MEET OUR COMMUNITY
Shinjinkai is led by persons who have a direct training relationship with Moore Sensei or another of our teachers. Shinjinkai is a member dojo in good standing of our national organization, Aikido Shimbokukai.
TENZAN TOYODA ROKOJI (FUMIO TOYODA SENSEI, 1947-2001)
Raised and trained in Japan, the late Aikido and Zen master Tenzan (Fumio) Toyoda arrived in Chicago in 1974 and immediately set to work spreading the teachings of Japanese martial arts and Zen. He stated that his dream was to found three major training halls in America, to be named Tenshinkan, Shinjinkan, and Ryoshinkan. In the meantime he also built an organization of more than 100 affiliated schools around the world training under his guidance.
MEIDO ZENTETSU MOORE
Shinjinkai Founder, Abbot, Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery
Meido Moore Sensei began Aikido training in 1986 at the age of 18. In 1990 he was invited by the Aikido and Zen master Tenzan Toyoda Sensei to Chicago, where he began the first of six years residence as uchideshi (live-in apprentice) under that teacher. In 1991 he was appointed Chief Instructor of the original Shinjinkan Dojo. Moore Sensei holds the rank of rokudan (6th degree) in Aikido, and was additionally certified as an Aikido teacher (Shidoin) by T.K. Chiba Shihan in 2006.
Keizan Murray is an instructor at Shinjinkai in Chicago, where he also serves as dojo-cho (manager). He additionally leads our Youth Aikido Program. He received Fukushidoin in 2011, and in 2017, zaike tokudo (lay ordination) and jukai (taking precepts) in Rinzai Zen, under Moore Sensei. He holds the rank of sandan (3rd degree) in Aikido, and shodan (1st degree) in Meishi-ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo.
Dawn (Seion) Vandever is an instructor at Shinjinkai in Chicago. She began Aikido training in 2014 and formal koan training under the guidance of So'zan Daitetsu (Miller) in 2017. Seion holds the rank of shodan (1st degree) in Aikido.
Chief Instructor, Iaido, Shinjinkai
Brian Pettett, Iaido Chief Instructor, Chicago location, has led the Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo program at Shinjinkai since 2005 under the direction of both Niina Toyoaki-sensei, the soke (headmaster) of Meishi-ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo, and Tony Alvarez-sensei, head of the United States Federation of Mugai Ryu. He holds the rank of rokudan (6th degree) within the Meishi-ha lineage, and is one of Niina-gosoke's four jikimon-deshi (or direct students) in the United States.
LAURENCE (KOGETSU) SMITH
Instructor, Seitei Jodo, Atarashii Naginata/Tendo Ryu Naginatajutsu, Shinjinkai
Laurence (Kogetsu) Smith,is an instructor at Shinjinkai, and since 2006 has trained under the direction of both Niina Toyoaki-sensei, the soke (headmaster) of Meishi-ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo, Briant Pettett-sensei, and Tony Alvarez-sensei, head of the United States Federation of Mugai Ryu. He holds the rank of godan (5th degree) within the Meishi-ha lineage, and shodan (1st degree) in Seitei Jodo.