Yūdansha [you-dan-shah] is a Japanese term referring to a person who holds the rank of black belt.
Ariff Mehter Sensei
Rank: Shichidan, Shihan
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, which is still headed by his brother, Yousuf Mehter (6th Dan).
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.
Charlie McGinnis Sensei
Rank: Rokudan, Shihan, Dojo Cho
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. McGinnis Sensei serves as Chairman of 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.
Gary Bushorn Sensei, Fukushidoin
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.
Walter Oka Sensei
Paul Francis Sensei
Rachel Massey, Fukushidoin - currently training in Michigan
Shawn Dansby Sensei
Stephen Leigh Sensei
Mark Agerton Sensei
Michael Cundall- currently training in Louisiana
Angela Lotita Mehter
Danny Dean Sensei
Ralph Stanley Sensei
Pat Patton Sensei
Lennell Myricks Jr.*
Eric Vollrath- currently training in Minnesota
John Lanning - currently training in Louisiana
Larry Rytel *
Charles Ellis Sensei
John Deuchler- currently training in Missouri
Casey Ryan- currently training in New York
* Not actively training