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Sensei Damon ApodacaDamon Apodaca, Sensei is the Chief Instructor and founder of Santa Fe Budokan. A practitioner of over 46 years, he is ranked as 6th Degree Black Belt (Rokudan) by the Aikido World Federation, Hombu Dojo. He is certified Shidoin by United State Aikido Federation. In addition, he also holds various levels of instructor certification from Morihiro Saito, Shihan (Iwama Dojo, Japan) for Aikiken and Aikijo, (the weapons styles that O-Sensei taught to accompany regular Taijutsu (body-art) training). Apodaca Sensei spent his formative years of study with Masahilo Nakazono, Shihan, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and later moved to San Diego where he spent 6 years of study under T.K. Chiba Shihan, the Chief Instructor of San Diego Aikikai, and director of Birankai International. He has been a “dojo-cho” (head instructor) in several dojos over the last 27 years including Newport Aikikai in Newport Rhode Island and Zenshinkan Dojo in Worchester Mass. All of Apodaca Sensei's teachers were direct students of the founder of Aikido. Apodaca Sensei also started the practice of Iaido under the direction of Chiba Shihan. He continued to practice under Hanshi Masayuki Shimabukuro and So-Shihan Carl Long. Apodaca Sensei holds the rank of Nidan in the KNBK and DNBK (Dai Nippon Budokukai). His commitment to the art allows for serious practice in a safe, empowering, and traditional environment.