Principal Instructor - Rodger Park, 6th Dan, Shidoin
Rodger Park began his study of Aikido in 1989 at the University of Rochester Aikido Club, Rochester, New York, with Eric Sotnak Sensei. He moved to Ann Arbor for graduate studies at the University of Michigan in 1991, where he began daily training. Rodger currently holds the rank of 6th Dan (6th level "black belt") and a Shidoin (certified instructor) teaching license from Birankai North America. He has served as Chair of the Birankai NA Teachers' Council and on its national Examination Committee.
Throughout his study, Rodger has broadened his training through regular participation in seminars and training camps conducted by many of the Shihan (master teachers) in the United States, as well as seminars conducted by visiting instructors from the Aikikai Hombu (World Headquarters) Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. He has twice traveled to Japan for short periods to train at Hombu Dojo and to participate in training in misogi-no-kokyu-ho (purification through breathing) practice at the Ichikukai Dojo near Tokyo. Over the years, he has complemented his martial arts training with extensive training in other arts and movement systems, including yoga, Pilates, mixed martial arts, and CrossFit. He recently completed coaching certification in the Original Strength - Resets™ movement system.
Rodger is the Director of Customer Analytics at the Ann Arbor-based consultancy CFI Group USA.
Certified Instructor/Children's Program Director - Terri Park, 5th Dan, Shidoin
Terri Park began her training in the Fall of 1999 at Aikido of Manhattan in New York City with Juba Nour Shihan. After living in Los Angeles for a brief time, she returned to Brooklyn, New York in 2001. She then continued her training with Ryugan R.D. Savoca Shihan as the first official member of the Brooklyn Aikikai. She holds the rank of 5th Dan and a Shidoin (Instructor) teaching license with Birankai North America.
While in New York City, Terri spent several years as a teaching artist at Shakespeare and Company, the New Victory Theatre, and as an elementary school drama teacher for the New York City Public Schools. Terri relocated to Ann Arbor in the summer of 2012 and now works as the K-12 Education Program Manager for the University Musical Society.
Certified Associate Instructor - Jim Borders, 4th Dan, Fukushidoin
Jim Borders first began training in Aikido in the late 1970s in the Tomiki style at a University of Chicago club. After a long hiatus, he joined our dojo in 1997 and has trained continuously since then. He holds the rank of 4th Dan and a Fukusidoin (Associate Instructor) teaching license with Birankai North America.
Jim is a Professor of Musicology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where he studies and lectures on Medieval music and modern popular music, in particular the works of Frank Zappa. He has served as an associate dean of the school and as a department chair.
Kids' Class Instructor - Corentin Cras-Méneur, 1st Dan
Corentin started Aikido at age 14 in the ASAKJN Dojo (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) with Gérard Dumont Sensei (FFAAA - Aikikai). He took a prolonged hiatus from Aikido to study genetics and developmental biology at university, with his work focused on diabetes. After his PhD he moved to the US in 2002 for a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University in St Louis (St Louis, MO). He moved to Ann Arbor in 2009, with a faculty position at the University of Michigan. Once settled in Ann Arbor, he resumed his Aikido training at Huron Valley Aikikai along with two (and soon three!) of his children.