4th Degree Black Belt - Chief Instructor - Shidoin (AWA)
Chief instructor, Cesar Aguirre Sensei (teacher), has been instructing children and adults in Aikido since 1998 under the guidance and training of Michael Black at the Woodlands Aikido Center. In his decade long dedication to the Woodlands Aikido Center, Cesar Aguirre worked his way up to become the lead instructor under dojo-cho (dojo leader) Michael Black.
In this time Cesar Aguirre also took part in the late Fumio Toyoda Shihan’s kenshusei (dedicated student) programs at the headquarters school of Aikido Association of America in Chicago, IL. These intense and in depth rapid growth that really turned the corner for Cesar Aguirre in his Aikido.
Between dojo-cho Michael Black, Toyoda Shihan (teacher of teachers), and the many great instructors at Tenshinkan dojo, Cesar’s training, understanding, and love of Aikido was cemented for life. Cesar Aguirre Sensei’s goal of spreading Aikido as much as he can became apparent when he founded the first Aikido club at the University of Houston – Main Campus in 2000. This club continues today under the instruction of Luke Bahar with a sustained student organization and participation for 18 years. Houston Aikido Foundation has kept this Aikido family active by regularly training with the University of Houston students.
In 2010, as a doctoral candidate, Cesar Aguirre instructed the Texas A&M University Aikido Club. Assisting Michael Black with his commute to College Station, Cesar Aguirre as a resident, became a regular staple in the classes and allowed the club to continue through the school breaks and summer time. Cesar Aguirre sensei still sustains a great friendship with TAMU Aikido today as an extension of the Aikido family.
Upon his return to Houston, his home city, Cesar Aguirre sensei was asked by his students to instruct an Aikido program again in the downtown Houston area which has been long on quality Aikido instruction.
1st Degree Black Belt - Assistant Instructor
Emi has been an avid Aikido enthusiast since 2013, starting at the University of Houston Aikido Club with Sensei Cesar Aguirre. Upon graduation Emi transferred to the Houston Aikido Foundation program and has dedicated his time to Aikido since then. He has travelled to many Aikido camps and instructor seminars across the country and loves to share his knowledge of Aikido.
Before Aikido, Emi’s core experience was in competitive Taekwondo for several years as well as 2 years in Wushu and Chinese Kung Fu. What Emi likes about Aikido is that it enables you to study and understand conflict and violence at it’s core, but still allows the practitioner to de-escalate and prevent complete destruction of an engagement. To understand Aikido is to understand the essence of communication, a basic life skill.
“My goal is to master the art of communication regardless of the given scenario, and to improve one conversation at a time.” - Emi Sagay