Birankai North America
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
Birankai North America
has 46 affiliated schools
in the U.S., plus 3 in Canada.
Data from member dojos
as of February 2019
94 Certified Instructors
Data from member dojos
as of February 2019
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
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
• Dennis Belt (Senior Council Apppointee)
• Deena Drake
• Steve Thoms
• Todd Fessenden
• Suzane Van Amburgh (Teachers Council Appointee)
• RC Miles
• Mark Sharp
• Corporate Secretary: Jan Arkless-Wilson
• Treasurer: In 2019 the office transitioned from Todd Fessenden to Joshua Karlin
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
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.
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
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.