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AIKIDO INSTRUCTORS


ELLIOT FREEMAN SENSEI

6th Degree Black Belt





Elliot Freeman is the Chief Instructor of the Three Rivers Aikido dojo.  He has been training and teaching in Aikido for over 30 years, and has been in the martial arts over 40 years. His teacher is Master Steven Seagal, 7th degree black belt. 


 

Dan Woods has been studying Aikido since 1996 and is the senior student of Three Rivers Aikido.  In 2010 Dan joined Sensei Freeman in Romania, for a nation-wide Tenshin Aikido seminar.  Additionally, Dan has been studying 
 Tai Chi Chuan under Sifu Justin Meehan since 2001.  Dan is a Systems 
Manager with a local investment management firm.  He currently teaches 
Aikido on Monday evenings.

Dan Woods, 3rd Degree Black Belt

Kyle Rieger has been studying Aikido at Three Rivers since 2003.  He is a college student who is growing deep roots in the science world of herpetology.  He plans on taking Aikido along with him in his every day life long after he has graduated from school.  Kyle teaches Aikido on Tuesday evenings.




Kyle Rieger, 1st Degree Black Belt

Andrew Maminta, 1st Degree Black Belt

 
Andrew Maminta (aka "Kwon") has been training in Aikido since 2006.  He is a graduate of the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a BS in Finance and currently works for GroupCast LLC in Client Services.  He has dabbled in a few different martial arts including Judo, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Capoeira, and Tae Kwon Do, but considers Aikido to be his main focus and primary art.  Andrew teaches on Thursday nights.

 

Stephen Murphy has been training with Three Rivers since late 2004.  He has a strong belief to merge the martial arts body with the daily life of the body.  Stephen has no regular teaching night but is asked to substitute on occasion.  He works as a landscape designer and sales person.

Stephen Murphy, 1st Degree Black Belt

 John Aughey, 1st Degree Black Belt
John Aughey began his Aikido training at Three Rivers in 2011.  Aikido became such an integral part of his life that he brought his entire family to Three Rivers. John's three daughters train in the Aiki-Kids classes while his wife enjoys Alyona's yoga classes. When traveling for work, John enjoys training at other Aikido schools to broaden his exposure to the wider Aikido community. John instructs the Thursday evening Aiki-Kids class. 

 Bio Soon


John Feaster, 2nd Kyu Brown Belt

NON-ACTIVE INSTRUCTORS
 

 

  
Andre McFadden, 1st Degree Black Belt




Andre' McFadden has been studying Aikido at Three Rivers Aikido under Sensei Elliot Freeman for over 7 years.  He began his Aikido training 15 years ago at the Saint Louis Ki Society.  Andre' has been in the medical field for over 20 years, and is a recent graduate in Criminal Justice.  Andre' has studied other martial arts such as Judo, and holds ranks in Taekwondo and Shotokan Karate.  Andre' is one of the Aiki-Kids instructors.  On occasion, he has taught Defensive Tactics under Sensei Freeman.

 
 
Patrick Reed, 1st Degree Black Belt

 
 

  
Patrick Reed has been studying Aikido at Three Rivers since January 2006.  He was on the wrestling team during his high school years and has continued his research in modern-day ground fighting which he brings into his teachings at Three Rivers Aikido.  Patrick is also known around the dojo as having a keen interest in kendo and bokken kata (two forms of formal Japanese sword training).  He is a Bond Trader with Edward Jones.



 

Mike Swederska, 2nd Degree Black Belt


Mike Swederska Sr. began training in Aikido at Three Rivers in late 2000.  In 2005 he  was appointed  instructor for Tuesday night classes. Presently Mike's classes attract a large number of beginning students.  Mike received his First Degree Black Belt from Sensei Freeman  at Shihan Steven Seagal's home in 2008.  In 2009 Mike started a Three Rivers satellite dojo called Shin-Gane Aikido, where he teaches on Wednesday nights.  Mike is the owner of Shurway Auto Body in Maplewood.

 
Michael Schaefer  along with his son started training in aikido at Three Rivers in 2006.  He started assisting in the children's classes from his first day and began leading the Sunday children's class upon reaching 2nd kyu (brown belt).  His classes with the children balance aikido as practical self-defense, an art of movement contributing to physical coordination, and as an avenue of character education.  Professionally, he is a librarian with the St. Louis Public Library.

 
Michael Schaefer, 1st Degree Black Belt

 
Ranya Iqbal, 1st Degree Black Belt



Ranya Iqbal has been studying Aikido at Three Rivers since 2007. She is a professional cellist who performs regularly in St. Louis and throughout the country.  In addition to Aikido, she studies Shuri-Ryu Karate under Conway Wong, and maintains a dedicated Bikram yoga practice. She also enjoys traveling abroad and has visited many other Aikido schools.  Ranya is currently our Aikido ambassador to Chile.

 Terry Hildebrandt, 1st Degree Black BeltTerry Hildebrandt has been training in Aikido at Three Rivers since 2005.  He was a High School and Collegiate wrestler.  Terry is a regular on Thursday mornings.  Terry works for a local Nissan-VW dealer in sales. 
 Nick Brekalo, 1st Degree Black Belt
 Bio coming soon

Aida Hadzisabic, 1st Kyu Brown Belt
 



Aida Hadzisabic has been studying Aikido at Three Rivers since 2007. This is the first martial art she has explored although she greatly enjoys Three Rivers guest instructors who teach supplemental arts.  It always amazes Aida how Aikido promotes strength and balance of body and mind,along with the confidence, self-control, and ability to relax under stress.

Elisha  Nevois-Akridge's interest in Aikido was sparked while watching her 8 year old daughter from the sidelines in 2008.  Soon after she began training and discovered a deep passion for the art. With a background in dance, Elisha found an innate connection and admiration for the fluid movements and precise techniques of Aikido. She also currently studies Shuri- Ryu Karate-Do under Conway Wong. In addition to her busy family and martial arts training, Elisha is a litigation paralegal.

 
 
 Elisha Nevois-Akridge, 2nd Kyu Brown Belt
    

 

Conway Wong, 2nd Degree Black Belt 

Conway Wong has been studying the martial arts since 1987 holding a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido (under Sensei Freeman) as well as a 4th degree black belt in Shuri-Ryu Karate-Do (under Sensei Milt Calander).  He has been studying at Three Rivers since 2004.  Conway also studies Integrated Martial Arts under Mr. Ken O'Neill. Conway works as a software engineer and enjoys reading and watching Hong Kong kung fu action movies.  Conway teaches the Saturday afternoon class.