MELISSA bELL SENSEI
Melissa Bell Sensei is the Chief Instructor and Dojo Cho at the Sarasota Budokan Dojo in Sarasota, Florida. Bell Sensei began her training in 1992 at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington D.C. under Mitsugi Saotome Shihan and other senior instructors including Patty Saotome Sensei and Frank Bell Sensei.
Bell Sensei presently holds the rank of 5th Dan (ASU) and has received all her ranks directly from Saotome Sensei. She has also trained six years (through Shodan) in Shotokan Karate under Rick Hotton Sensei at the West Wind Dojo in Sarasota, Florida and continues her association through the Sunday Morning Keiko martial arts community.
In addition, she has received the honor of the Ueshiba Juku designation from Saotome Sensei. This signifies she is a carrier of the teachings of O’Sensei as transmitted through Saotome Sensei.
She continues her own training at the ASU Intensive Training Camps, and at other national seminars under Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei, and Mary Heiny Sensei, along with other senior ASU instructors.
One of her favorite quotes from Saotome Sensei: “The secret of aikido? there are three: Distance… Timing… and Looking Good!”
Duane "Peewee" Jones Sensei
Peewee Jones Sensei started his Aikido practice in 1973 and started training under Saotome Shihan in 1975. He has been an active member and instructor for over 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan) through Saotome Shihan, ASU and World Aikido Headquarters in Japan. Jones Sensei has also been award the title "Ueshiba Juku" by Saotome Sensei symbolizing his direct relationship with Saotome Shihan and the founder of Aikido, O'Sensei's, teachings. He is often at the dojo to welcome new students and share old time stories and true aiki spirit.
Daryl Schrader Sensei
Daryl Schrader Sensei took his first Aikido class in 1967 under Koichi Tohei. When Saotome Shihan came to the US in 1975, he was among the first students to practice with him. He currently holds the rank of Godan (5th dan) in Aikido through Saotome Shihan, ASU and the World Aikido Headquarters in Japan. Schrader Sensei has also been awarded the "Ueshiba Juku" title by Saotome Sensei symbolizing his direct relationship with Saotome Shihan and the founder of Aikido, O'Sensei's, teachings
DICK JUDD SENSEI
Dick Judd Sensei (4th Dan Aikikai) started his training in 1981 at the USF Aikido Club in Tampa, Florida. Over the years he has trained and taught at several aikido dojo both in Florida and in Connecticut. In 2001 he started West Hartford Aikikai where he taught until its closing in 2016. He continues his training at the Sarasota Budokan under the direction of Melissa Bell Sensei. Dick is also a member of Shimbokukai under the direction of Lisa Tomoleoni Sensei.