Steve Thoms Sensei
The chief instructor at Eugene Aikikai is Stephen Thoms, Sensei. Thoms Sensei has practiced aikido since 1980. Complementing his study with Chiba Sensei, the founder of Birankai™, he has a wide range of influences, including extended instruction under the late Kanai Sensei (chief instructor, New England Aikikai), Shibata Sensei (chief instructor, Berkely Aikikai) and Mike Flynn Sensei (chief instructor, Thistle Aikikai). Steve Thoms Sensei opened Eugene Aikikai in 1994 and has been teaching regular classes since.
In addition to studying and teaching Aikido, Sensei regularly trains in and teaches Iaido. Iaido is a separate art form - and can be studied as a single practice- or as a compliment to the study of Aikido.
Birankai North America
Eugene Aikikai, its instructor and students are members of Birankai North America. The late T.K. Chiba, Shihan (8th Dan) was the founder of Birankai®.
Birankai North America is a part of Birankai International, an organization established by T. K. Chiba in the year 2000. Chiba Sensei had led the Western Region of the United States Aikido Federation since his arrival in the U.S.. In 2006 Birankai North America was established as a separate organization from the USAF, and many of the dojos that had been in the USAF Western Region became members of BNA. Birankai North America-U.S.A. received official recognition from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in May of 2009. As of 2016, there are 54 dojos affiliated with BNA: 51 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. While Birankai Canada received official recognition in its own right from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2014, Birankai Canada and its members continue to participate fully in the activities of BNA.
Birankai North America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of its members through the practice of martial ways (budo) as exemplified by Aikido, Weapons, Iaido (the study of the Japanese sword), and Zazen meditation. For our full values, mission, and vision, visit Birankai North America's website through the link below.