Jonathan Poppele

Head Instructor
Founder of The Center for Mind-Body Oneness
Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt): Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
Chuden: Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki Development)

Jonathan Poppele has studied Ki-Aikido since 1994, and is the founder of the Center for Mind-Body Oneness. He became a student of Shaner Sensei in 2004 and under Shaner Sensei’s guidance earned two gold medals in the 2004 International Ki Aikido Exhibition, together with Reston Ki-Aikido Head Instructor Matt Doetsch-Kidder. Poppele Sensei has over three decades of experience in movement arts, meditation and mind-body training. He holds a Masters Degree in Conservation Biology and Conflict Management and has taught both writing and biology at the University of Minnesota. He is a Full Ki Lecturer and Assistant Examiner in the International Ki Society.
E-mail Poppele Sensei

Kirsten Welge

Assistant Head Instructor
Morning Meditation, Community Education, and Antiracism and Aikido classes
Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt): Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
Jokyu: Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki Development)

Kirsten Welge began training in Ki-Aikido in 2012. Through intensive practice in meditation and ki aikido, and periodic training seminars with Kaichou Sensei, Shaner Sensei, and Curtis Sensei, she experienced greater awareness, connection, calmness, and wholeness than she thought possible. In gratitude, she seeks to share and deepen awareness, which is our human birthright: available to anyone, at any time, in any place.  Kirsten holds a Masters in Public Health in Healthcare Management, and has worked to improve safety and quality of care in pediatric and academic hospitals and clinics since 2007. As a manager. mentor, and facilitator, she applies ki principles to help those around her grow, develop, and flourish. She continues to seek her edges through periodic meditation retreats with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, nature connection and village building, and movement outdoors in all seasons.

Laurel Strand Crawford

Antiracism and Aikido
Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt): Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
Jokyu: Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki Development)

Laurel began training in Ki-Aikido in 2008, as part of a holistic response to living with PTSD. As a trauma survivor, Laurel completed a college program in Peace & Conflict Studies in Northern Ireland in 2004, which opened doors to daily meditation, yoga, dance therapy, and other healing arts focused on transforming conflict from within. Laurel holds a BS in Human Development & Psychology, and has since worked with folks of all ages coping with trauma and its aftermath. This class is intended as a laboratory for awareness in daily life. In holding this space, Laurel hopes to share the benefits of nearly a decade of practice: access to freedom, well-being, and ability to move from center in all circumstances.

Our Teachers

David Shaner

Chief Instructor: Eastern Ki Federation
Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt): Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
Okuden: Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki Development)

Shaner Sensei is the Chief Instructor of the Eastern Ki Federation in the United States, is Japan Headquarter's Advisor to the Eastern Europe/Russia Ki-Aikido Federation, and was an uchi deshi (live-in student) for Ki Society founder Koichi Tohei Sensei. He is emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at Furman University and is the author or editor of over 40 books including Living with the Wind at Your Back: Seven Arts to Positively Transform Your Life. Shaner Sensei has also been a Fulbright Scholar in India, a Crown Prince Akihito Scholar, an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard University, and a corporate business consultant. Currently he is the Principal of CONNECT, LLC.

Shinichi Tohei

Kaichou (President) and Chief Instructor: Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai

Shinichi Tohei Sensei has been learning Ki Principles through Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido (Ki-Aikido) from Master Koichi Tohei, Aikido 10th dan and Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido Founder, since childhood. Now, as successor to Soshu (Founder) Koichi Tohei, he teaches Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido in Japan and throughout the world. By using Ki principles in the development of human resources and communication skills, he also teaches business personnel, executives, and educators at seminars and workshops. Shinichi Tohei is the President (Kaichou) and Chief Instructor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai and serves on the facuty of Keio University.