I teach. I received my brown belt from Professor Ian McPherson and Shawn Forristall in November of 2021.
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My son loves it here. We have had a good experience with all of the teachers. My son works with Sensei Abby in her class and we couldn’t be happier with the way she teaches him and assist him learning new techniques. Would highly recommend.
This is a really great place to train. I just started training there a few weeks now and it's really great. Sensei Shawn was welcoming from the minute I walked in the door. My training partners are very considerate and patient with me and always teaching me stuff , Sensei Ian is a great bjj coach and always motivates us. I'm really glad I signed up. Already losing weight!!!!
This place is great. I will say the hardest part was walking in the door not know what to expect, but the everyone from the staff to the students were extremely welcoming and inviting. If, you are on the fence about doing something like this I would say, definitely give this place a try.
Clean and safe establishment. The kids have fun learning and growing. I do recommend it for everyone
This dojo is and has a very family oriented atmosphere. Sensei Sean is and has a very powerful; positive; and realistic attitude and approach toward interacting with his students. My sons have enjoyed the interaction with their peers as well as the realistic techniques that can be utilized in real life situations.
Conveniently located across the street from Acworth Elementary, Atlanta Budokan is fun, interactive, and is a learning experience for all ages (4 to adult). This martial arts school teaches a wide variety of Martial Arts classes, along with Yoga and Kickboxing. My kids have been taking Aiki Jujutsu for 3 years, and they love showing up for classes each week. The staff is extremely kind and friendly, welcoming everyone to their dojo. It is a family oriented environment. Atlanta Budokan is very convenient for elementary school children, as one of their staff members will come and pick the children and walk them over to the dojo. They are also great for other kids, such, as middle and high school students, as they have later classes, going until 7:30, and Saturday classes with sparring for blue belts and above, which my son loves very much. The kids learn self-confidence, listening skills, self-defense, and respect for others as well as themselves. Summer camps are my children’s favorite part of their break from school. They are a week long, one in June, and one in July, and consist of fun, friends, dodge ball tournaments, teams, flags, and field trips. This camp teaches its campers respect, friendship, team building skills, cooperation, and self-defense. We thoroughly enjoy our time spent at Atlanta Budokan.