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Aikido is a martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), also known as O-Sensei (great teacher).  Aikido literally means "the way of energy harmony".     


Sensei Ueshiba had a reputation of being virtually invincible in many traditional armed and unarmed fighting arts, including jujitsu and swordsmanship.  O-Sensei was troubled with the way in which the traditional martial arts dealt with conflict.  He believed that winning at someone else’s expense did not represent an ultimate solution.  He began to study, examine and practice movements that would lead to the development of a new and more harmonious martial art.  This new martial art envisioned the right of every living creature to grow and develop in their own way.  The result of O-sensei’s study was the birth of Aikido.


In practice Aikido is a flowing art that can be used for defensive purposes (it is used by many police forces around the world) while enabling its adherents to remain balanced and in control, choosing to neither submit nor overpower their oponents.  Aikido practitioners literally use their oponents energy against them while protecting themselves.

We were founded as a Martial Arts School by Harry Ishisaka who studied under Koichi Tohei.  Sensei Tohei who was one of O-Sensei's star pupils, and was the only one that he ever officially gave the rank of 10th-dan.  


After learning and practicing Judo at a young age and then throughout his military career, Sensei Ishisaka began his studies in Aikido after having been introduced to Sensei Tohei.  Sensei Ishisaka started the dojo in 1964, making us one of the oldest Southern California Aikido Dojos.  After the passing of our founder, the dojo was setup as a California non-profit organization, and we continue as a non-profit today.


Our Dojo combines the traditional feel of a Japanese Dojo with the welcoming “Aloha Spirit” of our founder. 


This is some rare footage of the founder, Sensei Ishisaka doing some kokyu nage techniques.

Our School


Orange County Aikido is a non-profit organization.  None of our instructors are paid; they donate their time and expertise because they love the art and want to share it. 

Chief Instructor: Brandon Ishisaka-Guadan

Occupation:​ Pharmaceutical Sales
Years Studying Aikido: ​37 years
Years at OC Aiki Kai:​ 37 years

​​Family: Married with ​​2 daughters


I am the grandson of the founder Harry Ishisaka, and have been studying Aikido for more than 37 years.  When I’m not studying Aikido I like to spend most my free time with my wife and children.  Spending weekends at birthday parties and family events. I try to fit in the occasional fishing trip with the gang or working out with my trainer.

Instructor: Michael Padilla

Occupation:​ Acupuncturist
Years Studying Aikido: ​16 years
Years at OC Aiki Kai:​ 15 years

Rank Nidan (2nd degree black belt)

Family: 3 children


I have been studying martial arts since I was 8. Other styles I have studied are Goju Karate, Chen Style Taijichuan Practical Method, and Iaido.  Also by way of my training as an Acupuncturist, I have many years of experience studying and teaching Qi Gong, a Chinese system of energy work similar to Tai Chi.  As my office is in the dojo, I spend a great deal of time at OC Aikido, and I consider it a second home and its members my family.

Instructor: Mitch Maeda

Occupation:​ Pharmacist
Years Studying Aikido:​ 34 years
Years at Orange County Aiki Kai:​ 24 years

Rank: Shodan (Black Belt)


Instructor: Gary Welborn

Occupation:​ Retired
Years Studying Aikido: ​44 years
Years at OC Aiki Kai:​ many

Rank Yondan (4th degree black belt)

Family: Married with one daughter and a granddaughter


I started Aikido in 1974 as a first generation student of OCAK's founder Harry Ishisaka.  Following Harry Ishisaka Sensei's passing I continued to train at OCAK for several years before moving out into the general Aikido world to explore the many learning & training avenues available while keeping a connection with the dojo and many of its members.  I recently came back to OCAK to support Brandon Ishisaka Sensei as dojo cho.  My interests are the use of internal power through a fully connected body resulting in spontaneous movement appropriate for the moment.

Instructor: Tyson Rath


Occupation:​ Teacher
Years Studying Aikido:​ 20 years
Years at Orange County Aiki Kai:​ 20 years

Rank: Shodan (Black Belt)

Family: Married


Our Facility

The Dojo

The OC Aikido Martial Arts dojo is available to rent for a variety of events, classes and seminars.  Our facility is centrally located in Orange, conveniently between the 55 and 57 freeways, one turn off of either freeway.  

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