Yūdansha [you-dan-shah] is a Japanese term referring to a person who holds the rank of black belt. Following are the Yudansha training at AIkido of Cincinnati.
Mehter Sensei began studying Aikido in 1962 in Myanmar (Burma) under U. Thaung Din who was a senior student of Murashige Sensei, one of the first instructors O'Sensei sent outside of Japan to teach Aikido.
In 1968 Mehter Sensei moved to New York to study Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University and became a student of Kanai Sensei (8th Dan, Shihan) and Yamada Sensei (8th Dan, Shihan). He founded Aikido of Central New York in 1970.
Mehter Sensei moved to Ashland, KY in 1978 where he started the KYOWVA Aikikai, now headed by Tom Berry (5th Dan). Then in 1989, he moved to Louisville, KY where he recieved an MD from the University of Louisville and started the Kentuckiana Aikikai, now headed by Pat Hardesty (6th Dan).
In 1998 he moved to Northern KY and began teaching at Aikido of Cincinnati. He is a physician board Certified in Family Practice and Practices Occupational Medicine for the City of Cincinnati. His wife, Angela Lotito-Mehter, holds the rank of Sandan (3rd Dan).
Ariff Mehter Sensei currently holds the rank of Shichidan (7th Dan) and is a Shihan.
McGinnis Sensei began his training in 1976 in Yoshinkai Aikido at the University of Toledo. He trained under Masatoshi Morita (currently 8th Dan, in San Francisco). After completing training in the kenshu program taught by Takashi Kushida, 8th Dan, he received his assistant instructor certification. In 1982 he was promoted to Nidan.
In 1984 McGinnis Sensei moved to Cincinnati and began training at Aikido of Cincinnati, then known as the Cincinnati Aikikai. He became a student of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan of the USAF in 1986. In the same year McGinnis Sensei became the head instructor of Aikido of Cincinnati. Currently he holds the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan) and is a Shihan instructor through the United States Aikido Federation.
Charlie McGinnis Sensei is married to Charlene Morse. He is an attorney and partner with the firm of Freking & Betz, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and practices in the areas of probate, estate planning, and personal injury.
Bushorn Sensei is one of the most senior members of Aikido of Cincinnati, joining the dojo in 1984. His flowing style and home spun philosophy make him a favorite instructor among the students.