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The USAF is an association of dojos under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, Chief Instructor and Technical Advisor. The USAF is officially recognized by Aikikai World Headquarters, Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, and is the U.S. representative to the International Aikido Federation (IAF). As such, it maintains friendly relationships with other aikido organizations worldwide. Additionally, through Yamada Sensei's organization, Sansuikai, the USAF has direct and close relationships with dojos in South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.


  • registers kyu ranks and issues kyu certificates to its memebers,

  • registers all dan promotions and Shihan certifications with Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu dojo)

  • encourages friendship and cooperation among its member dojos and aikido dojos world wide, 

  • communicates aikido information for the benefit of its member dojos, 

  • announces aikido seminars sponsored by member dojos, 

  • hosts an annual week-long summer camp open to all aikido students and

  • offers administrative support to Chief Instructors and dojo-cho.

USAF History



Governance of the USAF is through the Board of Directors and the Technical Committee under the leadership of Yamada Sensei as Chief Instructor and Technical Advisor.

Day-to-day operations are handled by the Director of Operations and Assistant to the Director.

All Board and committee members are volunteers, donating their time, expertise and experience to ensure that policies and decisions reflect the best interest of the USAF and its members. 



There is an application process for a dojo to join the USAF and individuals gain membership by belonging to a member dojo. The USAF does not interfere with the internal workings of a dojo, as dojos are run independently under the direction of the Chief Instructor and dojo-cho. Maintaining membership in the USAF requires acting in accordance with USAF policies and procedures.

  • Member dojos have access to an interactive database for tasks such as:

    • maintaining membership records, rank processing and posting seminars

    • sharing resources from children's class initiatives to insurance recommendations

    • processing annual renewals and adding new members

  • Communication with instructors is a primary focus and includes the following:

    • virtual meetings with instructors

    • online classes 

    • a private FB group for USAF instructors to stay in touch with one another

    • regular email correspondence

    • instructors meetings held at annual summer camps, and

    • an online newsletter that welcomes member contributions, announces new member dojos and dan promotions, and shares Yamada Sensei's messages and USAF latest news.

For information on how your dojo can join the USAF, contact

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