Chief Instructor & Founder
Our Chief Instructor, Salvatore Forestieri had an interest in the Martial Arts since the early 70’s. Salvatore was introduced to Aikido in Chicago in 1972 when he met an Aikido Shihan for the first time. In the 90’s Salvatore started practicing Aikido, along with continuing a similar martial art. Salvatore’s first Aikikai Aikido Instructor was Fumio Toyoda Shihan. Salvatore has also trained with many High level Sensei’s and Shihan in the United States, and disciplined under others, such as Steven Seagal Shihan. He has also trained at Hombu Dojo Aikikai, Tokyo Japan numerous times in the current Doshu’s class and many other well known Aikikai Japanese Masters.
Salvatore has also had the privilege to train Police, Millitary, Military Self Defence Instructors, and Secret Service Agents etc. He has also assisted with Personal Protection for Steven Seagal in Eastern Europe. Salvatore currently holds the rank of Sandan-Aikikai.
Salvatore has trained with Kenjitsu Master Mitsuhiro Saruta Soke, and several of his senior students in Japan. Salvatore also trained with Japanese Action Star Lee Murayama from the movie “The Last Samurai”. Salvatore holds the rank of Yondan from the International Batto -Do Shizan Association, Osaka Japan, directly from Mitsuhiro Saruta Soke. Salvatore has competed in Osaka, International Division senior ranking, and trained in Japan numerous times. He was honored and received high recognition in Japanese scroll menkyu type form from Mitsuhiro Saruta Soke. Salvatore only follows the Sword teachings of Soke Mutsuhiro Saruta Sword Master.
Jorge Lopez is an Assistant Instructor and has been training in Aikido at Tenshin Shinjitsu Dojo for 8 years. Jorge trained in Aikido a couple of years prior to joining Tenshin Shinjitsu Dojo. Jorge holds the rank of Shodan (1st Dan ) Aikikai.
Andrew Wichman Shodan 1 Degree Black Belt in Ryu Sei Kenjutsu achieved in Osaka Japan direct from Saruta Soke. Andrew has been training for years and enjoys teaching and assisting others in class.
Aikido Black Belt Instructors at Tenshin Shinjutsu Dojo of Chicago/ Illinois Ryu Sei Ken are ranked through the Aikikai Foundation, and Kenjutsu Black Belt Instructors are all ranked through the International Batto-do Association Osaka Japan from Sword Master Soke Saruta. to ensure quality, and a certain level of standards a black belt must achieve, outside from their instructors recognition.
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