Tsuneo Ando Sensei - 8th Dan "hachidan" Master (Shihan)
Ando Sensei was born on October 29, 1956 in Nihama city, Ehime prefecture on the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, Shikoku. Ando Sensei first began his study of Aikido, in the Aikikai style, when he entered university. He entered the Yoshinkan on May 20, 1981, and trained as an uchideshi, a special apprentice. He studied under (Kancho) Gozo Shioda Sensei for over fourteen years.
In March 1993 Ando Sensei was awarded the title of Shihan, Master Teacher. He has become one of the greatest Aikido minds of our time. He is sought after worldwide for his skill and knowledge, and for his belief that aikido can unite mankind. He frequently tours the world to promote and demonstrate his art.
In 2007, Ando Sensei was promoted to the rank of 8th dan and was given the role of Shuseki Shihan, technical director, of the Yoshinkan
In 1996, Ando Sensei founded Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu, a group that he leads in Chiba, Japan. Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu focuses on strengthening and mastering Chu Shin Ryoku, centre power, which is the main principle of Yoshinkan Aikido and the key to achieving Shu Chu Ryoku and Kokyu Ryoku.
Ando Sensei’s focus is on practicing and teaching Aikido in such a way that every student enjoys their experience. He hopes to help develop strong individuals who will be able to contribute to developing a prosperous and peaceful 21st century.
Stephen Ohlman Sensei - 6th Dan "rokudan" Master (Shihan)
Stephen Sensei spent six years studying in Japan; one enrolled in the 11-month International Instructor Course held concurrently with the Tokyo Riot Police Training course at the Yoshinkan Headquarters 1995-1996.
For five years he studied as a Deshi, apprentice, under Tsuneo Ando Sensei. His exceptional experience coupled with his unwavering search for perfection in his technique make him a leading force in the Aikido world – a teacher of the highest calibre.
In Japan, Ohlman Sensei held a unique position as Head Teacher at Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu - Maihama Branch from 1997-2001. Given rights reserved exclusively to Japanese teachers, he not only taught but also promoted students in Japan, sitting on the two-person black belt grading committee alongside Ando Sensei.
Stephen Sensei has supported Ando Sensei as an Assistant Instructor, Demonstration Partner and Interpreter on numerous international tours: Toronto & Windsor, Ontario in 1998; Munich, Germany in 1998; Los Angeles, California in 1999; Georgetown, Ontario in 2002, Barrie, Ontario 2005, 2009, Toronto, Ontario 2010.
Stephen Sensei was promoted to the rank of 6th dan and obtained the title of Shihan, Master in June 2009.