Shizuo Imaizumi - Shihan
The symbol to the left, below the links, is the Tomoe, Imaizumi-Sensei's
family crest. It embodies Sensei's approach to aikido - circular movement
around a stable center.
Imaizumi Sensei first started his aikido training in April of 1959 during his days as a student at Waseda University in Tokyo. He went to training sessions at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, which was located within walking distance of the Waseda Campus. It was there that he first met Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei, the founder of aikido) during one of his aikido demonstrations.
In 1965, with a rank of sandan, Imaizumi Sensei became an apprentice to the teaching staff (shidoin) at the Aikikai Hombu dojo and his career as a professional aikido instructor began. During this period he frequently would serve as uke, or training partner, for Ueshiba Sensei during the early morning aikido classes when O-Sensei would demonstrate and teach. After O-Sensei's death in April of 1969, Imaizumi Sensei was chosen to accompany Waka-Sensei (the son of O-sensei) and his wife to enshrine the remains of O-Sensei at the Ueshiba family graveyard at Tanabe.
In the spring of 1972, Imaizumi Sensei made his first visit to the United States when he traveled to California and other areas of the western U.S. to teach aikido and ki principles on behalf of Koichi Tohei Sensei, who was Aikikai Hombu dojo head instructor at the time. After 3 months in California, Imaizumi Sensei returned to Japan and continued as an instructor at the Aikikai Hombu dojo until 1974 when he joined Tohei Sensei in his new organization, the Ki-no-kenkyukai (Ki Society; Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido).
Imaizumi Sensei returned to the United States in 1975 to help Tohei Sensei organize and run Ki Society dojos in New York and elsewhere. On June 1, 1980, he was officially assigned the post of Chief Instructor for the Ki Society in the United States. Following this three year assignment, he nominated Koichi Kashiwaya, then the Chief Instructor of the Boulder Ki Society in Colorado, for the position of Chief Instructor for the United States. Imaizumi Sensei retained his title as Chief Instructor for the New York Ki Society.
In September of 1987, Imaizumi Sensei officially resigned from the Ki no Kenkyukai and returned to Japan in order to help with the management of his family's business there. He was able to return to the United States and resume his aikido career in April of 1988. Later that year (October 1st, 1988), he established a new aikido organization called Shin-Budo Kai. Currently, Imaizumi Sensei teaches regularly at his dojo in New York City, while overseeing affiliated SBK dojos in Albuquerque, NM; Bedford Hills, NY; Colleyville, TX; Cornwall Bridge, CT; and Durango, CO. He also conducts an annual seminar in Albuquerque hosted by ASBK.
Albuquerque Shin-Budo Kai Teaching Staff:
Ralph Bryan Sensei, 5th Dan and Chief Instructor at ASBK. Ralph first experienced aikido during a semester of study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1976 – attracted to its philosophical underpinnings and noncompetitive approach. Returning to Austin, TX that same year, he practiced with the Austin Ki Society for 2 years. Medical school intervened from 1978 – 1982 after which Ralph resumed aikido practice with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan at Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, DC from 1982 – 1987. Professional obligations intervened again when he joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta in 1987. He resumed aikido practice in 1994, training sequentially under Wade Ishimoto Sensei and Jim Redel Sensei until 2006. Shizuo Imaizumi Shihan certified Ralph as a Chief Instructor in March 2006 and promoted him to Godan on September 1st, 2016. Since retirement from CDC in 2010, Ralph is increasingly focused on aikido and related pursuits. He is the editor and principal author of The Aikido of Shin-Budo Kai, A Guide to Principles and Practice. He also trains in Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo under the auspices of Phil Relnick Sensei.
Jennifer Miyashiro Sensei, 3rd Dan, Assistant Chief Instructor. Jennifer’s first exposure to aikido was in the 1980s when she watched her cousin participate in a demonstration on Maui. Although she was impressed by the fluid movements and power of the art, it wasn’t until 2001 that she decided to give it a try herself. That year she began her aikido training in Shin-Budo Kai style aikido in Albuquerque. Since 2006, she has studied under Ralph Bryan Sensei. After years of practice with her fellow aikidoka, she is still impressed by the powerful grace that this martial art can generate. Jennifer was promoted to Sandan in October, 2015.
Adam Hernandez Sensei, 3rd Dan, ASBK Instructor. Adam began aikido in Albuquerque in 1994 under Wade Ishimoto Sensei. In 1996 when Ishimoto Sensei relocated, Adam helped to establish a new dojo location and continued under Jim Redel Sensei, who left SBK in 2006. Since that time, Adam has trained under Ralph Bryan Sensei, earning his Shodan in 2007 and Nidan in 2010. Adam was promoted to Sandan in 2018.
Jacob Park Sensei, 1st Dan (Otachi Ryu), Iaido Chief Instructor; 2nd Dan SBK Aikido, ASBK Assistant Instructor. Jacob began his martial arts training in Shin-Budo Kai aikido under Ralph Bryan Sensei in 2006 and began training in Otachi Ryu Iaido under Rodger Mayeda Sensei in 2010. Both Park Sensei and Mayeda Sensei trained directly under Oneman Otachi Sensei, who first brought Otachi Ryu Iaido to the United States. When Mayeda Sensei retired in 2018, he and Oneman Otachi Sensei appointed Jacob as Chief Instructor for Otachi Ryu Iaido. Oneman Sensei has trained in iaido and karate-do for over 50 years, having begun his training as a young child in Japan, where he was born. He traces his samurai lineage to the Kamakura Period and General Odachi Muneuji. Otachi Ryu Iaido is a unique family form, but is technically similar to Eishen Ryu styles of iaido.
David Ryan, 2nd Dan, ASBK Assistant Instructor. Dave’s training in aikido began when he joined ASBK in 1999. He trained under Jim Redel Sensei until 2004, when he left for a two year hiatus. He resumed training under Ralph Bryan Sensei in 2006 and has trained continually since that time. Dave achieved Shodan at the ripe young age of 65. Outside of the dojo he is active in many outdoor activities and has written several hiking and exploring books including the latest edition of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Albuquerque. He maintains a blog on hiking and exploring at gentleartofwandering.com. Dave was promoted to Nidan in October, 2016.
Nick Wechselberger, 2nd Dan, ASBK Assistant Instructor. Throughout the years, Nick has trained at several dojos throughout New Jersey, Washington state, and New Mexico, as well as attending aikido summer camps and instructor training seminars. During his time at Southwestern Aikikai in Albuquerque, Nick was enrolled in the kenshusei (instructor training) program and was uchideshi (dojo resident-understudy); while there, he received the rank of Shodan from Dennis Abbott Sensei in 1998. Subsequently, at New Mexico Aikikai, Nick was promoted to Nidan by Kristina Varjan Shihan in 2008. His particular interest is learning Aikido with his fellow students through ukemi, the art of receiving the throw, and connection between training partners. Nick has been with ASBK since 2015.