Francis Takahashi Shihan
Francis Takahashi, 7th Dan, Founder and Chief instructor of the Aikido Academy, is truly one of the pioneers of Aikido in the United States. He began training in 1953 in Hawaii and moved to Los Angeles in 1961 where he practiced under the tutelage of his stepfather, Isao Takahashi, at L.A. Aikikai. The army took him to Chicago in 1963, and while there he became head instructor at the Illinois Aikido Club. Upon his return to California in 1965, he assumed leadership of the Rafu Dojo in East Los Angeles. In the early 1970's he formed Alhambra Aikikai, and the name was eventually changed to the Aikido Academy. Many fine senseis around the country can call Francis Takahashi their first teacher.
Wow, I JUST got back from the dojo where Takahashi Sensei shared the good news with us and here it is already on Aikiweb. Information age indeed. :-)
It goes without saying that everyone at the Alhambra Aikido Academy is proud of his lifelong accomplishments as one of the original pioneers of aikido in America, and grateful to have him as a teacher and an inspiration.