All TCAC instructors have practiced at the dojo for many years. Through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s the dojo was in the Midwest region of the USAF under Akira Tohei, Shihan. Since 2004 it has been under the Eastern region of the USAF under Yoshimitsu Yamada, Shihan. These teachers have had a major influence on all the TCAC instructors.
Cal Blanchard, godan, began studying Aikido in 1981 under Akira Tohei Shihan. Clyde Takaguchi Shihan, Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan and Donovan Waite Shihan have also been strong influences. Cal holds the teaching credential of shidoin within the USAF. He has also studied Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Karate (shodan, 1975) and Jiu Jitsu under Sandy Vongries. Cal is Chief Instructor at the Twin Cities Aikido Center.
Wayne Brown, godan, began studying Aikido in 1967 under Ty Uno Sensei. In the 1970's he began studying under Akira Tohei Shihan. He has also been influenced by Clyde Takeguchi Shihan and Gordon Sakamoto Shihan. Wayne has been a member of TCAC since 1976 and currently is the Chief Instructor for the morning classes.
Jerry DeWees, sandan, began practicing Aikido in 1973. He has practiced in Iowa City, Des Moines, Tallahassee, New York, and St. Paul, and has been at TCAC since 1992. His primary influences have been Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan and Akira Tohei Shihan. Jerry is very grateful to all of the people who have taught and trained with him over the years, and he tries very hard to pass along what he has learned from them to the students at TCAC.
Mick Cipra, sandan. Mick teaches the Wednesday Youth class and the Thursday basic class. He also teaches calculus at Wayzata High School.
Alan Smith, nidan, began studying Aikido in 1992 under Akira Tohei Shihan and who promoted him to shodan. He was promoted to nidan under Okimura Shihan. Al has studied with many other USAF and Aikikai shihan in the last decade. Al teaches adult evening classes.
Brad Delapena, nidan, began studying Aikido in 1996 at TCAC. Brad teaches adult evening classes.
Galen David, nidan, began practicing Aikido in 2001. He has studied with students of TK. Chiba, I. Shibata, S. Endo, and H. Ikeda, Shihans. He endeavors to carry the spirit of his teachers into his daily practice. Galen's specific interests include partnered weapons practice, and learning to give dynamic, connected, ukemi to his training partners. Galen teaches adult afternoon and evening classes.
Eric Evenson, Nidan, started aikido in 1996. "The Aikidoist joins in the collision of opposites, until the pain within is transformed into the joy expressed. Happiness never happens in the future. It always arises in our 'now'"
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