We accept beginners in our adult and kids classes at any time


When evaluating a dojo to determine if it is the right place for your training, you will want to know who the instructors are, and who their instructors are. Our main instructors are Seishiro Endo Shihan, 8th Dan, Aikikai from Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan, and Jan Nevelius Shihan, 7th Dan, from Vanadis Aikido in Stockholm, Sweden.

Instructors at Aikido Seattle

  • Lance Sobel, 4th Dan Aikikai. Lance is one of the founders of the dojo, as well as a retired psychologist where he specialized in the treatment of adolescents and their families.
  • Rupert Berk, 4th Dan Aikikai. Rupert has been training since 1995, and teaching since 2002. He found his way to Aikido after studying karate and jutitsu.
  • Nicholas Dambrauskas, 3rd Dan Aikikai. Nicholas started training in 2002 and started teaching in 2008.
  • David Skanderson, 2nd Dan Aikikai. Dave started training in aikido in 2007 and is also a long-time student of karatedo.
  • Emmanuel Pinault, 2nd Dan Aikikai. Emmanuel teaches classes for both adults and kids.

Founder of our dojo

Glenn Leichman Sensei founded Aikido Seattle in 2006 with close friends and training partners who were seeking a better way of practice, one strongly influenced by Seishiro Endo Shihan.

Until his passing in 2023, Glenn served as chief instructor of the dojo. He received his Godan from Endo Sensei in 2016.

Glenn is remembered for his good humor, enthusiasm, and ability to draw people together from around the world to practice Aikido with a focus on ki, connection between partners, and calmness of mind. Thanks to Glenn, the Seattle Aikido community has welcomed incredible teachers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, England, Germany, Austria, and other countries.

The dojo has enjoyed visits from instructors such as

  • Mouliko Halen, 7th Dan, Norway
  • Matti Joensuu, 6th Dan, Finland
  • Miranda Saarentaus, 6th Dan, Finland
  • Greg Angus, 6th Dan, Canada
  • Frank Ostoff, 5th Dan, Germany
  • Lothar Darjes, 5th Dan, Germany
  • Antony Pinchbeck, 5th Dan, England
  • Charles Colton, 5th Dan, New York, USA
  • Taina Nyström, 5th Dan, Finland
  • Astrid Artho, 5th Dan, Switzerland
  • Brian Levy, 5th Dan, New Orleans, LA, USA
Photographer: Jan Nevelius

Lillsved, Aikido Camp, 2008 SWEDEN