Shindai Aikikai Dojo Senior Instructors
Steve Fasen Sensei / Senior Instructor / designated Chief Instructor of Shindai Dojo
ASU 6th dan (Rokudan), Ueshiba Juku
Stephen (Steve) Fasen Sensei (6th dan) trains as a senior Yudansha in the ASU. He has been training Martial Arts since 1980 starting in JKA Shotokan Karate. Starting Aikido training in 1988 to the present, he was promoted to Aikido (6th dan) Rokudan in 2018. Fasen Sensei also bears Saotome Sensei’s Ueshiba Juku designation, presented in 2012.
Fasen Sensei first experienced Aikido in Japan during the late 70’s, but did not engage with Aikido as a student until 1989, starting in traditional Japanese karate. His journey on this martial path however, parallels his life, education and career development.
He attended St. John’s University, St. Cloud State College, and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, earning degrees (BA) in Art Education and (MS) Ceramics & Watercolor. In the 1970s, he taught fine art at the Sr/Jr. high school levels, and developed art education curriculum for several school districts. While doing graduate work in ceramics, studying in Japan under (now) living national treasure Shimaoka Tatsuzo, Fasen Sensei had his first brush with Aikido and the principle parallels to the Arts.
Fasen Sensei was initially introduced to Budo and Japanese martial arts in the late 70’s by a fellow arts teacher, a JKA Shotokan Karate Sandan. Subsequently training JKA Shotokan in 1980, under the late (Midwest Karate Asso.) Robert Fusaro Sensei (8thDan), who was the primary student of the late Hidetaka Nishiama Sensei. He was awarded Yudansha ranking from Hidetaka Nishiama Sensei starting in 1987, continuing his training through the early 90’s.
The enhancement to his martial journey in Aikido started in 1989 and has continued for more than 3 decades. In that time Steve has trained under ,and with, all ASU senior instructors, as well as a diverse group instructors within the U.S. and around the globe. His primary influences began with the late Dennis Hooker Shihan and David Jones Sensei of Shindai, and remain with M. Saotome Shihan of the ASU, and Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei. He is quick to claim the great debt he owes to all of the teachers it has been his honor to train with.
In 1979, Fasen Sensei transitioned from his (spiritually rewarding but financially challenging) teaching career to non-academic business pursuits. He founded Fasen Arts, Inc., and several additional companies, which brought the family to Orlando in 1988. And…Shindai.
In addition to remaining an active member of the ASU Aikido and Budo communities, Fasen Sensei has continued to be involved in educational art programs support, as a lecturer and partner in education. He also is active within various local charities, community organizations including Rotary, and national Veterans fundraising affiliations through the SWRMC and Warrior Shield Foundation.
Fasen Sensei has been married to his wife, Wendy, for over 50 years. He has three grown children and seven grandchildren who lovingly call him Ada.
Brian Canin Sensei / Senior Instructor
ASU 6thDan (Rokudan), Ueshiba Juku
Brian Canin Sensei is a designated senior instructor and most “senior” student at Shindai Dojo. He started training Aikido in 1988 and became a Shindai student in 1989. He received Rokudan (6thDan) from Mitsugi Saotome Shihan in 2018. He continues to teach and train regularly as a dedicated martial artist and octogenarian. His martial arts involvement goes back to his childhood in South Africa.
He a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, and earned his Architecture Degree from the University of Witwaterstrand and a master’s degree in Urban Design from Harvard University. Today, Brian Sensei is the president of Canin Associates, a Orlando-based design firm that specializes in providing solution-oriented community planning, urban design, and landscape architecture.
Time has not dimmed Brian Sensei’s energy, effort or ambitions. When not teaching and training in Aikido, Brian is still working, traveling, sailing and skiing. Brian Sensei dedicates time to community support organizations and charities. His philanthropic nature and work with students are particularly remarkable. He lives in Winter Park, Florida with his lovely wife, Myrna. He has two grown children and four grandchildren.
Experience vigorous and spirited learning.