Meet the Aikido Shusekai Instructors

Nick Walker SenseiNICK WALKER SENSEI, 6th Dan, co-founder and senior instructor of Aikido Shusekai, has been practicing and teaching Aikido for four decades. His approach to the art draws upon his years of training in several styles of Aikido, as well as his experience in a variety of other transformative disciplines and practices, including zen, physical theatre, somatic psychology, and transpersonal psychology.

Outside the dojo, Nick Sensei is a faculty member at California Institute of Integral Studies and Sofia University, Managing Editor at the independent publishing house Autonomous Press, and an author, speaker, and educator known for his innovative transdisciplinary work on neurodiversity, creativity, embodiment, and transformative practice.

Books in which Nick Sensei’s writings appear include Towards an Archeology of the Soul, The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children, The Spoon Knife Anthology, Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, and Diverse Bodies Diverse Practices: Toward an Inclusive Somatics. He is featured in the documentary films Orphans of Delirium, Dreambody Earthbody, and Spectrum: A Story of the Mind. For more on Nick Sensei’s approach to Aikido, see this 2011 interview.




AZZIA WALKER SENSEI, 3rd Dan, is the co-founder and manager of Aikido Shusekai, and the instructor for our award-winning Family Aikid0 Program. In between teaching seven-year-olds how to throw giants, Azzia Sensei works in sales at SCS Global Services, an environmental standard-holding company.

Azzia Sensei studied philosophy at U.C. Berkeley; her favorite subject is logic because it feels like a treasure hunt. She is the brains behind Aikido Shusekai’s presence on Facebook and Twitter, and the person who will help you get started with your dojo membership.



Joy Sensei


JOY REICHART SENSEI, 2nd Dan, teaches our Monday night beginner classes. Joy Sensei is a writer, artist, designer, and certified Integral Coach. She also works as Communications Director for the Integral Coaching school New Ventures West.

Joy Sensei has this to say about her Aikido practice: “In all my spiritual exploration, Aikido has been the single most powerful path I’ve encountered. I love it for the profound, ongoing renewal that inevitably occurs as long as I show up.”

Check out Joy Sensei’s blog, Beginnerdom, to read her insights on Aikido practice.




ALAN HODGES SENSEI, 2nd Dan, teaches our Thursday night weapons classes. Alan Sensei first started learning Aikido in high school, from an English teacher in a dance studio. After training for many years in a different style of aikido, Alan Sensei fell in love with Aikido Shusekai at first sight.

“Our motto, ‘always train in a spirit of joy,’ surprised me at first,” Alan Sensei says, “because I had not heard anyone say that about Aikido before. Then I realized how well it reminds us where to start when we’ve lost our way. Everything we do builds up from that principle.”

Alan Sensei works as an environmental engineer, investigating and cleaning up pollution in soil and groundwater.