Sensei Greg Angus, chief instructor at Naka Ima Aikido

Aikido Instructors

Sensei Greg Angus is a roku (6th-degree black belt) and chief instructor at Naka Ima Aikikai. Greg has practised martial arts for over 45 years and is also a yondan (4th-degree black belt) in karate. At 13, he began his martial arts training in Karate, a discipline he pursued throughout his high school and university years. In 1986, upon completing his graduate degree in Fine Arts, Greg travelled to Japan to further his Karate martial art studies. Once there, Greg encountered Aikido and immediately began his practice at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. His Aikido training continued throughout his 10 years in Japan, primarily under the direction of Endo Shihan.

Greg is an active participant in the Aikido community of Toronto and Canada, and teaches at seminars in North America and Europe. As a deshi of Endo Shihan, Greg hosts an annual Aikido seminar that is conducted by his teacher in Toronto, with participants attending from all over North America. Off the mat, Greg works as an artist whose paintings have been exhibited both locally and internationally.

Ramin Arvin, senior instructor at Naka Ima Aikido Sensei Ramin Arvin is a founding member of Naka Ima Aikikai. Currently a godan (5th-degree black belt), Ramin began his Aikido training in 1992 at the Aikido Shugyo Dojo in Toronto under the direction of Sensei Fran Turner. He proceeded to study intensively as an "uchi deshi" (live-in student) with Donovan Waite Sensei at the Aikido of Center City dojo in Philadelphia. Ramin has traveled with Waite Sensei to Aikido seminars in both North and South America. At this time, Ramin is living in British Columbia and practicing Aikido at Mountain Coast Aikikai

Outside the dojo, Ramin is a full-time licensed electrician. In addition to Aikido, Ramin has also been actively practicing meditation for over 19 years.

Robert Bergman, instructor at Naka Ima Aikido Robert Bergman (4th dan) has studied several styles and approaches to Aikido under a few teachers including Henry Kono Sensei, Hiroaki Izumi Sensei, Takeshi Kimeda Sensei, and Ross Robertson Sensei.

Robert states his view: "The practice of Aikido is ultimately a path to enlightenment. The motions we perform and experience on the mat are a microcosm of the natural processes that are part of the fabric of existence. If the universe has a mind, it is a mind in a constant state of maintaining balances of energies in many forms - moving stars, planets, air masses, water currents - all energetically in motion but all in an active process of maintaining balance. The human mind, however, is meddling, forcing action against the outside world as if separate from it. Physical conflict between humans is a good example of this. It is in the arena of physical conflict that the initial incarnation of aikido practice takes place. How can we move, think, act, so that we can maintain balance and harmony with another person who wants to inflict harm on us? The Aikido way is extremely simple and extremely difficult at the same time, and every Aikido class is a sacred time when you can work toward attaining this inner and outer peace. Naka Ima dojo is the perfect place for this, under the experienced and inspiring direction of Greg Sensei and Ramin Sensei."

Jesse Brown, children's Aikido instructor at Naka Ima Aikido Steve O'Brien is the children's martial arts instructor at Naka Ima. Steve has had over 20 years of experience working with children and youth in the martial arts. He believes strongly in the "human potential of young people".

Steve has studied Aikido, Kung Fu and Boxing extensively and is a second degree black belt in Shito Ryu Karate and a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is also a community volunteer working with the Food Bank. Steve is also qualified in First Aid and C.P.R.

Ben Peacock, instructor at Naka Ima Aikido Ben Peacock began his Aikido practice in 1982 in the kids' class at the Victoria Aikikai, under Dr. Ishiyama. In 1992, he moved to Tokyo to train at the Hombu Dojo, and stayed for 11 years. His main teacher at Hombu was Seki Shihan, for whom he took ukemi at the annual All-Japan Aikido Demonstration and other events (example link here). He also regularly trained under Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba and many of the other Shihan, and attained godan (5th-degee black belt) in 2016. After leaving Japan, Ben lived and practiced Aikido in the UK and Australia before returning to Canada, where his old Hombu friend Greg welcomed him to join Naka Ima.

In the Aikido world, Ben is probably best known for a random interview he gave on the street outside of Hombu Dojo in 2003 for a documentary on martial arts called the Empty Mind.