Instructors demonstrating at the May 2, 2015 Embukai

Ishu Ishiyama, 7 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai
Member of the CAF Examination Committee

Ishiyama Shihan is the Chief Instructor of Vancouver West Aikikai. Originally from Osaka, Japan, he has studied Aikido since 1968 with master teachers, including Bansen Tanaka (Osaka Aikikai), Kanai, Kawahara, Yamada, Tohei, and Chiba Shihans, and more recently Tada Shihan in Japan. He has been teaching Aikido in Canada since 1973. He is interested in fostering personal and spiritual development among his students and creating a mature dojo community while pursuing intense martial awareness and technical accuracy in training.

Cecil Paris, 6 dan — New Westminster Aikikai
Member of the CAF Examination Committee

Cecil Paris Sensei has been practicing Aikido since 1972 and teaching at New Westminster Aikikai for 30 years. He was a close personal student of Kawahara Shihan. His philosophy is that through dedicated training and practice on and off the mat, in weapons and Aikido forms one develops the essence of Aikido.

Scott Macphail, 6 dan — Victoria Aikikai
Member of the CAF Examination Committee

Scott has been practicing and teaching for 40 years starting with Gary Mols at UVic, continuing with Ishiyama Sensei, Kawahara Shihan, and now Osawa Shihan. When Ishiyama Sensei moved to Vancouver in 1986, Macphail Sensei became chief instructor of Victoria Aikikai. He has attended summer camps and seminars taught by North American Shihans such as Yamada, Kanai, Chiba, Sugano, Shibata, Tohei as well as Doshu and other instructors from Hombu dojo. For several months he lived in Japan and practised under Tanaka, Saito, Iwata and Lee (Taiwan) Senseis.

Jean-René Leduc, 6 dan —
Kootenay Aikido Kenkyukai, Nelson BC

Jean-René Leduc is a direct student of Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan, 8 dan (AKI Aikido Kenkyukai International) having trained under him in Japan from 1987 to 1993. Leduc Sensei teaches primarily in Nelson, BC and he is the senior AKI instructor in Canada. His infectious enthusiasm for Aikido is widely recognized and he is often invited to teach elsewhere in Canada, the USA, and Latin America.

Tamami Nakashimada, 6 dan — Shohei Juku Aikido

Tamami Nakashimada began her Aikido training with Morito Suganuma Shihan at the Shohei Juku dojo in Fukuoka, Japan in 1978. She arrived in Canada in 1985 and became the chief instructor of Shohei Juku Canada. She has continued her Aikido studies under the direction of Suganuma Sensei who visits the Vancouver dojo each year. Nakashimada Sensei is an inspiring and energetic teacher. She welcomes all who are interested in Aikido to train with her.

Bob Moline, 5 dan — Victoria Aikikai

Bob has been practicing and teaching for 36 years, first under Ishiyama Sensei in Victoria, then Macphail Sensei. Later he moved to Dryden, Ontario where he started Dryden Aikikai. When he returned to Victoria he slipped right back in to Victoria Aikikai under Macphail Sensei. His primary instruction has been under Kawahara Shihan, Ishiyama Shihan, Tohei Akira Shihan and Macphail Sensei.

Hilary Dawson, 5 dan — UVic Aikido Club

Hilary started with Judo in university and switched to Aikido in 1977 in Halifax. After moving to Victoria, she continued her training under the guidance of Kawahara Shihan and was a direct student of Ishiyama Shihan for 7 years. She has taught children’s, beginners and women’s programmes. Since 1987 she has been the chief instructor at the University of Victoria.

Michael St. Germain, 5 dan — English Bay Aikikai

Michael St. Germain Sensei began Aikido in 1980 at Vancouver Aikikai under Kawahara Shihan. Sensei St. Germain has been teaching at Granville Aikikai (now called English Bay Aikikai) for more than fifteen years and at Gathering Place Aikikai since it opened in 1997.

Liz McKinlay, 5 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai

Liz has trained with Ishiyama Sensei since 1979, and is VWA’s Deputy Dojo-Cho. Liz instructs the popular children’s Classes. She did 6 years of judo before switching to Aikido and found Aikido’s non-competitive style a great fit. Liz worked for over 30 years in Human Resources using the Aikido principles of harmony and blending to handle the stresses of collective bargaining, grievances and workplace conflict.

Bruce Riddick, 5 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai

Bruce has been training for 30 years. His principal instructors have been Macphail Sensei, Paris Sensei, Kawahara Shihan and Ishiyama Shihan. He regularly attends 8 to 12 intensive training workshops per year in Canada, the US and overseas with a wide range of well-known master instructors. He is primarily interested in helping others and emphasizes harmony while still paying attention to details.

Mike Chin, 5 dan — SanShuKan Aikikai Victoria

Mike has been training for over 30 years in a variety of martial arts, but principally in Aikido. His primary instructors have been Macphail Sensei, Ishiyama Shihan, Kawahara Shihan and now Osawa Shihan. Mike believes that through the understanding of technique and exercise of the body, martial arts training cultivates a true humanity, recognizable by its strength and compassion — that is, by the disposition of its heart.

Pat Olson, 5 dan — Okanagan Aikikai

Pat started training in Saskatoon in 1981 under Makoto Ohtsu. After moving to Kelowna, Pat trained with Jobe Groot who opened Okanagan Aikikai and subsequently with Kawahara Shihan and now Osawa Shihan.

Mike Smorhay, 4 dan — Simon Fraser Aikikai

Michael Smorhay has been practicing Aikido since 1982, first with Liz McKinlay in Terrace and then with Macphail Sensei, Larry Detweiler and Moline Sensei in Victoria after moving in 1985. Always under the watchful eyes of Kawahara Shihan and Ishiyama Shihan, Michael first taught at the University of Victoria, and then in Vancouver upon opening the Simon Fraser University Aikido Club in 1996.

Zoran Krunic, 4 dan — Vancouver Aikikai

Zoran Krunic started practicing Aikido about thirty years ago in Yugoslavia and Italy, as a student of Fujimoto Shihan. In Europe he attended seminars by Tada,Tamura, Masuda, Hosokawa, Ikeda, Kanetsuka, Asai and Kitaura Shihans. He chose Vancouver as his Canadian home when he found out that Kawahara Shihan lived here. He considers himself Kawahara Shihan's student ever since.

Natan Cheifetz, 4 dan — Vancouver Mind-Body Centre

Natan began studying Aikido under Kawahara Shihan when he lived in Vancouver and trained for an extended period with Ishiyama Shihan, and Fran Turner Sensei of Toronto. He also holds the rank of 5 dan in Iaido and has practiced a variety of other martial arts.

Sharon Bader, 4 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai

Sharon Bader, 4th dan, started her Aikido training in 1991. She uses her Aikido experience in her daily life to help her stay focused and relaxed while moving smoothly with strength and stability. She is an assistant instructor for the Regular Adults Program at VWA.

David Bursey, 3 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai

David Bursey began practicing martial arts in the 1970s and joined Vancouver West Aikikai in 1991.

Steve Watson, 3 dan — Fraser Valley Aikikai

Started Aikido in fall 1994 and his first instructor was Aarons Sensei, currently head instructor at Aikido Takayama. He studied under Kawahara Shihan and became chief instructor at Fraser Valley in 2003. He was BCAF president from 2006 to 2011. Has attended numerous CAF summer camps at Victoria and Kelowna as well as BCAF seminars. During the two years he trained several times for two week stints at Hombu Dojo. Currently training under Hind Sensei.

Ken Crystal, 2 dan — Comox Campbell River Aikikai

Ken Crystal has been practicing Aikido since 1991, principally as a student of Ishiyama Shihan, and he is one of two instructors of the Comox Valley Aikikai. Ken has attended numerous summer camps with various shihans. In 2009 he spent several months training under the instruction of Igarashi Shihan in Hashimoto, Sagamihara Prefecture, Japan.

Valentine Kabanets, 2 dan — Vancouver West Aikikai

Valentine Kabanets instructs beginners classes at VWA. He has been practicing Aikido for over 10 years. He regularly attends intensive training seminars with a number of high-ranking instructors. He travels widely and has practiced in several different countries.