Shidoshi Michael Govier

Michael Govier is a professional actor, writer and director. You might have seen him in national commercials, TV, film or on stage. He has written pilots, films and stage plays. If you want to know more about Michael’s acting or see his short films or TV appearances check out

Michael started training in the Bujinkan in 2004. He began training with James Morganelli in 2006 and has been a member of Shingitai-Ichi Dojo ever since. He currently lives in Los Angeles and founded the Shingitai-Ichi Dojo LA.

He passed his godan test in 2013 under Noguchi Sensei in Japan. Michael is a licensed Shidoshi in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. He returns yearly to Japan and trains in Chicago with the Shingitai-Ichi Dojo. In 2018 he was promoted to the rank of Judan. Michael teaches Mondays and Fridays in the LA area.

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Ten Questions with Shidoshi Michael Govier

What is your personal martial arts biography?

I started training with my good friend Toby Minor in 2004. In 2006, I started training with James Morganelli. In 2012, I moved to Los Angeles and founded the Shingitai-Ichi dojo LA branch.

Why do you train?

I train to be a protector. I want to protect the people around me, even my enemies, if possible. I don’t train for me, I train for all of them. My training has become less selfish. Also, training has helped me become a better person and it has helped every part of my life.

What do you think is/are the core value(s) of martial arts training?

The core is about protecting life. When you protect life, you help life grow.

Can you explain your method of training and teaching?

I teach people to become competent in their movement. I want people to move beyond the katas and be able to apply them. The thought and understanding that you need to be good now. Sure, you will be better tomorrow, but this is about the now. Being present with your training and being present in your life.

Is there a “secret” to training?

Showing up. Just keep showing up. I know we all want some fancy answer, but showing up is the secret.

What would you recommend others do, to improve their training?

Be honest in your movement. Be willing to fail and then get back up. Training is a constant humbling experience because it is a lifelong path.

What are the biggest differences today, then when you first began training?

There is more freedom to the movement now, but you still need to be competent. We need to be competent and free.

What is the role a martial artist plays in our world?

I think martial artists are on a martial path or way, a path that affects them every day. Not just a thing they do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours.

What one thing would you contribute to a “Book of Knowledge?”

Make sure you are laughing a few times during training.  Laughter helps you stay loose and can bring you back to the present. If you are relaxed, you will move better and learn more.

Do you have any great hope for the future of martial training?

I hope more people who train in martial arts are willing to ask the question “why?” “Why do I train?” I think people honestly answering that question will help them grow as martial artists.