Chief Instructor

Peter Bernath Sensei, 7th Dan, Shihan

Chief instructor Peter Bernath is a Shichidan (7th degree black belt) and Shihan (master teacher) awarded by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, and a member of the Technical Committee of the USAF. Bernath Sensei also holds a Shodan in Iaido.

Bernath Sensei started his Aikido career in 1972 under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada, 8th dan, Shihan, Chief Instructor of New York Aikikai and Chairman of the USAF. Yamada Sensei was an uchi deshi (live-in student) of O Sensei and is one of the most respected and influential Aikido teachers in the world today.

Bernath Sensei was an instructor at New York Aikikai prior to being sent to open Florida Aikikai by Yamada Sensei. He has traveled and trained extensively throughout the world including Japan and has been fortunate to study under many of O Sensei's most famous disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu (leader of Aikido). Bernath Sensei is one of the most highly respected Aikido instructors in the United States and regularly teaches seminars throughout the USAF, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Senior Instructor

Penny Bernath, 6th Dan, Shihan

Penny Bernath is a rokudan (6th degree black belt) and Shihan (master teacher) awarded by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, and a 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, including T.K. Chiba Sensei and Mitsunari Kanai Sensei. One of the most senior female teachers in the United States, Penny Sensei regularly teaches at seminars throughout the country.

Penny Sensei is an Education Content Producer for Fort Lauderdale's local PBS affiliate and, as such, the creator of a new online training for pre-kindergarten teachers called KidVision VPK.

Other Instructors

Florida Aikikai has an extensive teaching staff of other upper level black belt Aikido practitioners. Please see our members section to read more about all our students and teachers.