Kawahara Shihan, 8th dan

For many years Kawahara Shihan was the Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation and the British Columbia Aikido Federation. He had been designated by the Hombu Dojo in Japan as their official representative to Canada. The members of Vancouver West Aikikai are immensely saddened he is no longer among us and they will long cherish his memory.

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Ishu Ishiyama Shihan, 7th dan

Ishiyama Shihan is the chief instructor of Vancouver West Aikikai.

Please refer to the Sensei section for more information about Sensei.


Liz McKinlay
5th dan

short bio - hide Liz McKinlay, 5th dan, is the primary instructor for the Children's Program and an assistant instructor for the Regular Adults Program at VWA. She has been practising Aikido with Ishiyama Sensei since 1979. She practised Judo for 6 years before that.
Bruce Riddick
5th dan

short bio - hide Bruce Riddick, 5th dan, is an instructor for the Regular Adults Program at VWA. Bruce started learning Aikido in Victoria in 1985. His primary instructors have been Kawahara Shihan, Ishiyama Sensei, Paris Sensei, and Macphail Sensei. He attends many of the training seminars in B.C., and he has trained at Hombu dojo during several trips to Japan.
Ramin Arvin
5th dan

short bio - hide Ramin Arvin, 5th dan, started Aikido in Toronto at YMCA(Shugyo Dojo) with Fran Turner Sensei. Later he became a live-in student (uchideshi) with Donavan Waite Sensei. Ramin co-founder Naka Ima Aikikai in Toronto. Currently he trains at Mountain Coast Aikikai under Jobe Groote Sensei, and at VWA under Ishiyama Shihan.
Sharon Bader
4th dan

short bio - hide 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.
Dave Bursey
4th dan

short bio - hide Dave Bursey, 4th dan, started his Aikido training in 1991 with Ishiyama Sensei. He is an instructor for the Regular Adults Program at VWA. Dave began his martial arts training in the 1970s.
Bob Wolber
3rd dan

short bio - hide Bob Wolber, 3rd dan, has studied martial arts in several disciplines since 1972. He began Aikido practice with Ishiyama Sensei in 1993 and earned his 1st dan ranking 7 years later.
Boris Mandlis
3rd dan

short bio - hide Boris Mandlis, 3rd dan, began Aikido with Gadi Marcus Sensei (Israel) in 2002, continued with Frank Doran Shihan (California) from 2010 and joined VWA to train under Ishiyama Shihan in 2012.
Valentine Kabanets
3rd dan

short bio - hide Valentine Kabanets, 3rd dan, started practicing Aikido at VWA in 2005 under Ishiyama Shihan's guidance, obtaining his 1st dan in 2010, 2nd dan in 2013, and 3rd dan in 2017. Valentine's Aikido has also been influenced by other Aikido teachers, in particular, by Tada Shihan, Osawa Shihan, and Tissier Shihan.
Nadine Seepaul
2nd dan

short bio - hide Nadine Seepaul, 2nd dan, started Aikido in Toronto at Aikido Shugyo Dojo. She continued at Granville Aikikai (currently English Bay Aikikai) upon her return to Vancouver. She later became a member of VWA to train under Ishiyama Shihan.
Jeff Bastreghi
2nd dan

short bio - hide Jefferson Bastreghi, 2nd dan, started Aikido in Brazil in 2001 with Severino Sensei. He achieved shodan rank in 2008. After moving to Canada in 2013, he practiced in Toronto for a year and is currently a student of Ishiyama Shihan.
Hannah Gatz-Miller
1st dan

short bio - hide Hannah Gatz-Miller, 1st dan, began Aikido in 2007 at Two Rivers Aikikai in Portland, Oregon, with Spiros Koyanis Sensei and Lynn Marshall Sensei. Before moving to B.C., she trained in Philadelphia, Edinburgh, and, most recently, at Albuquerque Shin-Budo Kai in New Mexico. Hannah started training at VWA under Ishiyama Shihan in 2017.