Kim Peuser, Shihan (Nana dan, 7th Dan)
I began studying Aikido in 1974 in Oakland. In 1976 I became a live-in student in Oakland. In 1977 I went to Japan for the first time and lived at the Iwama Dojo, training under the late Saito Morihiro Shihan who promoted me to Shodan. I returned to Iwama 4 years later, continuing my studies with Saito Sensei while living outside the dojo. In 1987 I became Chief Instructor in the Oakland Dojo. I stayed in that role for several years before turning over that responsibility to Hoa Newens Sensei (currently in Davis, CA). I continued training with Newens Sensei while I went to night school to further my career. I took over as Chief Instructor again in 2001. In 2000 I was one of the founding members of the Takemusu Aikido Association. I am on the Board of Directors and the Ranking Committee in the Takemusu Aikido Association, and am one of the Supervising Instructors, overseeing several dojos around the US. I have taught seminars in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and New York as well as in Italy.
In January 2020 Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo awarded me the title “Shihan”.
I retired in 2017 and my wife and I relocated to Mendocino County. I had known Janferie Sensei for over 20 years at this time. Janferie Sensei asked me to lead many of the classes at the Mendocino Dojo. She continues as head of the Dojo.
Janferie Stone, Go dan (5th Dan), Ph.D.
"My practice began in 1976, the year the coastal dojo opened, affiliated with Shiohira Sensei in the Bay Area. As students senior to my self chose other paths in life, I became the chief instructor of Mendocino Aikido. Over the past forty years I have traveled to the Bay Area, gasshukus and instructors seminars as often as possible. This small dojo continues to exist due to a dedicated core of students. Members of the dojo have provided instruction through programs at the Community College, the Mendocino Recreation Department, and the Mendocino Community Center.
For over twenty years Kim Peuser Sensei has been visiting the coast and presenting challenging training. With his retirement to his home in Little River, we have had the opportunity to train in the Iwama tradition. We are grateful for the rigor and intensity of the practice, especially with the localization that has intensified with the pandemic.
I am grateful to all teachers, families and friends who continue to support this training. Their energy has assured the space we maintain. Their appreciation of the benefits of Aikido constantly deepens my understanding of the art.
Katherine Montgomery, Godan
I began my study of Aikido in 1987 at the Aikido Institute in Oakland, California (now in Emeryville, CA), my home dojo. My principal Sensei have been Kim Peuser Shihan and Hoa Newens Shihan, now of Mendocino Aikido and Aikido Institute Davis, respectively. As an adjunct to our Aikido training the dojo provided lessons in the long form of Wu-style tai chi.
I continued to train at my home dojo until my move to the Mendocino coast in 2018. Here I have again found a welcoming Aikido family and a high level of training.
Daney Dawson, Nidan
"My first teacher was Mervin Gilbert in Mendocino in 1979. He taught classes at the old high school gym before the dojo moved to the old Community School. He was my sensei for years, and I appreciate the good foundation he gave me. I trained off and on with Pietro Maida and Mark Levine in Mendocino and Fort Bragg. The dojo finally settled in the Mendocino Community Center, where it's been for at least 25 years. During this time, I've trained with Janferie Stone Sensei, attended camps and seminars with Shiohira Sensei, and trained four years with Tom Reed, of Chiba Sensei's school, in Fort Bragg."
Floyd Lemley, Nidan
Floyd began martial arts with Shotokan karate under Hidetaka Nishiyama. As a California State Park Ranger, he became a Defensive Tactics Instructor through Rod Sanford's Pacific Institute of Defensive Tactics. His aikido training began at Aikido of Tamalpais with Wendy Palmer, George Leonard and Richard Heckler; receiving his Shodan from Hiroshi Ikeda through Mitsugi Saotome's Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. Study continued with Janferie Stone Sensei at Mendocino Aikido under Hideki Shiohira's Pacific Aikido Federation. In 2017, Floyd received his Nidan at Mendocino Aikido under Kim Peuser Shihan, Takemusu Aikido Association.
Mervin Gilbert, Nidan (Retired)
Mervin was instrumental in bringing Aikido to the Mendocino coast back in 1972. Mr Gilbert's introduction to martial arts was with Judo in 1959 in NYC. He has taught Aikido through the College of the Redwoods, local school districts and recreation centers.