Our Instructors

Our Chief Instructor & Dojo Cho

Aikido's Top Instructors in the Charlotte area.

Sensei D. Main, 6th Dan, Shidoin

Main Sensei, Chief Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 50 years and currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the United States Aikido Federation and the Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan). Main Sensei is also a Shidoin (certified senior instructor) appointed by the USAF and Aikikai World Headquarters.  He teaches the Wednesday and Saturday classes. Main Sensei is the senior most aikido teacher in the Charlotte surrounding area and is among a handful of the highest ranking aikido teachers in the country.

Aikido's Top Instructors in the Charlotte area.

Sensei J. Weiner, 5th Dan, Shidoin

Weiner Sensei, Certified Senior Instructor & Dojo Cho has been studying Aikido for the past 20 years and currently holds the rank of Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the United States Aikido Federation and the Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan). Weiner Sensei is also a Shidoin (certified senior instructor) appointed by the USAF and Aikikai World Headquarters.  Weiner Sensei oversees rank promotion and testing at Aikido of Charlotte and has attended over 130 seminars in the past 20 years learning from many Shihan (Master Teachers). His credentials also include, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Officer (RSO) and is a Certified Glock Armorer. Jonathan is the Owner of 360 Visuals, Inc. a Video Production Agency.

Assistant Instructors

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Kazuhito Ozu Sensei, Senior Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 24 years with 10 years at Hombu Dojo.  He was promoted to Yondan in December 2016 (4th Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation) and Aikikai World Headquarters.  He is a Sales Coordinator with Oiles America Corporation.

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Jim Hyde Sensei, Certified Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 14 years. He was promoted to Sandan in February 2020 (3rd Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation) and Aikikai World Headquarters.  Hyde Sensei is also a Fukushidoin (certified instructor) appointed by the USAF.  He teaches the Tuesday ‘Ukemi Basics’ class. He is a Lead Engineer for Duke Energy.

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Steve Brandon, Assistant Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 16 years. He was promoted to Nidan in April 2012 (2nd Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation) and Aikikai World Headquarters.  Steve Brandon has also been a Sergeant and Police Officer for the last 18 years and teaches Defensive tactics for his department.

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Ed Haponik, Assistant Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 16 years. He was promoted to Nidan in February 2016 (2nd Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation) and Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan). Ed is a world-class Yo-yo competitor and Iaido practioner.

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Brent Goodroe, Assistant Instructor has been studying Aikido for the past 7 years.He was promoted to Shodan in February 2018 (1st Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation). Brent is also an NRA Pistol Instructor, NRA RSO and Certified Glock Armorer. He owns a Home Theater Installation company.

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Matthew Ladenheim, Kenshusei (Instructor in Training) has been studying Aikido for the past 12 years. He was promoted to Shodan in February 2019 (1st Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation). Matthew is also an attorney and partner at Trego, Hines & Ladenheim.

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Jim Plunkett, Kenshusei (Instructor in Training) started practicing Aikido in 1987.  He was promoted to Shodan in February 2020 (1st Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation) and Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan).  Jim is also a Cybersecurity Program Manager at Allstate Insurance.

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Jack Freund, Kenshusei (Instructor in Training) has been studying Aikido for the past 6 years. He was promoted to Shodan in February 2020 (1st Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the USAF (United States Aikido Federation).  He is Head of Cyber Risk Methodology for Cyber Assessments, Inc.