ABOUT USAF

The United States Aikido Federation (USAF) is a not-for-profit organization (501-C3), providing both technical and administrative guidance and support to its members. The USAF not only oversees the practice of Aikido and its instruction as established by Hombu dojo, the international headquarters in Japan, but also develops and maintains rigorous technical standards, while advancing and promoting the practice of Aikido through various activities. The USAF registers Dan grades directly with Hombu headquarters, while standardizing all ranking requirements consistent with Hombu’s international regulations. The USAF also organizes, promotes and conducts Aikido demonstrations and international seminars, encourages activities of member dojos, and researches, studies and publishes information and materials pertaining to Aikido.

The direction and management of the USAF is under the governance of a Board of Directors, a Technical Committee, numerous sub-committees and a Director of Operations. The Chairman of the Technical Committee and President of the Board of Directors is Yoshimitsu Yamada, Shihan, Chief Instructor of New York Aikikai. Yamada Sensei leads the USAF with a profound understanding of Aikido and its history. His ability to touch the spirit of and inspire those he teaches is felt both near and far. Under Yamada Sensei’s leadership, the primary focus and priority of the USAF Board and Committees is to maintain a unity through technical standards for all members, to create a strong cohesion between and accessibility to senior instructors of Aikido world-wide, and to implement a clear pathway for the continuity of our high standards of practice.

The USAF does not advocate, support, or practice unlawful discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background.

USAF Governance

Board of Directors

Yoshimitsu Yamada President
Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

In 1955, at the age of 18, Yamada Sensei was accepted in the Hombu Dojo uchi-deshi program (live-in apprentice) to study directly with O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido. In addition to O-Sensei, he also studied under such Aikido masters as Kissomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Kisaburo Osawa, Kenji Tomiki, Hiroshi Tada and Seigo Yamaguchi, among others.

An invitation to demonstrate Aikido at the 1964 World’s Fair brought Yamada Sensei to New York City. He stayed on to become Chief Instructor at the New York Aikikai. By 1972 he already assumed his role as Aikido ambassador to the world at large, introducing his vigorous, inspiring and joyful teaching style to thousands of appreciative students on practically every continent.

Harvey Konigsberg Vice President
Harvey Konigsberg Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Woodstock Aikido
www.nyaikikai.com

Konigsberg Sensei is Chief Instructor of Woodstock Aikido. He began practicing Aikido in 1965. He was one of the original students of Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai in Manhattan. Konigsberg Sensei continues to teach regularly at the New York Aikikai as well as seminars throughout the US, Europe and Latin America. In addition to being one of the foremost Aikidoists in the US, Konigsberg Sensei is a renowned painter whose works have been shown throughout the world.

Charles McGinnis Chairman
Charles McGinnis Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Aikido of Cincinnati
www.aikidocincy.com

Charlie McGinnis Sensei began his training in 1976 in Yoshinkai Aikido at the University of Toledo. He trained under Masatoshi Morita (currently 8th dan, in San Francisco). After completing training in the kenshu program taught by Takashi Kushida, 8th dan, he received his assistant instructor certification. In 1984 he moved to Cincinnati and began training at Aikido of Cincinnati, then known as the Cincinnati Aikikai. In 1986 McGinnis Sensei became a student of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei and the Chief Instructor of Aikido of Cincinnati.

Malory Graham Treasurer
Malory Graham Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan
Puget Sound Aikikai
www.pugetsoundaikikai.org

Malory Graham Sensei started training in Aikido in 1988 with Paul Sylvain Sensei in Amherst, Massachusetts. She continued her early training in both Seattle and Switzerland. In 1997 she helped to found Puget Sound Aikikai in Seattle, WA. Graham Sensei is a filmmaker and has produced numerous aikido videos including "Holding up Half the Sky: A Video Portrait of Women Aikido Instructors" which features 10 of the top pioneering women from The United States Aikido Federation.

Laura Jacobs Pavlick General Secretary
Laura Jacobs Pavlick Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Litchfield Hills Aikikai
www.litchfieldaikido.com

Laura Pavlick Sensei began practicing Aikido in 1981 at the New York Aikikai. As a shodan, she was assigned to teach a regularly scheduled class at NYA. She continued to teach at NY Aikikai until the early 1990s, when she moved to northwestern Connecticut and started Litchfield Hills Aikikai in Bantam, CT. Pavlick Sensei remains a dedicated student of Yamada Sensei, and has been privileged to study intensively with the late Kanai Sensei and Sugano Sensei. In addition to being Chief Instructor, Pavlick Sensei is proud to hold the position of Director of Operations for the United States Aikido Federation and editor of the online newsletter USAF Aikido News.

Michael Abrams Michael Abrams Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

Mike Abrams Sensei played a major role in the development of the New York Aikikai. He started training in New York City in 1964 and has trained, traveled and taught seminars around the world and has been fortunate enough to have attended classes taught by O -Sensei. Abrams Sensei is Chairman Emeritus of the United States Aikido Federation and remains a trusted Advisor.

Penny Bernath Penny Bernath Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Florida Aikikai
www.floridaaikikai.com

Penny Bernath Sensei began Aikido training in 1973 in South Florida under the direction of Yamada Sensei. Bernath Sensei organized the first Florida Winter Seminar in 1979 for the United States Aikido Federation and it remains a major Florida Aikikai annual event, hosting Yamada Sensei and many Japanese Shihan, the USAF Technical Committee and the USAF Board of Directors. Bernath Sensei is a Chief Instructor at Florida Aikikai and travels worldwide training and teaching Aikido. Professionally, she is an educator. She produced two short videos explaining the educational benefits of Aikido for children for public television, and recently began posting Aikido Self-Defense for Women videos on YouTube.

Larry E. Bierri Larry E. Bierri Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Finger Lakes Aikido
www.fingerlakesaikido.com

Larry Bieri Sensei began his study of Aikido in 1971 at the Aikido World Headquarters Dojo in Tokyo and trained there for 16 years, supporting himself and his family by teaching English and doing translation work. While in Japan Bieri Sensei also studied four different systems of koryu bujutsu covering the use of the sword, halberd, spear, staff, stick, short sword, and other auxiliary weapons and skills. He also practiced kyudo for 11 years. Returning to the U.S.A. in 1987, he joined the USAF as Chief Instructor of Finger Lakes Aikikai in Ithaca, New York. He also trains in Shindo Muso Ryu Jo and Katori Shindo Ryu. Until retirement Larry worked as a translator of technical Japanese dealing with automobile production engineering and robotics for Honda of America, Mazda, Ford, and Nissan.

Barbara Britton Barbara Britton Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Framingham Aikikai
www.aikidoframingham.com

Barbara Britton Sensei began training with Kanai Sensei in 1978 and remained his dedicated student for twenty five years, until his passing in 2004. Britton Sensei was appointed an instructor by Kanai Sensei at New England Aikikai in 1985. She is now an instructor at Framingham Aikikai.

Glenn Brooks Glenn Brooks Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Aikido of Scottsdale
www.aikidoofscottsdale.org

Glenn Brooks Sensei began his Aikido training in 1980 under the direct instruction of Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th dan and among the last living generation of direct disciples of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. In 1996, Brooks Sensei moved to Scottsdale and opened Aikido of Scottsdale. Upon the passing of Akira Tohei Shihan in 1999, Brooks Sensei was appointed to the Technical Teaching Committee of the Midwest Aikido Federation to carry on the teachings of Tohei Shihan. Brooks Sensei continues his training under the guidance of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. In addition to being Chief Instructor of his dojo, Brooks Sensei is a physical therapist in private practice.

Skip Chapman Skip Chapman Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan
Jersey Shore Aikikai
www.jsadojo.com

Skip Chapman Sensei began his aikido training in 1991. Chapman Sensei began his career as a professional aikido instructor and dojocho in 1995 and travels extensively studying under Yamada Sensei. In addition to being the Chief Instructor/Owner of Jersey Shore Aikikai and a Level One Certified CrossFit Trainer, Chapman Sensei is also a partner in Studio Gurus, a martial art software company, and the founder of Aikido Instructors Organization, a consulting company that assists dojocho in growing the business side of their dojo.

George Kennedy George Kennedy Shihan, Rokudan, 6th dan
Aikido Center of Atlanta
www.aikidoatlanta.com

George Kennedy Sensei began his aikido training in 1972 at the Aikido Center of Atlanta and became Chief Instructor and Dojo-cho in 1989. Kennedy Sensei is chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee and is the main author of the USAF Student Guide. In addition to being a professional artist, Kennedy Sensei has developed Aikido-based defensive tactics courses for Law Enforcement and continues to be a contributing member of the Georgia Association of Defensive Tactics Instructors. His background reflects his belief that Aikido is both an effective method of self-defense and a path of peace and reconciliation.

Joseph Nemeth Joseph Nemeth Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Aikido of Nassau County
www.aikido4nassaucounty.com

Joe Nemeth Sensei began his study of Aikido and Judo in 1960. He trained in Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo Japan and achieved the rank of 3rd dan before focusing exclusively on Aikido in 1974. Nemeth Sensei has also trained in Aikido at Hombu Dojo in Japan. With more than 40 years of martial arts experience, he continues to train actively with many of the top Aikido instructors in the United States, especially Yamada Sensei.

Edward Peteroy Edward Peteroy Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
USAF Academy Aikido Club

Ed Peteroy Sensei started his training in 1970 under Yamada Sensei in New York City. He received his shodan in 1973. Peteroy Sensei has started and been the Chief Instructor of Aikido clubs in Indiana and Missouri while attending graduate school. Since 1985, Peteroy Sensei has been the Chief Instructor at the United States Air Force Academy where he instructs cadets and policemen. He also studied Aikido in Japan at Hombu Dojo and with Kobayashi Sensei in Kodaira, Japan from 1987-1990. Presently, he continues his studies with Yamada Sensei.

Gordon Sakamoto Gordon Sakamoto Shidoin, Rokyu dan, 6th dan
Northern Virginia Aikikai
www.aikidoka.com

Gordon Sakamoto Sensei is the chief instructor of the Northern Virginia Aikikai. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he began practicing Aikido in 1963. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, he entered the U.S. Air Force and began a tour of duty in Japan in 1967, where he practiced Aikido daily at Hombu Dojo for two and a half years. During this time, Sakamoto Sensei was privileged to receive instruction from O-sensei during the last years of his life. In 1973 Sakamoto Sensei accepted a job on Okinawa, Japan where he started an Aikido class. In 1980 he arrived in Northern Virginia and was invited to become the Chief Instructor of Northern Virginia Aikikai.

Walter Van Enck Walter Van Enck Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan
Midwest Aikido Center
www.aikidomac.org

Walter Van Enck Sensei started his Aikido training in 1980 with Akira Tohei Sensei, and remained in-dojo with Tohei Sensei until his passing on July 2, 1999. Sometime thereafter, Van Enck Sensei devoted himself to both Yamada Sensei's technical direction and to Sensei’s vision of a new, unified USAF. Walter is the father of two terrific young adults, and a husband to a talented, loving and very understanding wife. He is a corporate marketing and communications designer. A design generalist in practice, his focus remains on trademark design and marketing strategies as it relates to all media and delivery methods.

Christine Wong Christine Wong Shidoin, Yondan, 4th dan
Aikido of Santa Barbara
www.aikidoofsantabarbara.org

Christine Wong Sensei is Chief Instructor of Aikido of Santa Barbara. She started Aikido in 1985 under the late Kensho Furuya in Los Angeles, California. After moving to Santa Barbara in 1998, she studied with the founders of Aikido of Santa Barbara, Geraldine Tremblay Sensei and Bill Staub Sensei until they moved to Hawaii. She has studied extensively with the late Mitsunari Kanai and continues to study with Yamada Shihan.

Return to Top

Technical Committee

The Techincal Committee is comprised of a select number of USAF Shihan (master instructor certified through Doshu, Hombu Dojo) who have dedicated their lives to the practice and instruction of Aikido. They are responsible for overseeing that the technical standards of the USAF are upheld, and are regularly invited to instruct Aikido seminars around the world.

Yoshimitsu Yamada Director
Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

In 1955, at the age of 18, Yamada Sensei was accepted in the Hombu Dojo uchi-deshi program (live-in apprentice) to study directly with O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido. In addition to O-Sensei, he also studied under such Aikido masters as Kissomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Kisaburo Osawa, Kenji Tomiki, Hiroshi Tada and Seigo Yamaguchi, among others.

An invitation to demonstrate Aikido at the 1964 World’s Fair brought Yamada Sensei to New York City. He stayed on to become Chief Instructor at the New York Aikikai. By 1972 he already assumed his role as Aikido ambassador to the world at large, introducing his vigorous, inspiring and joyful teaching style to thousands of appreciative students on practically every continent.

Seiichi Sugano Seiichi Sugano Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan In Memorium
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

Born in 1939 in Otaru, Hokkaido, Sugano Sensei had been studying judo for six years when he read about Aikido in a magazine and went to Hombu Dojo in 1957 to begin his training. After about a year, he entered the uchi deshi program. In 1965, he moved to Australia, staying for thirteen years and establishing a strong base of Aikido practitioners. He then moved to Belgium, and began teaching throughout Europe before coming to New York City and the New York Aikikai in the late 80’s. Like his friend and colleague, Yamada Sensei, Sugano Sensei travels the world regularly, teaching Aikido and inspiring his students.

Sugano Sensei passed away on August 29, 2010.

Harvey Konigsberg Harvey Konigsberg Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Woodstock Aikido
www.nyaikikai.com

Konigsberg Sensei is Chief Instructor of Woodstock Aikido. He began practicing Aikido in 1965. He was one of the original students of Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai in Manhattan. Konigsberg Sensei continues to teach regularly at the New York Aikikai as well as seminars throughout the US, Europe and Latin America. In addition to being one of the foremost Aikidoists in the US, Konigsberg Sensei is a renowned painter whose works have been shown throughout the world.

Claude Berthiaume Claude Berthiaume Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido de la Montagne
www.aikidodelamontagne.com

Berthiaume Sensei began practicing Aikido at the age of 17 under the direction of René Gauvin. When Gauvin Sensei retired in 1972, Berthiaume Sensei joined the Montreal Aikikai, directed by Massimo Di Villadorata. In 1974, he obtained his black belt and became the first Aikido instructor of the Service Des Sports at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he was finishing his Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. As a student he was a close disciple of the late Kanai Sensei and a student of Yamada Sensei. He has traveled extensively in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, South America and various European countries, attending over twenty seminars every year. In 1988, Berthiaume Sensei became the chief instructor of Aikido de la Montagne. He continues to lead seminars regularly throughout the US, Canada and Europe. In addition, Sensei Berthiaume holds the rank of 6th dan in Iaido and is Technical Director of the Kiyoikaze Association.

Peter Bernath Peter Bernath Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Florida Aikikai
www.floridaaikikai.com

Chief instructor of Florida Aikikai, Bernath Sensei also holds a Shodan in Iaido. Bernath Sensei started his Aikido career in 1972 under the direction of Yamada Sensei, and was an instructor at New York Aikikai prior to being sent by Yamada Sensei to open Florida Aikikai in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bernath Sensei has traveled extensively throughout the world including Europe and Japan, and has been fortunate to study under many of O-sensei’s most famous disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu (leader of Aikido). Bernath Sensei is one of the most highly respected Aikido instructors in the United States and regularly teaches seminars throughout the USAF, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Donovan Waite Donovan Waite Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido of Center City
www.aikidocentercity.com

Waite Sensei started practicing Aikido in 1969 in Birmingham, England and received his 1st dan when he was 14. In 1984 he moved to New York City to be an "uchi deshi" or live in student, under Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai. Since 1997 Waite Sensei has been the chief instructor of Aikido of Center City in Philadelphia. He still teaches regularly at the New York Aikikai. Waite Sensei travels extensively throughout the world teaching Aikido. He has conducted seminars in North, Central, & South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, & Southeast Asia.

Andy Demko Andy Demko Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido of New Castle
www.aikidoncpa.com

Demko Sensei started Aikido in 1966 in Youngstown, Ohio with Peter Takach and Charles Cycyk. They were pioneers of the art in the 60’s and learned Aikido from a book. Demko Sensei met Yamada Sensei in 1966 and became his student. He established New Castle Aikikai in 1971. Through Yamada Sensei, Demko Sensei has met and trained with many of O-sensei's direct students including Koichi Tohei Sensei, the second and third Doshu, Saito Sensei, Kanai Sensei, Chiba Sensei, and Sugano Sensei. Demko Sensei has been a member of the USAF since it its beginning and served as a member of the Board of Governors until he was appointed to the Technical Committee. He teaches actively throughout the East Coast and Midwest and conducts seminars within the USAF.

Robert Zimmermann Robert Zimmermann Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Toronto Aikikai
www.torontoaikikai.com

Zimmermann Sensei was a direct student of Mitsunari Kanai Sensei until his passing in 2004, and he continues to study with Yamada Sensei. Zimmermann Sensei, also a nidan in iaido, began practicing Aikido in 1967 at the age of 13 in his native Uruguay. He moved to Canada in 1974, and became Chief Instructor of Toronto Aikikai in 1983. Zimmermann Sensei has trained and taught at seminars and training camps in Canada, the United States, Japan, Mexico, Central and South America, Israel and Europe.

Steve Pimsler Steve Pimsler Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

Steve Pimsler Sensei started aikido at New York Aikikai in 1974, later becoming an uchi-deshi for four years, during which he travelled with Yamada Sensei as "otomo" (traveling apprentice). Pimsler Sensei assisted Yamada Sensei in setting up the United States Aikido Federation and served as its first treasurer. He also co-authored Yamada Sensei’s book, Ultimate Aikido.

Pimsler Sensei began teaching at the New York Aikikai in 1978, and continues to bring discipline and intensive energy to the mat. Alongside Yamada Sensei, he also teaches the special bi-monthly beginner’s classes, conveying fundamentals with distinctive clarity. When not at the dojo, he helps run a small advertising agency in the city. And when not at either place, he’s at home with his wife Cheryl (they met at the dojo, she holds the rank of nidan) and two giants, Sam and Ari, who claim to be his sons.

Return to Top

Honorary Committee

The USAF Honorary Committee was established as a way of honoring a select number of USAF members whose dedication to Aikido and the USAF has spanned decades. As a way of recognizing their lifelong contribution to Aikido, their lifetime appointments to the Honorary Committee enables them to attend any USAF seminars, free of training expenses.

Nelson Andujar Shidoin, Nanadan, 7th dan
Nations Aikikai
www.nationsaikikai.org

Nelson Andujar Sensei has been practicing Aikido since 1965. He originally trained under Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai and also studied the art of Jujitsu under Antonio Pereira in the Bronx. Later Andujar Sensei moved to Miami, where he established Miami Aikikai and was based for 20 years. In 1996, he moved to Houston and is currently teaching Aikido at Nations Aikikai. Andujar Sensei is bilingual, and has presented seminars all over the western hemisphere, including Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Mexico.

Anne Buchanan Anne Buchanan Fukushidoin, Godan, 5th dan
Aikido of Try-Co-Lan

As co-instructor of the Aikido Club of Try-Co-Lan, Anne began her Aikido training in Central Florida in the mid 1970's. She has traveled throughout the United States and to Hombu Dojo in Japan in her study of Aikido through the years and has had the privilege of training under many of O-Sensei's disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu. Anne is an experienced educator of both young people and adults. She and her husband Paul founded the Aikido Club of Try-Co-Lan in the Blue Ridge Foothills of the Carolinas in 2006, after their retirement from careers in the U.S. Space Program.

Paul Buchanan Paul Buchanan Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan
Aikido of Try-Co-Lan

Paul Buchanan Sensei began his Aikido training in Central Florida in the mid 1970's. He has traveled throughout the United States and to Hombu Dojo in his study of Aikido through the years and has had the privilege of training under many of O-Sensei's disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu. Paul is a former member of the Board of Governors of U. S. Aikido Federation. Paul and his wife Anne founded the Aikido Club of Try-Co-Lan in the Blue Ridge Foothills of the Carolinas in 2006, after their retirement from careers in the U.S. Space Program.

Rodney Grantham Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan In Memorium
Aikido Center of Atlanta
www.aikidoatlanta.com

Eddie Hagihara Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Long Island Aikikai
www.liaikikai.com

Hagihara Sensei is the chief instructor of the Long Island Aikikai and the longest running Aikido teacher in the continental US. Following an extensive Judo career, Hagihara Sensei began his Aikido training in New York in the late 1950's under Yasuo Ohara. After helping form the New York Aikikai, Hagihara Sensei returned to Japan in 1962 to study directly under Aikido's founder. While at Hombu Dojo, Hagihara Sensei had the privilege of training under and alongside many of the founder's top students, and even served as Koichi Tohei's (then chief instructor of Hombu Dojo) primary Uke during that time. In 1964 Hagihara Sensei was personally commanded by O'Sensei to "go and teach my Aikido" and returned to New York to open the Long Island Aikikai.

Luqman Abdul Hakeem Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido School of Maghreb
www.aikidomaroc.com

Luqman Abdul Hakeem has been a student of Aikido since 1967 and is a long time student of Yamada Sensei. He taught the morning class at the New York Aikikai for 17 years. Luqman Sensei's early Aikido training was concurrent with 12 years of Ju-Jitsu training under Dr. Naraki Hara from whom he obtained 3rd degree black belt. In the late 1960's, Luqman Sensei brought Aikido to the borough of Brooklyn. In the early 1970's he established the long Island University Aikido club. A few years later the Brooklyn Aikido Club was established to give a permanent home to the club. Luqman Sensei has traveled to Japan to further his training in Aikido. In addition he has traveled to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and across the U.S. to conduct seminars. Luqman Sensei is currently residing in Morocco where he has dojo in Casablanca and Marrakesh.

Paul Keelan Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
New England Aikikai
www.neaikikai.com

Sensei Keelan has the distinction of being one of the first students of the late Shihan Misunari Kanai, former Technical Director of the USAF, when Kanai Sensei first came to Boston almost 50 years ago. Kanai Sensei was one of the last of the direct disciples of the founder of Aikido, O-Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba. Paul has been an instructor at New England Aikikai for over 40 years - now instructing almost exclusively at seminars in the Boston area. Paul is also an accomplished swordsman and adept in the softer and more interior forms of the art.

Dennis Meno Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Suncoast Aikido

Bernie Mulligan Shihan, Rokudan, 6th dan
Shodokan
www.shodokan.org

Sidney Spencer Sidney Spencer Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan
Aiki O'Kami Society
www.clubs.db.erau.edu/bdaikido/

Spencer Sensei was first exposed to Aikido during a visit to the Hombu dojo in the 1950's while serving with the U.S. Army in Korea. His early exposure to O-Sensei convinced this former karate-ka to pursue the Way of Harmony. He began his Aikido training in New York City under Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. Sidney 'Sido' Spencer became the instructor for the Aiki O-Kami Society in the spring of 1998.

Rick M. Stickles Rick Stickles Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido Schools of New Jersey
www.aikidoschoolsnj.com

Born 1950. State champion distance runner attended NYU on full athletic scholarship. Graduated 1972, introduced to Aikido and joined New York Aikikai. Traveled extensively for 15 years assisting Yamada Sensei at seminars and training with over 2 dozen of O'Sensei's original disciples, including the late and current Doshu. Founded Aikido Schools of New Jersey in 1977 with a current membership of 250 students. Trained over 15 students, now chief instructors, operating dojos in the U.S, Europe and Bermuda. Conducts seminars on both a national and international level. Serves on the instruction staff of New York Aikikai. Practitioner of Dzogchen (Tibetan) meditation. Avid golfer.

Peter Tamagni Peter Tamagni Shidoin, Rokudan, 6th dan,
Vineland Aikikai
www.vinelandaikikai.com

Linda Lee Vecchio Linda Lee Vecchio Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido of Cleveland
www.aikidoofcleveland.com

Linda Lee Vecchio Sensei, 6th dan, Shihan, is the chief instructor of Aikido of Cleveland. Vecchio Sensei received her first degree black belt in 1969. She beame Chief Instructor of Cleveland Aikikai which later became Aikido of Cleveland in 1969 and at the request of a group of newly returned Vietnam veterans, Vecchio Sensei started teaching at Lakeland Community College in 1972. She established the Lakeland Aikido Club in 1978. Vecchio Sensei has traveled and has taught seminars world wide. She was also the first Secretary of the United States Aikido Federation, for 10 years.

John Yaglowski Godan, 5th dan
Greater Hartford Aikikai
www.aikidohartford.com

Return to Top

USAF Certified Instructors