Aikido Instructors

合気道の先生

All ranks are certified through Aikikai Honbu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan 合気会本部道場 東京 日本


James Friedman – Dojo Cho

六段 Roku dan (6th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1980

Other martial arts: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Muay Thai kickboxing

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Friedman Sensei began Aikido training in 1980 at the age of twenty at the Oakland Aikido Institute, in Oakland, California. After receiving his black belt in the Iwama style in 1984, he moved to San Francisco and continued his training at Turk Street Dojo. In 1995 he met Kato Hiroshi Shihan at Hombu Dojo, soon inviting him to San Francisco to teach his first San Francisco seminar and becoming Kato Sensei’s first American student. Friedman Sensei’s approach to Aikido stresses hard training and conditioning with an emphasis on practical application, while retaining a very relaxed physical state. James has an extensive background in highly competitive sports; he received a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Clovis Silva. He brings that intensity and focus into his teaching style in Aikido. Friedman Sensei received the rank of roku dan from Hiroshi Kato Sensei.


Peter Ralls

六段 Roku dan (6th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1975

Other martial arts: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Judo; Chen Tai Chi Chuan

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Peter Ralls Sensei started training in Aikido in 1975 at the Stanford University Aikido Club under Frank Doran Sensei. After receiving his shodan in 1979, Peter moved to Tokyo, where he trained for fourteen months at Hombu Dojo and first met Kato Sensei. Peter taught Aikido from 1983 until 1994 at Aikido of San Jose under Jack Wada Sensei, and began teaching with James Friedman Sensei at the original Skid Row Dojo soon after it opened. In 1983, he began his career in law enforcement. Through his law enforcement career, Peter gained practical experience in applying martial arts techniques and methods in real situations. That level of discipline and practicality still influences his training. He received a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Clovis Silva. Ralls Sensei received the rank of roku dan from Hiroshi Kato Sensei.


Yves Chauvin

五段  Go dan (5th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1978

Other martial arts: Judo; Kendo; Tae Kwon Do; Karate; Tang Soo Do; French boxing; Shaolin Kung Fu; Tai Chi Chuan; Pa Kua; Chi Kung

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Yves’ Saturday-morning classes focus on grounded movements and flowing form. His strong, centered practice carries the influence of a range of martial arts. 

Chauvin Sensei received the rank of Godan from James Friedman Sensei.


Michael Johnson

五段 Go dan (5th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1987

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Michael teaches basics-and-beyond classes, with a strong focus on helping students prepare for tests. He brings an extensive background in dance to his exploration of martial arts.

Johnson Sensei received the rank of Go dan from James Friedman and Peter Ralls Sensei.


Ezio "Ace" Gagliardi

五段 Go dan (5th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1987

Other martial arts: Wado Ryu Karate

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Ezio welcomes all students, beginners and advanced alike. His classes emphasize proper form and footwork skills for more mobility and effective technique.

Gagliardi Sensei received the rank of Go dan from James Friedman and Peter Ralls Sensei.


Doug Uyeno

四段 Yon dan (4th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1984

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Doug finds his noon classes a perfect balance to his evening work in fine dining. He invites you to spend an hour away from your desk in the camaraderie of Aikido, breaking a sweat and harmonizing with universal ki.


Uyeno Sensei received the rank of Yondan from James Friedman Sensei.


Marshall "Kimo" White

四段 Yon dan (4th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1986

Other martial arts: Naginata

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Kimo’s classes emphasize mindfulness, physical presence, and flowing movements. His art is strongly influenced by his long study of Zen Buddhism.


White Sensei received the rank of Yondan from James Friedman Sensei.


Daisy Colchie

四段 Yon dan (4th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1988

Other martial arts: Tae Kwon Do; Capoeira

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Daisy teaches high-energy aikido classes, often with a focus on building ukemi skills. She is also the Children’s Program Manager, teaching after-school aikido classes to kids on Mondays and Thursdays.


Colchie Sensei received the rank of Yondan from James Friedman Sensei.


Felix Gallego

四段 Yon dan (4th degree black belt)

Year Started: 1995

Other martial arts: Judo

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Felix’s classes focus on athleticism, basics, and slow progression into more advanced combinations. He incorporates sports into his classes, emphasizing safe and proper form in individual practice.


Gallego Sensei received the rank of Yondan from James Friedman Sensei.


Peter Barker

二段 Ni dan (2nd degree black belt)

Year Started: 1998

Other martial arts: Judo; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

 

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Peter’s physically vigorous classes emphasize strong basics and the development of power using soft, relaxed movements.


Barker Sensei received the rank of Nidan from James Friedman Sensei.