Bill Doi, 5th Degree Black Belt: Over 40 years of Aikido experience, started in February 1978. Received 1st Degree black belt in December 1990. Over the years, Bill has seen his practice evolve into one of finesse, careful body placement, and movements in lieu of strength. Emphasis is placed on protecting one’s practice partner instead of viewing them as an opponent. Bill has been teaching Aikido since the 90s and started the senior Safe Falling class in 2017. Bill has often mentioned, “in Aikido practice, 50% of the time is spent falling, and we believe we have a unique perspective to offer Hawaii’s seniors.”
Hiroshi Kato, 4th Degree Black Belt: Over 30 years of Aikido experience, trained in Guam, Japan and Hawaii. Taught at the Windward Aikido Club for the past 10 years and taught the senior safe falling class since 2017 along with Bill and Steve. He also coached wrestling in Japan for 7 years. Hiroshi was also Dean of Instruction and Provost at Windward Community College, overseeing all aspects of curriculum and the college. He, along with Steve, drafted the course curriculum and syllabus for the senior Safe Falling class, and is currently working on a curriculum for Low Impact Aikido.
Steve Glanstein, 4th Degree Black Belt: Over 50 years of Aikido experience. Steve and his father, Ralph, were introduced to Aikido at a demonstration of the “unbendable arm”; both became ardent practitioners after Ralph, already a Judoka, could not bend young Steve’s arm. Steve first practiced in New York City and then Hawaii (from 1963), first teaching as a teenager in Hawaii in the late 60s. Steve goes to practice and teach in Argentina every year. He developed the “wiggle the finger”, “Aikido with folders”, and “Aikido with ties” methodology to promote relaxation and proper body movement. Steve also taught the senior Safe Falling class since 2017 with Bill and Hiroshi.
Dennis Jinnohara, 5th Degree Black Belt: 36 years of Aikikai Aikido experience, trained in Japan, California, Kansas, Korea, Northern Virginia, and Hawaii. He has also trained in Ki Society-Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido for the last 5 years to develop Ki and to soften Aikido style. Dennis retired from working as a Department of Defense Civilian in Human Resources with an emphasis in Adult Training and Development and actively volunteers with other community service organizations.
Kevin Yamakawa, along with starting with Bill on the first Safe Falling pilot program in 2017, assists the teaching team with administration and logistical support.
Bob Putes, is a 4th degree black belt in Aikido. He started Aikido in 1996 and studied under Sensei Robert Kubo on the Windward side. He is also a 1st degree black belt in Iaido, the art of using the sword. Bob came to Hawaii in 1972 while in the Navy and never left. He is retired and volunteers for various community groups.
Wayne Kozuma, 6th degree. Studied with Robert Kubo sensei since high school.
Kai Li, 3rd Degree Black Belt with a lifetime of experience in many systems requiring practical falling skills. A lifelong martial artist, he has lived and trained around the world studying various systems, each within their own unique geographical and cultural context. He has developed, taught and pioneered Adaptive Self-Defense programs for the disabled, for children with Downs Syndrome, and for the blind and hearing impaired. He also serves as an instructor teaching courses in First Aid and CPR.