Dave is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido of San Diego. He began Aikido in 1986 as a dabbler in the art. A year later he was practicing regularly, and then in 1990 he moved to Japan for 3½ years to train under some of Morihei Ueshiba's most prolific disciples. Dave has a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Teaching, and worked on academic faculties in the US and Japan for nine years. He also spent several years studying/practicing somatic psychology and bodywork, and is a Body Mind College graduate. In 1998, Dave started teaching Aikido at UCSD. He did it for 10 years, even after establishing our first Mission Valley dojo in 2000. Dave also plays in the world of comedy, and graduated from Finest City Improv's training program. He'a nature lover, and finds inspiration and delight in life's big questions.
Megan began training in 2000 on a whim after reading a description of aikido in a college rec class catalogue. She never dreamed aikido would become such an integral part of her life. She's interested in the principles of balance and rhythm found in Aikido. Megan is a scientist at a biotech company. Her hobbies include music, photography, and attempting to keep her cats from tripping up her husband, Jay. "Aikido has seen me through several transitions in my life. I am truly grateful for the joy and inspiration I get out of my training."
Karen started training in 1999 and is committed to creating a dojo community of support and challenge. Before Aikido she studied Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Tai Chi and Kung Fu. "I have always known I needed a physical counterbalance to my intense scientific training." She had found meditation as a balm for the spirit, and yoga as a welcome challenge to the body, but realized there was still something missing-- a way that would help her reconcile the relationship of the self with the other. That is Aikido. When not in the dojo, Karen is a scientist in the alternative energy industry.
Jay is the co-instructor of our youth program, and also teaches some adult classes. He trained in judo, hapkido, karate, and kung before beginning Aikido in 2001. Soon after finding Aikido of San Diego he started a focused regimen of attending every training session for six years, as well as assisting Goldberg Sensei with kids’ classes. The years of intense study provided him a unique insight into the yin and yang of engagement. The attention, adaptability, and connection necessary for honest responsive is sometimes more important than technical knowledge. And it’s that appreciation of ukemi, receiving the other, that keeps him fascinated with the art to this day.
Linda began practicing Aikido in 2009, at age 46, to improve her horsemanship. From the beginning she was inspired to explore how Aikido is taught and learned. In addition to mentoring adults, she assisted in the children’s programs for over eight years. Linda loves Aikido both from the technical perspective, and as a practice of awareness and embodiment. She shares her experiences on her site GrabMyWrist.com, and is completing her forthcoming book, Aikido to Zanshin - 26 Essays on the Martial Art of Peace. Her passion is encouraging people to begin, and supporting new learners of all ages.
Maru is the co-instructor of our youth program. She practiced Aikido in Argentina from 1996-2001 after trying a class at her high school. After several attempts to get back to training in different countries, she joined Aikido of San Diego in 2019. Maru is interested in embodying Aikido in her daily life by engaging with conflict more gracefully, and finding opportunities in challenges. Being able to share the art that helped her grow and flourish in multiple ways is a passion of hers. She holds a PhD in Natural Sciences, an MBA, and she leads a team of data scientists at a tech company. When not at work or at the dojo, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, grounding herself in nature, and dancing the Argentine tango.
Scott Bjerke, 2 Dan
Marco Martinez, 2 Dan