Jiai Aikido was founded in 2003, and is affiliated with Aikido Shimbokukai which is an Officially Recognized Organization by the Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan.
After encouragement from Ikeda Shihan, Jiai Aikido was founded by one of his long time students, Jeff Sodeman Sensei, in 2003. Sodeman Sensei, in 2009, passed the dojo to Cat Strada Sensei, 3 Dan, who is now Dojo Cho and Co-Chief Instructor. Joining Strada Sensei on the instructor team is Tom Liu Sensei, 4 Dan and Lisa Tomoleoni Sensei, 6 Dan (also co-chief instructor).
Over the years, many senior students and guest instructors have contributed to instruction, offering exposure to different perspectives. This is continued presently, and students are encouraged to experiment and evolve their training, and to find 'their own Aikido' within the principles set by the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.
Our instructors share the same vision and goal for the dojo- To cultivate each student's unique and highest potential of physical and internal self, within the principles taught by O-Sensei. We do not teach our students a certain 'style' they must conform to, or prohibit their ability to be exposed to things. We teach the value of freedom in self-exploration, the difference between technique and principles, and how technique & movements can vary some, while principles are universal.
We achieve this advanced level of personalized aikido integration, by training in dynamic and cooperative partner fashion until one is ready for more resistance or stressors.