Kazuo Chiba. (1940 – 2015)
He served for seven years as uchideshi at the Aikikai Hombu, Dojo before being dispatched abroad to help develop Aikido internationally. He was a direct student of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. Chiba Sensei held an 8th dan in Aikido, issued by Aikikai world headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and was active in Aikido for over 50 years. Chiba Sensei moved to San Diego, California and formed San Diego Akikai in 1982. Michael Gallo Sensei began his Aikido Training in 1987 under Chiba Sensei, and Chiba’s first Dan ranked student in the United States Gerald Gemmell. After establishing San Diego Akikai Chiba Shihan continued to work diligently to promote aikido worldwide for the next twenty-seven years.
Fumio Toyoda. (1947 – 2001)
He served for two years as uchideshi at the Aikikai Hombu, but started his Aikido career training at age 10 with his first teacher Koichi Tohei 10th Dan Aikido. When Toyoda Sensei was 27 years old, he attained the rank of fifth Dan godan. In 1974 when Tohei departed the Aikikai Foundation and started the Ki society Toyoda Sensei followed and received his sixth Dan rokudan. In 1984 Toyoda Sensei departed The Ki Society and started his own Chicago-based organization, the Aikido Association of America. Toyoda Sensei traveled extensively building one of the largest independent Aikido organizations. In 1988 Michael Gallo Sensei began training with Toyoda Shihan and his western region director of the AAA. Walter Muryasz Sensei. Michael Gallo Sensei received his first Three Dan ranks from Toyoda Shihan issued by Aikikai world headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. By then Toyoda Shihan had re-affiliate with Aikikai Hombu Dojo, and Hidden Valley Aiki Kai became an affiliated Dojo.
Tsutomu Kubo. (1935-2016)
Kubo Shihan began his martial arts training in judo at the age of 12 under the strict supervision of Yukiso Yamamoto Sensei who later became Kubo Sensei’s Aikido instructor. At 17 years of age he enlisted in the US Army and served in the 82 Airborne Division in Korea, upon his return to Yamamoto Sensei’s Dojo
He was informed that they no longer practiced Judo but now practice “ Aikido”. In 1963, Kailua Aikido Club was established by Kubo Shihan at the Windward YMCA. Kailua Aikido Club has been in existence for over 40 years and Kubo Shihan actively instructed at this location until his passing in 2016. His dojo is sometimes affectionately referred to as “Kubo Sensei’s Inaka Dojo”. As of January 2003, Kailua Aikido Club has a new home located at Kokokahi YWCA in Kaneohe. In 2000, Gallo Sensei changed affiliations to AHI (Aikido of Hawaii International) to study under Tsutomu Kubo Shihan (8th Dan) Aikikai. Gallo Sensei earned his 4th, 5th and 6th Dan ranks from Kubo Sensei, in 2002, 2005 and 2012 respectively.