Adult Program Instructors

Our dojo hosts professional instructors that hold senior ranks in Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (“ASU”) and Aikikai Foundation in Japan. Many of our instructors travel worldwide to train in and conduct seminars. They do this to continue growing their skills, knowledge, and wisdom. In addition to Aikido, many instructors also have trained and continue to train in other martial arts to continue honing their skills. We are honored to host them here, and have them on our board.

Some members also are awarded Ueshiba-Juku designation which is bestowed upon practicioners who represent transmission reception from the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (“O-Sensei”), to Mitsugi Saotome Shihan (“Sensei”), through to the instructors. A calligraphy may be present on the gi of these members.

Instructor Eugene Lee

Eugene Lee

Eugene Lee began his Aikido study in 1988 and holds a rokudan (6th degree black belt). Eugene works for the EPA’s Office of Emergency Management and is also an avid mountaineer, trekker and cyclist.

Nina Carleton

Nina started training in Aikido in 1980. She currently holds a godan (5th degree blackbelt) and is a regular instructor during morning classes. She and her husband, Thurston Carleton are major contributors to the dojo. Nina’s care in the garden can be seen by all members. She and Patty Saotome shared much history in Aikido and her skill and ability on the mat is known for its joy, attention to detail, and sharpness as a result of her fondness for weapons practice.

Instructor Chris Royal

Chris Royal

Chris began his aikido training in 1990 and holds a godan (5th degree black belt). He is a mid-morning instructor and is interested in all aspects of aikido. In addition to aikido, he is a professor of Jazz Studies at Howard University. His passion for music, aikido, the arts, and humanity is profound and we are honored to have him here with us at Shobukan.

Instructor Robert Deppe

Robert Deppe

Robert began his aikido study in 1984 and holds the rank of rokudan (6th dan). He is a personal student of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan and is especially known for his precise and powerful weapons work, graceful movement, and clear teaching. Robert has been training and teaching at Aikido Shobukan Dojo (ASD) since 1994. Robert has studied Shindo Muso Ryu for 25 years as well as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu for 7 years, influencing his precise and powerful weapons work.

Instructor John Taylor

John Taylor

John Taylor began practicing aikido in 1991 and is a godan (5th degree black belt). He is a part of regular instructors leading morning keiko sessions. He is a past ASD President and Board Member and he holds dan ranks in karate and judo. He is clear, concise, gentle, and we are pleased to have him join us here at the dojo.

Instructor Kamenna Lee

Kamenna Lee

Kamenna started practicing aikido in 1991 and is a godan (5th degree blackbelt). She can be seen contributing to the dojo as an organizational leader and rolls up her sleeves in all things. Her classes are vibrant, dynamic, and most often will generate sweat while focusing on clean lines and technique. It is a pleasure to have the Lee’s as members and leaders in our community.

Instructor Nick Kiritz

Nick Kiritz

Nick Kiritz began his aikido study in 1982 at Oberlin College. He holds the rank of rokudan (6th degree black belt), and the Ueshiba Juku designation. In addition to teaching and training regularly at the dojo, he serves as the head instructor for the Georgetown University Aikikai. Nick has cross-trained in a variety of other arts, including Systema, yoga, and Zen. Nick works as a consultant in risk management for US and foreign financial institutions. Nick has served on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer and CFO of Aikido Shobukan Dojo.

Instructor Steven Schneid

Steven Schneid

Steve Schneid began his Aikido studies in 1975 under the direct instruction of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan and has continued this association ever since. He currently holds the rank of ryokudan (6th degree black belt). In addition to training in Aikido, Steve is an Optometrist operating two office in Washington, DC and Maryland.

Instructors - Reggie Robertson

Reginald Robinson

Reginald “Reggie“ Robinson entered the dojo in 1996 and currently holds a sandan (3rd degree black belt). An experienced martial artist, he is also a law professor and is currently tenured as a Professor of Law at Howard University. He has traveled the nation, invited to profess law to various colleges and universities. He is passionate about Aikido, and its ability to create a place for the mutual exchange of body, speech, and mind.

Instructor Chas Poor

Chas Poor

Chas is a longtime member of Aikido Shobukan Dojo and is a rokudan (6th degree black belt). He has been a part of and has lead many years of morning classes here. He is an architect by trade and has a keen sense of humor and enjoys nature, art, birds, and all things natural.

Gareth Hinds

Gareth Hinds had his first experience with aikido in 1979 and began training consistently in 2000. He is a sandan (third degree black belt) and is one of the regular instructors leading evening keiko sessions. Before coming to ASD, he trained in Vermont, New York, and in Boston for 10 years with Bill Gleason sensei. He also has experience in karate, Shaolin kung fu, and both Yang and Chen tai chi. Outside the dojo, he is a graphic novelist and a zen practitioner.

Michael Brown

Michael began practicing aikido in 1999 and is a sandan (3rd degree black belt) and is a part of regular instructors leading morning keiko sessions. Michael is an acupuncturist and musician. Aikido plays a big part in his life and the dojo community has inspired him in many different ways.