Our chief instructor is Robert Brian Levy Sensei, who holds the rank of 5th dan (black belt). A native of Louisiana, Brian Sensei has spent more than twenty-five years practicing aikido, both in the U.S. and Europe. He returned to New Orleans in 2007, where he first established our dojo in Bywater before moving to our present location in New Orleans’s Mid-City.
Brian Sensei’s principal teachers are Seishiro Endo Shihan, 8th dan from Saku Aikidokai in Saku, Japan, Jan Nevelius Shihan, 7th dan from Vanadis Aikido in Stockholm, Sweden, and Jorma Lyly Sensei, 6th dan from Vanadis Aikido. Brian Sensei has also practiced with Christian Tissier Shihan, 8th dan from Cercle Tissier in Paris, France. Endo Sensei was an uchi deshi (live-in student) of O Sensei. And Endo Shihan and Tissier Shihan both studied for many years with Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan, another close student of O Sensei. As students progress, we offer belt (ranking) tests regularly, all sanctioned by Hombu Dojo, which is led by O Sensei’s grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba, known as ‘Doshu’ (family heir).