Aikido of Kohala

Sandra Otero began her training at Kohala Aikikai in 2003 under Kristina Varjan Shihan, Rikko Varjan Shidoin, and Kevin and  Leilani Sensei.  She earned her 1st degree black belt in 2008 at Birankai North America Summer Camp, San Diego.

Sandra Sensei has been teaching adult and children’s classes since 2010.

Sandra grew up in British Columbia, Canada and has been living in Hawaii for over 15 years. She is a pencil/watercolor artist and enjoys flower arranging and gardening.

Currently as Chief Instructor at Aikido of Kohala, Big Island of Hawaii, Sandra holds the rank of

3rd Dan, Fukushidoin.

"Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."

~Morihei Ueshiba

 Founder of Aikido

​Kristina Varjan, 7th Dan, Shihan - Technical Advisor

Kristina Varjan started Aikido training in 1975 at New York Aikikai with Y. Yamada
Shihan. From 1989-1992 she was in the advanced teacher training program with T.K. Chiba Shihan at San Diego Aikikai. She is a member of the Senior Council and Board of Directors in Birankai North America, an international Aikido organization founded by T.K. Chiba Shihan in 2000.

Varjan Sensei established Kohala Aikikai and Aikido of Kohala with her husband, Rikko Varjan Sensei, on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1996 and New Mexico Aikikai from 2005-2008 in Placitas, New Mexico. She was the Technical Advisor and Senior Instructor for Aikido of Albuquerque from 2008-2012.

She is currently Technical Advisor for Aikido of Kohala and Advisor for the Kohala Koboji Mission in Kapaau, Hawaii. In addition to her Aikido teaching in Hawaii and New Mexico, Varjan Sensei teaches Awareness Through Movement classes & maintains a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method. She also teaches Aikido and the Feldenkrais Method in Europe.

Rikko Varjan, Ph.D., 6th Dan, Shidoin - Senior Advisor

Rikko Varjan began practicing martial arts in the mid 1960's and in 1972 received his first Aikido instruction from M. Nakazono Shihan in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1989-1992 he was a kenshusei with T.K. Chiba Shihan at San Diego Aikikai in the advanced teacher training program. He is the President of Birankai International, an Aikido organization founded by T.K. Chiba Shihan in 2000.

Varjan Sensei established Kohala Aikikai and Aikido of Kohala with his wife, Kristina Varjan Shihan, on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1996 and New Mexico Aikikai from 2005-2008 in Placitas, New Mexico. He was a Senior Instructor for Aikido of Albuquerque from 2008-2012. He is currently Senior Advisor for Aikido of Kohala and Advisor for the Kohala Koboji Mission in Kapaau, Hawaii.

In addition to his Aikido teaching in Hawaii and New Mexico, Varjan Sensei is a Mental Health Consultant in Neuropsychology and Counseling Psychology. He maintains a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico specializing in Neurofeedback therapy and training. He also teaches Aikido and provides Neurofeedback training and consultation in Europe.

Kristina Varjan

Shihan

Technical Advisor

Sandra Otero

Chief Instructor


Rikko Varjan

Senior Advisor

Our Instructors...

Our Mission---

At Aikido of Kohala, our mission is to create a more peaceful world through sincere and supportive practice and shared learning...

Our Pledge---

At Aikido of Kohala, we pledge to treat each person with respect as we preserve the traditions of Aikido philosophy.....