O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba (–)
Founder of Aikido
Aikido was founded by the Japanese Morihei Ueshiba, honorifically referred to as O'Sensei. As a youth, Ueshiba studied many different martial arts and weapons styles. Although he became strong and won many matches, he was troubled by the idea that winning at someone else's expense was not really winning. As a result, he searched for a martial art which would divert harm from one's self without inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor. In this way, Aikido was born as the “Art of Peace”.
Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, began training under O'Sensei in 1946 and continued to train directly under him until the founder's death in . Before passing away in , Saito Sensei turned over the responsibility of teaching at Iwama to his son Hitohiro. Presently, Hitohiro has formed an organization called Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren Kai, in which he seeks to preserve the teachings of his father.
Pat Hendricks began studying Aikido in with Stan Pranin and Mary Heiny. She moved to Iwama, Japan in to study with Saito Sensei Shihan. She holds the rank of 7th dan and shihan status from Aikikai Hombu dojo, and a menkyo kaiden in weapons certification from Saito Sensei. She served as Saito Sensei's representative in the U.S. and runs the Iwama division of the California Aikido Association (CAA), of which Aikido of Arlington is part, as well as her own dojo, Aikido of San Leandro. Hendricks Sensei has been a close friend and mentor to Aikido of Arlington.
Aikido of Arlington
Est. by Sensei Don Lyon (-)
Sensei Yvonne Thelwell (5th dan, dojo cho) is assisted by yudansha: Sean Palka (3rd dan), Scott Aune (2nd dan), Ed Fernandez (2nd dan), Dave Kohls (2nd dan), Teresa Liao (2nd dan), Roger Glasgow (1st dan), and Matt Hefferan (1st dan). Axel Gehrisch (4th dan) and John Nguyen (4th dan, chief instructor of Aikido of Fairfax) are also closely affiliated with the dojo.