On September 6-8, 2019, the California Aikido Association (CAA) celebrated their 40th Anniversary at the San Mateo County Event Center with special guest Doshu. Moriteru Ueshiba is the grandson of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, and son of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Ueshiba is the third and current Doshu (hereditary head) of the Aikikai organization.

The California Aikido Association (CAA) is a worldwide community of teachers, dojos, and aikidoka whose primary common bond is the art we practice.  It is fortunate to have within its membership many teachers with varied backgrounds and complementary skills. As such, the CAA embraces many stylistic and technical traditions, but is guided by the physical and philosophical ideals established by the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.  The CAA is an officially recognized organization by the Aikikai Foundation, Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan.

The current organizational structure:

Division 1 is headed by Pat Hendricks Shihan 7th Dan
Division 2 is headed by Michael Friedl Shihan 7th Dan
Division 3 is headed by Robert Nadeau Shihan 8th Dan

The CAA Aikido seminar event drew in hundreds of aikido practitioners throughout California to experience a rare opportunity with the Doshu. Newport Beach Aikikai joined many other California-based dojos to experience 3 days of intensive aikido training, followed by a special banquet, honoring the original founders of CAA and Doshu.

Gentil Pennewaert Shihan has known the Doshu since 1984 when he was his Otomo in Belgium. It was great to see that the friendly connection has not been forgotten.


Charn Pennewaert of Newport Beach Aikikai receives the honor of filming and editing the special event. Watch the exclusive video as the Doshu receives a Certificate of Recognition from Senator Bill Dodd for his outstanding leadership in Aikido. Doshu returns with a memorable speech, recognizing CAA for their continued dedication and support of Aikido during the evening banquet.

A Special Message from Michael Friedl, Patricia Hendricks and Robert Nadeau:

The CAA would like to thank the Doshu for accepting our invitation to teach at our 40th anniversary celebration. We hope that the Doshu, Mrs. Ueshiba, and his Otomo Mr. Hino, all had a wonderful time. Thanks to all the seminar participants for making the Doshu’s visit a resounding success. Finally, a very special thanks to everyone who organized and volunteered. The event would not have been possible without their hard work.

Photo by Alex Kolbasov