Our Teachers

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.

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Martin Christensen

 

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 56 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

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

 

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

 

Thuan Tran holds the rank of Sandan, third degree black belt in Aikido. He has trained in Aikido since 1976, and has been teaching Aikido in Fremont for many years. He teaches the 11:00am-12:00pm adults class on Saturdays and occasionally fills in for other instructors as needed. Thuan also studies and teaches Tai Chi and Qigong.

Peter Denyer

Peter Denyer teaches our Adult classes on Thursdays  He holds the rank of Nidan, second 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 Dojo.

Uyen Le
 

"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

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 Sandan, third degree black belt in Aikido. He has 25 years of martial arts experience, including teaching Aikido weapon techniques. Lately, Stan has been the primary teacher for Thursday evening adults classes.

Chris Hooper

Chris Hooper teaches our Thursday Children and Teens class. He holds the rank of Nidan, second 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 filling other needs to keep the dojo operating smoothly. Chris takes great care of the students and is very approachable for Dojo questions, training needs, and student goals.

Chris Lococo

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 taught our Tuesday Children and Teens classes for many years, where he focuses on the fundamentals of Aikido (Kihon Waza) and its practicality in self-defense. He is currently on sabbatical due to the pandemic and work responsibilities.

Uyen Le
 

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 occasionally teaches our Thursday Children's classes and is well respected by her students for her firmness and humor.

John Gustafson
 

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.