Paul Barrett, Ph.D., Yondan and Chief Instructor
Paul Barrett Sensei
I studied a variety of martial arts in my youth including Kenpo, Taijiquan, Shotokan, Shorin-Ryu Karate, and Tae Kwon Do. In 1991 I began my study of Iwama Aikido under the direction of Wolfgang Baumgartner Sensei in Reno, Nevada.
My career required I move throughout the west but whether in southern California, Tucson, Las Vegas, Nevada or Albuquerque I have continued to study a variety of aikido styles. My other instructors have included Aviv Goldsmith, Tom Rennie, Judith Robinson, Coryl Crane, Stan Pranin, Diane Deskin, and James Cornfield Senseis.
When I relocated to Albuquerque I crossed paths with Bill Smythe Sensei of Aikido Arts Center Santa Fe. Baumgartner Sensei had started Aikido Arts Center several years before but had since returned to his native Germany and turned the dojo over to Bill Sensei. Nevertheless Baumgartner Sensei returns to Santa Fe regularly to offer seminars at his former school. As a result for the past three years I’ve been driving over an hour each way to train several days a week in Santa Fe. I currently hold a Yoddan (4th degree black belt) recognized by the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo.
I regularly travel to seminars throughout the west and have attended those taught by Morihiro Saito, Hans Goto, Kim Peuser, Hoa Newans, Pat Hendricks, Bill Witt, Hiroshi Ikeda, Mitsugi Saotome, and the current Doshu, Morihei Ueshiba Sensei among others.
Charles Stein, Nidan, Instructor
In 1992, in college studying Japanese ceramics, I had my first experience with aikido. I practiced sporadically for the next ten years. In May 2002, I renewed my commitment to aikido. I was introduced to Iwama style aikido by both Douglas Dale Sensei and Vincent Salvatore Sensei, and spent time traveling back and forth between the two. In January 2003, I moved to Reno Nevada and became uchideshi under Vince Salvatore Sensei. While uchideshi, I received my shodan in 2005. That same year, I traveled to Iwama, Japan and became uchideshi under Hitohiro Saito Sensei. While in Japan under H. Saito Sensei, I received my yudansha certificate. Upon my return to the USA, I resumed as uchideshi in Reno until 2006. In 2008, I received my nidan, and in 2013, I established Tucson Desert Aikido in Tucson, AZ. After moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2017, I renamed the school East Mountain Aikido and merged with Albuquerque Iwama Aikido.
Charles Neal, Shodan, Assistant Instructor
Charles Neal was born and raised in Louisiana. As a young man he studied Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do. He cross trained in kickboxing, Taiiji Quan, Kung Fu, grappling, and mixed martial arts in Louisiana and New Mexico.
In 2001 Charles began his Aikido training under Sensei James Cornfield at Sandia Budokan. He holds a shodan rank from Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan. In 2015 he began training and functioning as an assistant instructor with Albuquerque Iwama Aikido.
Tyler Smith Nidan Kyokushin Karate Instructor