San Francisco Aikikai members benefit from the instruction of multiple talented instructors who each bring their own personal take, style and experience to the mix. This helps widen greatly the praticants views and diversify their skills. 

Lauren Mallas
​5th Dan Shidoin, Chief Instructor

Founding member of San Francisco Aikikai which started in 1992 under the instruction of Joel Posluns and under the auspices of both Mitsunari Kanai and Yoshimitsu Yamada.


Lauren has also practiced at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, where she resided while attending Tokyo University. She has a particular interest in Aikido weaponry, which she has studied with Steven Kaufmann, Mitsunari Kanai and Claude Berthiaume.

Joseph Verville
​6th Dan Shidoin, Dojo Cho

Verville Sensei began his aikido training at San Francisco Aikikai in 1993 under the then Chief Instructor Joel Posluns, 7th dan, Shihan, and obtained black belt in January 1999 from Y. Yamada, Shihan.  He became the Chief Instructor of San Francisco Aikikai in June 2003. 


As a commitment to continuing his aikido development, he regularly attends seminars with Yamada sensei, members of the USAF technical committee, other USAF shidoin instructors, as well as other non-USAF Shihan instructors.

Alesia Kunz
​6th Dan, Fuku-Shidoin

When she first saw people rolling in a dojo in New Mexico, she said, "I want my body to do that." In 1979 she moved to New York, climbed the narrow stairs of New York Aikikai and signed up. After earning shodan from Y. Yamada Sensei, 8th Dan Shihan she moved to California and taught at San Francisco State and the Women's Aikido School of San Francisco. She has been teaching and practicing at San Francisco Aikikai since it opened. "Practicing Aikido is joyous," she says. "I love it."

Philippe Gendrault

​5th Dan, Fuku-Shidoin

Philippe is a native of France where he practiced judo growing up. He discovered aikido after moving to California and studied at San Francisco Aikikai under the instruction of Joel Posluns Shihan and the guidance of both Mitsunari Kanai Shihan and Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan.


Philippe is commited to teaching strong and solid basics that will enable students to explore aikido with integrity and sincerity. He has been studying further with Claude Berthiaume Shihan, and continues to attend yearly USAF seminars.

Steve Sandage
​3rd Dan, Fuku-Shidoin

Steve began training at San Francisco Aikikai in 1997 under the instruction of Joel Posluns, 6th dan, Shihan.  He received his Shodan from Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan in 2005, and began teaching regularly in 2010.  


His teaching emphasizes principles of Aikido that exist independently of technique, but which should infuse the techniques, such as connection, timing, blending, and sensitivity.

© 2013 San Francisco Aikikai. No ukes were hurt during the production of this website.

  • Facebook