Aki Fleshler Sensei, Founder of Multnomah Aikikai
Aki Fleshler, Rokudan (6th degree black belt), Shihan (Master Instructor), Dojo Founder.
Fleshler Sensei began his Aikido training in 1972 under M. Kanai Sensei of New England Aikikai, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He trained with Sensei M. Nakazono in Santa Fe, NM from 1977-1982. In 1983 he became a student of the late T.K. Chiba Sensei, San Diego Aikikai and in 1991 he founded Multnomah Aikikai in Portland Oregon. He has served on the Birankai North America Advisory Council, Examining Committee, Scholarship Committee and Ethics Committee. He became Shihan in 2009 and participates actively in the Senior Council (Shihankai) of Birankai North America. Fleshler Sensei is an advisory Shihan to Birankai Canada and has taught internationally since 2009.
Message from Fleshler Sensei
Greetings. For those of you who don’t know the history of our dojo, Multnomah Aikikai, I’ll just say here that it was founded in January 1991, by myself with about a dozen committed students. Much has transpired since those early days of building the bed of hot coals at the center of the flame. In October 2017, after years of collaborative preparation with my successor, Suzane Van Amburgh Sensei, I asked to be removed from the regular teaching schedule; in January 2018.
Fortunately I still have my health and mobility, and I still train actively.
Why? I like it! It feels good! Actually, all training is preparation, readiness. So I am always getting ready for critical encounters, physical and otherwise, and I am always getting ready to teach a class, given the opportunity.
Also, at this phase of life, it’s all about “give back”, “pay it forward”, and the like. So there are many lessons I am learning, and re-learning, in many non-dojo contexts.
I recently requested some space in the dojo’s social media to publish periodic articles, and Van Amburgh Sensei has been an enthusiastic supporter. In the months and years to come, on no particular schedule, I intend to post on various topics of interest to me, and (one hopes) to students past, present and future — maybe some whom I will never actually meet!
Some themes I would like to take on:
- What is the relationship between Aikido and “daily life”?
- How does one train without daily presence in a dojo?
- What does Aikido have to teach us about our times, our culture and society?
- How does one train without a teacher?
- How does one train when the the body is no longer so young and resilient?
I would also like to share some essays of mine from the earlier years of the dojo, and some correspondence with my Teacher, Chiba Shihan.
Deep gratitude to all the members, and to Van Amburgh Sensei, for carrying on the work with commitment and enthusiasm!
Aki Fleshler, 6-dan, Shihan, Birankai North America
Fleshler Sensei teaches in our dojo periodically throughout the year. To see his teaching schedule and additional dojo special events, please view our "Upcoming Events" page.
Watch videos of Fleshler Sensei in action on the Birankai Aikido Video Channel