Ishu Ishiyama, 7 dan, Shihan

Vancouver West Aikikai

Ishiyama Shihan is the Chief Instructor of Vancouver West Aikikai. Originally from Osaka, Japan, he has studied Aikido since 1968 with master teachers, including Bansen Tanaka (Osaka Aikikai), Kanai, Kawahara, Yamada, Tohei, and Chiba Shihans, and more recently Tada Shihan in Japan. He has been teaching Aikido in Canada since 1973. He is interested in fostering personal and spiritual development among his students and creating a mature dojo community while pursuing intense martial awareness and technical accuracy in training.
In 2023 Sensei celebrated 50 years of teaching Aikido in Canada.

Scott Macphail, 7 dan, Shihan

Victoria Aikikai

Scott Macphail Sensei has been practicing and teaching for over 45 years, starting with Gary Mols at UVic, continuing with Ishiyama Sensei, Kawahara Shihan, and now Osawa Shihan.  In 1986, Macphail Sensei became chief instructor of Victoria Aikikai.  He has attended summer camps and seminars taught by a variety of Shihan.  For several months he lived and practiced In Japan.  He was granted the title of Shihan by Hombu Dojo in 2023, and promoted to 7th dan in 2024.

Bob Moline, 6 dan, Shidoin

Victoria Aikikai

Moline Sensei joined Victoria Aikikai (Ishiyama Sensei) in 1979. When Ishiyama Sensei moved to Vancouver he continued under his successor, Macphail Sensei. He moved to Dryden in 1990 and started Dryden Aikikai. On his return to Victoria in 2005 he rejoined Victoria Aikikai.

Hilary Dawson, 6 dan, Shidoin

UVic Aikido Club

Hilary started with Judo in university and switched to Aikido in 1977 in Halifax. After moving to Victoria, she continued her training under the guidance of Kawahara Shihan and was a direct student of Ishiyama Shihan for 7 years. She has taught childrens, beginners and womens programmes. Since 1987 she has been the chief instructor at the University of Victoria.

Pat Olson, 6 dan, Shidoin

Okanagan Aikikai

Pat started Aikido in Saskatoon with Makoto Ohtsu Sensei in 1981.  She received her gokyu rank from Kawahara Sensei in 1982; he was then visiting every year to give seminars. Kawahara Sensei remained Pat's sensei until his death in 2011, at which time Pat's rank was yondan.

After moving to Kelowna, Pat trained with Jobe Groot, who had opened Okanagan Aikikai, and subsequently with Kawahara Shihan, and now Osawa Shihan.

In 2023 Pat was promoted to 6th dan, and she and her husband moved back to Saskatoon where she still practices Aikido at Saskatoon Aikikai.

Liz McKinlay, 6 dan, Shidoin

Vancouver West Aikikai

Liz McKinlay has trained with Ishiyama Sensei since 1979, and is VWA’s Deputy Dojo-Cho. Liz instructs the popular Children’s Classes.  She did 6 years of judo before switching to Aikido. Liz worked for over 30 years in Human Resources using the Aikido principles of harmony and blending to handle the stresses of collective bargaining, grievances and workplace conflict.

Bruce Riddick, 6 dan, Shidoin

Vancouver West Aikikai

Bruce has been training for over 30 years. His principal instructors have been Macphail Sensei, Paris Sensei, Kawahara Shihan and Ishiyama Shihan. He regularly attends 8 to 12 intensive training workshops per year in Canada, the US and overseas with a wide range of well-known master instructors. He is primarily interested in helping others and emphasizes harmony while still paying attention to details.

John Petersen, 6 dan, Shidoin

Shawnigan Lake Aikikai

John Petersen Sensei has been practicing for over 30 years under Gary Mols Sensei, Ishiyama Shihan, Macphail and Moline Senseis. He attended many of Kawahara Shihan’s seminars over the years as well as seminars from international instructors.

Mike Chin, 5 dan, Shidoin

SanShuKan Aikikai Victoria

Mike has been training for over 30 years in a variety of martial arts, but principally in Aikido. His primary instructors have been Macphail Sensei, Ishiyama Shihan, Kawahara Shihan and now Osawa Shihan. Mike believes through understanding Technique and exercise of the Body, martial arts training cultivates true humanity, recognizable by its strength and compassion – that is, by the disposition of its Heart.

Mike Smorhay, 5 dan, Shidoin

Simon Fraser Aikikai

Michael Smorhay has been practicing Aikido since 1982, first with Liz McKinlay in Terrace and then with Macphail Sensei, Larry Detweiler and Moline Senseis in Victoria. Always under the watchful eyes of Kawahara Shihan and Ishiyama Shihan, Michael first taught at the University of Victoria, and then in Vancouver upon opening the Simon Fraser University Aikido Club in 1996.

Kim Riddick, 5 dan, Shidoin

North Delta Aikikai

Kim Riddick has practiced Aikido for more than 30 years. His most influential teachers are Kawahara Shihan and Osawa Shihan. He practiced at Hombu Dojo for three years, attending classes by Doshu, Seki, Miyamoto, and Osawa Shihans. Kim believes that Aikido enhances your quality of life by moving your body and working with a partner. Becoming proficient in Aikido, you improve your well-being and have a positive influence on others.

Zoran Krunic, 5 dan, Shidoin

Vancouver Aikikai

Zoran Krunic has been practicing Aikido for over 30 years. He studied under Fujimoto Shihan and, after moving to Canada, under Kawahara Shihan. In the course of his Aikido studies he attended many seminars by leading Aikido teachers, including Tada Sensei and Tamura Sensei. He is the chief instructor of Vancouver Aikikai.

Ramin Arvin, 5 dan, Shidoin

Photo Credit: Russ Gorman (c) 2022

Photo Credit: Russ Gorman (c) 2022

Ramin Arvin, 5th dan, started Aikido at the Central YMCA (Shugyo Dojo) in Toronto with Fran Turner Sensei. Later he became a live-in student (uchideshi) with Donavan Waite Sensei. Ramin Sensei co-founded Naka Ima Aikikai in Toronto. Currently he trains at Vancouver West Aikikai (VWA) under Ishiyama Shihan, and is the VWA-dispatched instructor for the New Westminster dojo (VWA’s branch dojo). 
Ramin enjoys teaching and practicing in the BCAF community, pursuing similar goals in practice with same-minded people. For him, Aikido is about contact, continuous growth, and learning. In aikido, we fall down and get up again, make mistakes and adjust. The dojo is a laboratory space to explore how to use the body efficiently, with minimal effort, to establish awareness in the body and mind.

Grant Babin, 5 dan, Shidoin

Grant Babin Sensei, 5th dan, began training in 1997 with Michael St. Germain Sensei and in 2003 with Tony Hind Shihan.

He began overseeing the direction of the Saltspring Aikido club in 2008.

Between 2010 and 2016 he lived in Tokyo for 4.5 years. He received daily instruction from teachers there including Hayato Osawa Shihan, the technical director of the Canadian Aikido Federation. He is a close student of Takeshi Kanazawa Shihan of Hombu dojo; and still travels to receive his instruction.

In 2016 he returned to Canada and opened Aikidaily in Squamish, BC. To this day he still travels to partake in classes. 

"Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat the enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."

- O’Sensei