Chief instructor Peter Bernath is a Shichidan (7th degree black belt) and Shihan (master teacher) awarded by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, and a technical adviser of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF).
Bernath Sensei has been practicing Aikido for over 40 years under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan who was an uchi deshi (live-in-student) of O Sensei the founder of Aikido.
He was sent to Florida in 1980 by Yamada Sensei to open Florida Aikikai where he met his wife Penny. He has traveled internationally, including Hombu dojo (Aikikai headquarters) in Japan studying under Aikido’s most famous teachers. Bernath sensei is one of the most highly respected Aikido instructors in the USAF and regularly teaches seminars throughout the world.
Penny Bernath is a rokudan (6th degree black belt) and Shihan (master teacher) and was a long time member of the USAF Board of Governors.
Penny Sensei started Aikido in 1973 in Hollywood, Florida with Steve House Sensei. She soon became a student of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei and also studied under many of O Sensei’s direct students. One of the most senior female teachers in the United States, Penny Sensei regularly teaches at seminars throughout the country and abroad.
Penny Sensei is the Education Manager at WPBT2 South Florida PBS. She created and oversees the production of an online program for preschool teachers and kids called KidVision PreK.
Florida Aikikai is a member of the United States Aikido Federation, a not-for-profit organization (501-C3), providing both technical and administrative guidance and support to its members.