Many teachers and students were previously with Aikido of Fremont (Aiki Zenshin Dojo). We are insured and a member of the Western Aikido Association founded by Robert Frager Shihan, Shihan and 7th Degree Black Belt. The Western Aikido Association is directly affiliated with the Aikido Hombu Dojo in Japan.
Martin Christensen Sensei holds the rank of Godan, fifth degree black belt, and has been teaching Aikido in the Fremont area since 1994. He brings to the mat 55 years of Aikido experience as well as a keen interest in Qigong, Reiki, and Tai Chi. Martin Sensei emphasizes a strong foundation in kihon waza (basic Aikido forms) and the practical application of these forms to "real life" situations. He is very interested in helping students understand how to better “feel” and “control” ‘Ki’ (vital life force) and utilize this ‘energy’ in their daily lives. Martin Sensei believes that an ever deepening understanding of the healing aspects of ‘Ki’ brings an improved understanding and utilization of martial energies.
Steve Osawa Sensei holds the rank of Sandan, third degree black belt in Aikido. He has also studied Kendo, Judo, and Jiu-jutsu. Steve Sensei is also a senior Koga Ryu instructor. With such an extensive background, he moves his students through the more advanced techniques of many different martial arts. He covers everything from traditional Aikido and sword techniques to jiu-jutsu and judo maneuvers to knife fighting. If you're into practical self defense applications as well as traditional Aikido, come check out Steve Sensei's classes.
Derek Tokuda Sensei holds the rank of Yondan, fourth degree black belt in Aikido. Derek has trained in Aikido for over 25 years and brings a strong foundation in basic fundamental Aikido (kihon waza) to his classes. Derek teaches the Tuesday evening adult classes and is the current President of our board of directors.
Thuan Tran began his martial arts training in Tae-kwon-do during junior high school in Vietnam. He started Aikido study in 1976 under late Jon Takagi Sensei of Arizona Aikikai while working a summer job in Phoenix. After college graduation in Texas, he moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1978, and re-joined the training with Takagi Sensei during the next 4 years.
Thuan then relocated to California in 1982 and settled in Fremont. He continued Aikido training at Aikido of Fremont under Sunny Skys Sensei, and was awarded Shodan in 2001, He was awarded Nidan in 2005 by Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan of Aikido School of Ueshiba headed by Saotome Shihan. In 2014, the Fremont school re-organized and joined the Western Aikido Association headed by Robert Frager Shihan. Thuan was awarded Sandan in 2017 by Robert Frager Shihan.
Thuan also studied Taichi and Qigong with various teachers in the Bay area, including Robert Brown of Taijiquan Tutelage of Palo Alto and Mei Chen of Ohlone College. He was inspired to study the art thanks to Takagi Sensei. One day in Tucson he arrived early to an Aikido class and saw Sensei practice a Taichi form. His grace and peace-filled movement left Thuan with a lasting impression to this day.
Thuan's goal in martial arts training is to unify mind, body and spirit. He practices Taichi Qigong daily and also trains regularly at Fremont Aikido. He also has the privilege to be under the tutelage of Frager Shihan. He currently teaches Aikido on Saturday and Sunday, and leads the Taichi Qigong workout on Sunday.
Peter Denyer teaches our Adult classes on Thursdays He holds the rank of Shodan, first degree black belt in Aikido. Peter started his Aikido journey in Toronto studying for 5 years under Sensei T. Kimeda (9th dan Yoshinkai Canada) attaining the rank of 2nd Kyu. Upon moving to California, the press of business travel precluded significant training for a number of years, finally getting back to Aikido under Sunny Skys Sensei with the opening of Aiki Zenshin Dojo. Peter has over 30 years of martial arts experience and presents a strong and friendly presence on the mat. He is one of our key founding members and supporters of our current Fremont Dojo.
"Uyen began Aikido in 2002 at Aiki Zenshin Aikido Dojo under Sunny Sky sensei. She recognizes two of our teachers, Derek Tokuda sensei and Steve Osawa sensei, for giving leading guidance in Aikido techniques and their effective applications. She also trained at the San Jose Aikido Dojo and obtained her Shodan rank (1st degree black belt) from Jack Wada Shihan (7th Dan) in November 2015. She teaches our Wednesday Children's classes and she is well respected by her students for her firmness and humor."
Stan Chan is our go-to teacher for backing up instruction from our teachers and co-teaching the adult classes. Stan holds the rank of Nidan, second degree black belt in Aikido. He has 25 years of martial arts experience, including teaching Aikido weapon techniques.
Chris Hooper teaches our Thursday Children and Teens classes. He holds the rank of Shodan, first degree black belt in Aikido, and has been involved in the art since 2000 Chris is dedicated to the Dojo remaining safe and clean, and the operation running smoothly. Chris takes great care of the students and is very approachable for Dojo questions, training needs, and student goals.
Chris Lococo sensei currently holds the rank of Shodan, first degree black belt in Aikido. Chris started training in Aikido in 2005 under Sunny Skys Sensei of the Fremont Aiki Zenshin Dojo, ASU association. He has been a contributing member of the Fremont Aikido Dojo, WAA association since 2013. He currently teaches our Tuesday Children and Teens classes where he focuses on the fundamentals of Aikido (Kihon Waza) and its practicality in self-defense.
Uyen Le began Aikido in 2002 at Aiki Zenshin Aikido Dojo under Sunny Skys sensei. She recognizes two of our teachers, Derek Tokuda sensei and Steve Osawa sensei, for giving leading guidance in Aikido techniques and their effective applications. She also trained at the San Jose Aikido Dojo and obtained her Shodan rank (1st degree black belt) from Jack Wada Shihan (7th Dan) in November 2015. She often teaches our Thursday Children's classes and is well respected by her students for her firmness and humor.
John Gustafson holds the rank of Nidan, second degree black belt in Aikido. He has practiced Aikido for over 27 years; first under Pat Hendricks sensei, then Sunny Skys sensei, and now under the teachings of both Steve Sensei and Martin Sensei. John promotes basic skills in all the childrens classes, emphasizing continuous practice to gain an instinctual response to physical intimidation. He does physical core training that helps with balance and strength. John used to enjoy teaching the Saturday morning children's classes, but now that he is not local anymore, he can only occasionally visit the dojo to teach and train.