Our dojo is operated by a team of instructors led by Brian Martens Sensei and Marcella Sarkozy Sensei. Our instructors have decades of experience practicing Aikido Kokikai® and are eager to teach you what they know.

Chief Instructors

Brian Martens, Godan (5th Degree)
I have been practicing Aikido since late 1996. I am a Co-Chief instructor of the Rochester dojo of Aikido Kokikai® . I have practiced other martial arts including Tae Kwon Do since the age of 10. I have experience teaching a variety of subjects from mentoring engineers to Aikido to blacksmithing. As an engineer, I find a particular grace in the simple efficiency of Aikido movements and yet am continuously enchanted by its nuance.

Marcella Sarkozy, Yondan (4th Degree)
I have been practicing Aikido at Aikido Kokikai Rochester since 1999 and teaching since 2003. My practice and teaching style reflects a strong sense of dojo as a community. My Aikido mantra is, “It takes a dojo to raise a black belt.” Through my practice and teaching, I strive to share the joy and enrichment that Aikido has brought to my life both on and off the mat.

Class Instructors

Ray Easton, Sandan (3rd Degree)
 Aikido has greatly improved my life. Its benefits exceed the definition of a martial art. Above and beyond the obvious (self defense tactics), the philosophies behind this amazing art form have improved my posture, help me to remain calm and centered, especially during times of conflict, and provides for me an overall martial mindset in all aspects of my life. To reach our full potential, we must first find our “best state”. Aikido will help you discover and develop yours! We take good care of our student body, advocating safety and encouraging beginners to work at their own pace without intimidation.

Peter Veazie, Sandan (3rd Degree)
For me, Aikido is working with my environment to improve the wellbeing of myself and others, adapting and shaping to mitigate negative situations while generating positive ones. Aikido is a practice, philosophy, goal, and life-long pursuit: one that forms my view of the world and my interaction with it. I achieve this through continued practice of Kokikai Aikido, a style developed by Shuji Maruyama, to develop calmness, relaxation, correct posture, and positive mind. The Kokikai principles provide the foundation for my growth in Aikido.
Hugh Huggins, Sandan (3rd degree)
Aikido is fun. So I try to have fun at class. It is challenging mentally and physically. I have practiced martial arts on and off for 28 years. I have been studying Maruyama Sensei’s thoughts on Aikido since 2009 and am constantly amazed that you can always learn something new and improve every day. Our classes are designed to be scalable so that everyone, regardless of prior experience or physical make up can experience the pure fun and happiness that comes from discovering something new about themselves, their mind and their body.

Len Butler, Nidan (2nd Degree)
My first instructor taught in a traditional manner so my classes tend have this flavor as well. While some traditional techniques may not have as many applications in today's world, the lessons on principals and stability still apply. Together with Bokken and Jo, for technical reference, and an embrace of Aikido's philosophy of conflict resolution and moral responsibility, we can attain a much deeper understanding of the art, ourselves, and our role in society.
Kerman Bharucha, Shodan (1st Degree)
I have been practicing Aikido as of March 2011. Aikido helps me to maintain my mental acuity and physical conditioning, both of which are very important to me at my age. Here's what I bring to the Kids' class at our dojo. Young kids are likely to encounter bullies at school. So my emphasis has always been to teach them how to defend themselves in bullying situations. Therefore, the bulk of our practice involves defenses against aggressive hand gestures. We also practice defenses against emulated weapons attacks.


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