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Sensei Damon ApodacaDamon Apodaca, Sensei is the Chief Instructor and founder of Santa Fe Budokan. A practitioner of over 36 years, he is ranked as 6th Degree Black Belt (Rokudan) by the Aikido World Federation, Hombu Dojo. He is certified Shidoin by the United States Aikido Federation, under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada (8th Dan). 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. 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, and is currently a student of Masayuki Shimabukuro Hanshi under the direction of Carl Long, Kyoshi. Apodaca Sensei holds the rank of Nidan in the Jiki-shinkai International and Santa Fe Budokan is a member Dojo. His commitment to the art allows for serious practice in a safe, empowering, and traditional environment.