Dave Millar, Shidoin, 6th DanDave Millar is assistant chief instructor at Capital Aikikai. He holds the rank of rokudan — sixth degree black belt — and is a Hombu-certified shidoin instructor. He began studying aikido in 1981 under Shuji Maruyama Sensei in Philadelphia. In 1987 he moved to Washington, D.C., and began training with Takeguchi Sensei at Capital Aikikai. He also trained for three years in Aomori, Japan. Millar Sensei is responsible for Capital's popular Saturday children's class and teaches several beginning and advanced classes during the week.
Valarie Barr, 5th danValarie Barr started Aikido in 1979 at the student club of the University of Illinois, a member dojo of the Midwest Aikido Federation under Akira Tohei Shihan. In 1983, she was fortunate to come to the DC area and spent three wonderful years training with Takeguchi Sensei. After a brief time spent in Gainesville Florida, she returned to this area and has been happily training and learning at Capital Aikikai ever since. She holds the rank of godan (fifth-degree black belt).
Fred Richards, 5th danFred Richards started Aikido in 1988 at the Central Illinois Aikikai, a member dojo of the Midwest Aikido Federation under Akira Tohei Shihan. In 1992 Fred experienced his first Aikido class with Clyde Takeguchi Sensei at the Midwest Aikido Federation Summer Camp, at which Takeguchi Sensei was invited to instruct. In a fortunate coincidence, that summer Fred had also secured a job in the Washington, DC, area. Except for a two-year period of running a tiny dojo in Gaeta, Italy, he has been training and learning at Capital Aikikai since the fall of 1992. In 2012 he was awarded the title of Fukushidoin by the Capital Aikido Federation. He holds the rank of godan (fifth-degree black belt).
Sarah Guroff, 4th danSarah Guroff began studying Aikido under the instruction of Jim Walsh Sensei while attending Swarthmore College. After graduation, she traveled abroad and had the good fortune to train under Miguel Morales-Bermudez Sensei, at Centro Aikikai in Lima, Peru, and Edy Kamalski Sensei, at Aikidoschool Sankaku in Arnhem, The Netherlands. A native of Maryland, Sarah returned home in 1999 and has been studying with Clyde Takeguchi Sensei at Capital Aikikai ever since. Sarah holds the rank of yondan (fourth-degree black belt).
Meipo Martin, 4th danMeipo Martin started out as a Goju-Ryu Karate student in college, by a fortunate twist of fate, Meipo Martin ran into an aikido class taught by the late Hiroaki Izumi Sensei in 1991. She soon joined the Hong Kong Aikido Association and started training under the direction of the late Kenneth Cottier Shihan. Meipo first met Clyde Takeguchi Shihan while visiting Washington D.C. in 1993. In 1999, Meipo moved to the D.C area in order to learn from Takeguchi Shihan. Meipo holds the rank of yondan (fourth-degree black belt).
Lou Mastriani, 4th danLou Mastriani began training in the martial arts by studying Goshin-do karate in college. He then became a student of Tadashi Yamashita in Shorin-ryu karate. In April 1994 he was fortunate to join Capital Aikikai and has been a student of Takeguchi Shihan ever since. Lou holds the rank of yondan (fourth-degree black belt).
Tom Tedeschi, 4th danTom Tedeschi was introduced to aikido in 1993 at one of Capital Aikikai’s satellite dojo, under the direction of Al Sambuco. Since then he has been a student of Takeguchi Sensei at Capital Aikikai. He additionally has spent many years studying under Gordon Sakamoto Sensei of Northern Virginia Aikikai. Tom instructs in Capital’s teens and children's classes and has also studied Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (koryu) under Paul Manogue Sensei in Philadelphia. Tom holds the rank of yondan (fourth-degree black belt).
Mark Klock, 2nd danMark Klock began training in martial arts in 1998 studying Tang Soo Do with Tompkins Karate Association. He was promoted to shodan in that organization in 2006 and served as an assistant instructor there from 2002-2013. In 2002 Mark was introduced to Aikido at Capital and has been a student of Takeguchi Shihan ever since. Mark holds the rank of nidan (second-degree black belt) and serves as a relief instructor when needed. He has also been practicing Katori Shinto Ryu since 2010.
Brian Beach, 1st danBrian began studying Martial Arts (Tang Soo Do) as a child but was sensibly forced to stop by his parents when he roundhouse kicked his little sister. He restarted as an adult in 1997 studying Hapkido. He earned his 1st degree Black Belt in 2002, his 2nd Degree in 2004. While studying Hapkido helped teach the kids classes and also taught at the White House Athletic Center. Brian has been at Capital Aikikai since 2005, earning his Shodan in 2016. He has two daughters who are also students at Capital Aikikai.