Alicia Hardesty – Founding Instructor
Hardesty Sensei holds the rank of 5th dan, Shidoin. She began practicing Aikido at the New York Aikikai in 1968. She was one of Yamada Shihan’s first female students and was also one of the first women to achieve Black Belt rank in this country.
In 1971 and again in 1978 she traveled to Japan to train at Hombu Dojo. While there, she trained with Doshu Kissomoru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei Shihan as well as Senseis Yamada, Kanai, Chiba and Moriyama. Billman Sensei moved from New York to Atlanta in 1981 and joined the Aikido Center. In 1985 she moved to Carrollton Ga. (which is closer to Alabama than to Ga.) where she founded the West Georgia Aikikai, in addition to teaching classes at the Aikido Center of Atlanta. In 2005, Sensei moved to Louisville, Kentucky and began teaching regularly at Kentuckiana Aikikai.
Garn Sherman—Current Instructor
Sherman Sensei holds the rank of 3rd dan – Fukushidoin. He began practicing Aikido at the West Georgia Aikikai in 1990 as a student of Sensei Billman.