Skip to content

Birankai North America
Annual Report

Fiscal year: Jan-Dec 2019

Together We Train


Birankai North America
We are an association of Aikido practitioners and dojos 
founded by T.K. Chiba, Shihan,
forged by rigorous training, tempered by mutual respect,

and committed to the relentless pursuit of the art.

Together We Are A Community of Practice

Image Credit: Thea Oatman

49 Dojos

Birankai North America
has 46 affiliated schools
in the U.S., plus 3 in Canada.

Data from member dojos
as of February 2019

Image Credit: Thea Oatman

94 Certified Instructors

12 shihan
47 shidoin
35 fukushidoin

Data from member dojos
as of February 2019

Image Credit: Thea Oatman

643 Members

Membership consists of approximately 260 yudansha and 383 kyu ranks

Includes students who paid annual BNA fees and appear on the annual roster, as reported by BNA dojos in 2019


Letter from our President


I am pleased that you have in your hands, or on your computer screen, the first edition of Birankai’s annual report. Under the leadership of board member Suzane Van Amburgh, our Communications Team has created a document which will give you a high-level view of Birankai North America in 2019.

Yet as I write this, it is the end of December 2020! And this year has brought us a great deal of change and turmoil. In spite of that, we have decided to begin our reporting with 2019 so that you will have a baseline against which to compare the current, and future, years.

As a reminder of what we saw in 2019 – we transitioned the chairs of both the board and the Senior Council. We had a successful (and exhilarating!) summer camp with Piotr Masztalerz, chief instructor of Wroclaw Aikikai, Poland, as our guest instructor. Ten people attended camp on scholarship who might not otherwise have attended. We brought on board a new Dan Registrar, Mary Malmros, and introduced the Living Well Aikido Store – which has exclusive rights to sell Birankai merchandise – under the capable proprietorship of Read Omohundro, chief instructor of Living Well Aikido. We counted 643 members and 49 dojos, and registered the dan promotions of 19 individuals. Four dojos received seminar grants to enable them to host seminars. You will find additional information throughout this report.

Like many other aikido organizations, we began to actively address what the future holds for us as aikidoka. In late fall, we initiated a visioning effort, Birankai in 2025, and began having conversations across the organization about what we want Birankai to look like five years out. A Visioning Team went through pages and pages of survey responses, and summarized those responses into a vision that we hope will guide us forward in the coming months and years. We will discuss that initiative more in 2020 publications, and in next year’s annual report.

In the meantime, we hope you find this publication of interest and value. Let us know what you think.

– Deb Pastors, President

  Provide Feedback on the BNA Annual Report.

Together We Are Strong

Membership by Region

BNA Dojos and Members
by Geographic Region
(as of June 2020)

(*Canadian Dojos are grouped with the Pacific NW Region)  

Active BNA Instructors

Teaching Rank, Age Group and Gender*   
(*Gender data collected per Aikikai
Hombu Dojo requirement as of June 2020)

Together We Improve

We are a community driven by volunteerism, and we are enriched through the volunteer efforts of our members. 
BNA maintained just one part-time administrative employee in 2019. 

BNA members of all ranks and all ages have generously given of their time, energy and talents in 2019. They are the hands and heart of the organization. Some serve as community volunteers, some lead team projects or administer programs, and others serve in governance to set direction and initiate community projects.

Volunteers in BNA Governance

Birankai North America is governed by three bodies
The Senior Council, the Teachers’ Council and the Board of Directors.

All of the roles in these governing bodies are filled by volunteers!

The Senior Council (SC)

Consists of all active BNA Shihan, plus the Chair of the Teachers’ Council.

2019 Officers of the Senior Council include:

• Chair of Senior Council: Frank Apodaca
• Deputy Chair of Senior Council: David Stier
• Senior Advisor: Elizabeth Lynn
• Liaison to Hombu Dojo: John Brinsley (Shidoin)

The Teachers Council (TC)

Made up of all active BNA Shidoin, plus Fukushidoin, who are Chief Instructors of a dojo

2019 Officers of the Teachers Council:

• TC Chair:  Roo (Katherine) Heins
• TC Secretary:  In 2019, the office transitioned from Enmei Hunter to Eric Doss

The Board of Directors (BoD)

The BNA Board of Directors are active BNA members with significant experience within the organization and include at least one Shihan selected by the Senior Council and one Shidoin selected by the Teachers’ Council.

BNA President: In 2019 the office of the president transitioned from Alex Peterson to Debbie Pastors

2019 Directors:

Dennis Belt (Senior Council Apppointee)
Deena Drake
Steve Thoms
Todd Fessenden
Suzane Van Amburgh (Teachers Council Appointee)
RC Miles
Mark Sharp

Non-voting officers:

•  Corporate Secretary: Jan Arkless-Wilson
•  Treasurer: In 2019 the office transitioned from Todd Fessenden to Joshua Karlin

Program Volunteers 

Meet the volunteers who have served leading teams or administering BNA programs.

Biran Editor: Mark Reid

Dan Registrar: Mary Malmros

Ethics Committee: Maureen Browne, Chair

Grants Committee: Ed Hernandez, Chair

Medical Director:in 2019 the office transitioned from Mark Goudsblom to Don McKay

Membership Coordinator: Suzanne Gonzales-Webb

Raffle Committee: Sarah Kaylor, Chair

Scholarship Committee: Terri Park, Chair

Seminar & Communications Coordinators: Mike Head and Carolyn Parkinson

Summer Camp Coordinator: Leslie Cohen

Summer Camp Registrar: Julian Frost

Youth Committee Chair: Norine Longmire

Community Volunteers

Meet the volunteers who have generously given their time, energy and talents to support our community in 2019:

Frank Apodaca – Deep River Aikikai

Martine Baruch – Brooklyn Aikikai

Pat Belt – Ventura Aikikai

Darrell Bluhm – Siskiyou Aikikai

John Brinsley – Aikido Daiwa

Maureen Browne – Fox Valley Aikikai

Nikki Calonge, Brooklyn Aikikai

Joe Canon – Corvalis Aikikai

Archie Champion – Central Coast Aikikai

Lucy Clark – Brooklyn Aikikai

Gerry Clemons – Oak Park Aikikai

Leslie Cohen – San Diego Aikikai

Greg Corbin – Multnomah Aikikai

Diane Deskin – Sonoran Aikikai

Dave Dewberry – Multnomah Aikikai

Cindy Eggers – Siskiyou Aikikai

Joanne Fogel – North County Aikikai

Julian Frost – San Diego Aikikai

Suzanne Gonzales-Webb – Desert Aikikai

Mark Goudsblom – Aikido Takayama Society

Elizabeth Goward – Eugene Aikikai

Tom Grimaldi – Copper Mountain Aiki Budo

Jobe Groot – Mountain Coast Aikikai

Mike Head – Aikido Daiwa

Roo Heins – Grand Rapids Aikikai

Ed Hernandez – New Tampa Aikikai

Jeff Hogg – Eugene Aikikai

Enmei Hunter – Logan Square Aikido

Keith Irby – Fox Valley Aikikai

Joshua Karlin – Aikido Daiwa

Sarah Kaylor – Brooklyn Aikikai

Norine Longmire – Aikido Takayama Society

Elizabeth (Lizzy) Lynn – At Large

Mary Malmros – Green River Aikido

Marci Martinez – Grass Valley Aikikai

Dave Mata – Grand Rapids Aikikai

Don McKay – Green River Aikido

Bill Meckel – Eugene Aikikai

Cindy Moore – San Diego Aikikai

Kim O’Malley – Bucks County Aikikai

Read Omohundro – Three Forks Aikikai

Terri Park – Huron Valley Aikikai

Carolyn Parkinson – Lansing Area Aikikai

Alex Peterson – Summit Aikikai

Cecilia Ramos – Grass Valley Aikikai

Mark Reid – New Tampa Aikikai

Tim Reynolds – North County Aikikai

Kate Savoca – Brooklyn Aikikai

Rob Schenk – Aikido Institute of San Francisco

Theresa Thadani – Aikido Institute of San Francisco

Steve Thoms – Eugene Aikikai

Suzane Van Amburgh – Multnomah Aikikai

Michael Werth – Rhode Island Aikikai

Jan Arkless Wilson – San Diego Aikikai

Roger Wright – Ventura Aikikai

Nathan Young – Multnomah Aikikai

Thank you to all our Volunteers!

Together We Are Resilient

For 2019, other than grants to help fund seminars by our member dojos to promote the teachings of our founder, T. K. Chiba Shihan, the Birankai North America budget was relatively balanced, with an expected deficit total of $12,000. Many of these funds were used for Seminar Grants and extra Summer Camp Scholarships, which are subsidized by proceeds from the raffle during camp. Summer Camp ended up being revenue neutral. Income from annual dues was spent on administration, communication, and operating expenses. Dan Registration fees are kept at a minimum to only cover expenses, which are not reflected in these charts due to the way we are invoiced.

Joshua Karlin

BNA Treasurer

Summer camp 2019 was held in Tacoma, WA
$5,000 in scholarships were awarded to 10 BNA members to attend Summer Camp in 2019
$5,450 in seminar grants were awarded to BNA dojos in 2019

BNA Financial Income 2019
BNA Financial Expense 2019

Together We Grow

Support Our Community

You can support Birankai North America dojos through donating to our Seminar Endowment Fund, individual members through our Scholarship Program, and our community through a General Donation, by shopping at AmazonSmile, or by shopping at the BNA Online Store.

Information on each program and donation option can be found on the Support Us Page.

For comments or questions about the Birankai North America Annual Report, please send us a message via our Contact Page.

error: Content is protected.
Verified by MonsterInsights