Meet the Aikido Shusekai Instructors

NICK WALKER SENSEI, 6th dan, co-founder and senior instructor of Aikido Shusekai, has been practicing and teaching Aikido for four decades. Nick Sensei’s approach to the art draws upon many years of training in several styles of Aikido and a variety of other transformative disciplines and practices, including zen, physical theatre, and somatic psychology.

Outside the dojo, Nick Sensei is a faculty member at California Institute of Integral Studies, an author of both fiction and nonfiction, and a speaker and educator whose work explores the intersections of embodiment, diversity, creativity, and transformative learning. For more about 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 Friday evening classes and our award-winning Youth 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. She is the brains behind Aikido Shusekai’s presence on Twitter, and the person who will help you get started with your dojo membership.



JOY REICHART SENSEI, 3rd 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.”

You can read some of Joy Sensei’s insights on Aikido practice in the Aikido Shusekai Dojo Blog.




ALAN HODGES SENSEI, 3rd 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.