Our Founders

O’Sensei – Morihei Ueshiba

O-senseiThe founder of Aikido was Master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). He created Aikido as a path to universal harmony and world peace, believing that aikido was a way of attaining this goal and that violence and aggression could be turned aside by harmony of spirit.

During his childhood and as a young man, O’Sensei studied sumo wrestling, jujitsu and swordsmanship. He fought in the war between Russia and Japan in the early part of the 20th century and was discharged from the army in 1906 when he returned home to farm and fish. He also pursued religious and philosophical studies, including Zen and Buddhism.

In 1915 he encountered Sokaku Takeda, the grand master of daito ryu aiki jutsu. Morihei Ueshiba was no match for Takeda, and subsequently, he became Sokaku’s student, studying intensely under his tutelage for many years.

In 1915 he encountered Sokaku Takeda, the grand master of daito ryu aiki jutsu. Morihei Ueshiba was no match for Takeda, and subsequently, he became Sokaku’s student, studying intensely under his tutelage for many years.

1925 marks the year O’Sensei discovered a deeper meaning to the martial arts he had been studying and a path he wished to explore and develop. He realised that by blending the highest ethics of mankind with the practice of martial arts, he could develop the practice into a truly defensive art in accordance with those ethics.

He went on to develop Aikido according to the principles of non-aggression and non-competitiveness. He felt that the true purpose of budo was love, love that cherishes and nourishes all.

Grand Master Steven Seagal  “Tenshin Aikido Global”

Founder Tenshin Aikido Global

Sensei Steven Seagal is well know for making Aikido famous and for it becoming a main stream martial art. He became the first non Japanese instructor to teach and run a dojo in Japan. Tenshin Dojo was the main centre where Steven Seagal Sensei originally taught his unique style of Aikido. It was when he decided to move to America and get into making movies that his skills were put on display for the world to see, instantly putting Aikido in the headlines for a new era of martial artists.

More on Sensei Steven Seagal coming soon

Sensei Jaime Calderon “Tenshin Aikido Global” Chief Instructor

Chief Instructor

Sensei Calderon has been training in Aikido since 1993. Sensei is the chief instructor of Tenshin Aikido Dojo located in California. Sensei Calderon is also world Chief Instructor of Tenshin Global.

Sensei tested for his Shodan from Steven Seagal Sensei in 2000 passing on his first time through.

A bit of personal insight into sensei.

“I feel I have been very blessed with the teachers and friends that have come into my life. I have often said to many of my friends and students “all of you are my greatest teachers ” I do not believe I am a great teacher or even a good student. What I do believe is that we all have the capability of becoming one. 

I am very fortunate to have trained under the various teachers for the time I have. I feel even more blessed to have Steven Seagal Sensei as my teacher and friend. Through his teachings, I only hope to bring inspiration, compassion and oneness to all who wish to train with me. I am truly inspired and hope you will be too.

For the full introduction and information visit our founder’s full website www.tenshinwarrior.com

Mike Stanford – 7th Dan Aikido Yuishinkai NZ Chief Instructor


Mike started Aikido at the Northcote YMCA Ki Society, training under John Dawn (2nd dan). After a series of instructors left, Mike became the Instructor for the Auckland dojo, under the Chief Instructor Roger Cruikshank.

When Roger moved to Australia in 1987, Maruyama Sensei appointed Mike Stanford Chief Instructor for the New Zealand Ki Society.

Mike has also studied Iaido, achieving the rank of Shodan. He was also ranked Joden in Ki gradings under the Ki Society. Mike says “For me, Aikido is a way of life”

He admits to being quite aggressive in his youth and expected things to be done his way both at work and in his personal relationships. “Aikido taught me to look at myself and evaluate myself. I now relate to people better, and my personal and work relationships progressed much more smoothly after I started Aikido.

My health improved as well” Mike says.

Mike Stanford – 6th August 1937 – 11th November 2014

Sadly Michael Stanford “Aikidos’ gentleman” passed away the early evening in November 2014. Mike, a man known as a leader, mentor and friend to many.

There is not or ever will be enough room to document how loved Mike was and his achievements in Aikido, how Mike developed a small club into a success story, how Mike has left many lasting impressions on his students, Aikido friends, other martial art styles. A lifetime of balancing a commitment to his art and family whom he loved very much. We will honour your legacy for the ages to come, whether in life or death you have touched our hearts and will continue to do so.

Mike, you will be remembered with our fondest memories and how you inspired us to go beyond our normal expectations, delving deep into using Aikido to transport us into new journeys of life but keep it real.

“I am not a Martyr or a god, I am Mike and we are friends”. You may not be god Mike, but you are an English Gentleman that we will continue to gain inspiration from and value all you have given.

All our love.