Kevin Pickard sensei
Retired from the business world in 1999 to pursue his on-going dedication to Aikido, Kevin Sensei is an internationally certified instructor. He is ranked Godan (5th degree black belt) and has studied martial arts for more than 25 years. Trained in Japan and throughout North America with top instructors, in 1992, he participated in the development of Aikido instruction at Shuwakan Dojo in Indianapolis; in 2001, he helped to build Mugenjuku Dojo in Los Angeles; in 2002, he started a children’s class in the Huntington Beach dojo; and in 2008, he moved to San Diego to start Aikido of Del Mar. Kevin sensei has been the head instructor of Aikido Del Mar for nearly ten years.
Kevin Sensei says: Aikido is not a sport, so talent is not required. What is required is persistence, determination and a mindset open to learning something new, something that may challenge many of your current beliefs.
In the correct training environment, the practice of Aikido will reconnect the body, mind and spirit. Any one can benefit regardless of age, gender, size, talent, or fitness. What is different for each person is how that unification expresses itself – overall, it will produce a person with increased self-discipline, focus, and a healthier mind and body. All this happens while you learn this powerful martial art Aikido.
Flo Li sensei
Flo Li started training in Aikido Del Mar since 2008 with her first teachers Kevin Pickard sensei and Edward Sterrett sensei. Flo sensei holds the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Yoshinkan Aikido, she is also an internationally-certified instructor. Studied under the guidance of Jacques Payet shihan of Mugenjuku Aikido in Kyoto, and Yukio Utada kancho of Doshinkan Aikido in Philadelphia, Jaimie Sheppard sensei and Derek Bindner sensei in London, Ontario, Canada, she has also attended seminars in Japan, Canada, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Diego and had the opportunity to teach in various dojos in North America. Flo sensei has been the head kids/youth instructor for Aikido Del Mar since 2011. Flo sensei is the head aikido and shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) instructor in Encinitas Aikido since 2015.
Flo Sensei says: Find the stillness within, find the source of deep peace within. Once you have tapped into the endless wealth of joy amid that deep peace then express it to touch another – this is aikido - it is an expression of Love. From the source of intuition, you can erase the lines of separation and know the feelings of harmonious Oneness. It heals old wounds, it gives life to our dormant hearts, it encourages bravery, so we can stand for something greater than ourselves.
Joseph Kelly sensei
Joseph Kelly sensei started his aikido training in Philadelphia with kancho Yukio Utada of Doshinkan Aikido in 1992. Five years later, he trained in Aikikai style aikido under TK Chiba sensei who was an uchi deshi (live-in student) for O Sensei, the founder of Aikido. Joseph sensei has also trained in Yoshinkan style aikido with Cameron Gary Sensei under the direction of Steven Miranda Sensei before arriving in Aikido Del Mar in 2009. Joseph sensei holds the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Yoshinkan Aikido with specific expertise in self-defence, ukemi, and weapons techniques. He teaches the kids and youth class on Thursday and occutionally the adult class on Saturday.
Joseph Sensei says: I started Aikido mostly for self-defense, with a minor emphasis on the spiritual/philosophical side. During this time of my Yoshinkan Aikido days I went to a seminar featuring Jaques Payet Sensei, and discovered his philosophy and teaching style held the missing link in my Aikido training. While Aikido has given me skills and confidence in the self-defense arena, more importantly, it has given me skills and confidence to handle everyday matters that have made me a more complete person that allows me to live life to its fullest on a daily basis.
Edward Sensei says: The opportunity to travel and meet people of such diverse cultures united in their passion for Aikido has been both inspiring and humbling. More than anything I have learned that every student is a teacher and every teacher is a student. Each time I bow in thanks I remember this.
Edward Sterrett sensei
Edward Sterrett is the co-founder of Aikido of Del Mar. He holds the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt) in Yoshinkan Aikido. He began his training in 1996, and studied intensively with Jacques Payet sensei from 2002 to 2005. In the last few years, travel for his academic research has limited his time at Aikido of Del Mar, but afforded him the opportunity to assist Payet sensei in workshops in England, Ukraine, and Qatar. He now resides in Los Angeles, and returns to Aikido of Del Mar whenever he can for training.
Richard Sensei says: Aikido is the art of Zen. It is based in meditation and the deeper spiritual awareness once we reach an higher level. With diligent study and practice, I hope we all can discover the mysticism of the art and share this art of peace all around us.
Richard Roberts sensei
Richard Roberts sensei started training at Aikido Del Mar in 2013 after his daughter Ilana. Training with Kevin Sensei, Edward Sensei and Flo Sensei, Richard progressed quickly to his shodan in 2017 and nidan in 2018. With his background in Karate, Richard is not shy to offer a sincere attack to help his partners to learn. Richard sensei not only bring a focused way of training the body/mind but also a Zen approach to living in harmony. Richard sensei often assists with youth and adult classes.