Although our Youth Program has had an amazing run (27 years!) it’s time has come to an end (due to the retirement of the Youth Instructor, Senpai Okuma). As of June 2018, we no longer offer Youth Aikido. Thank you . . . to all the Youth Instructors, and to all the wonderfully talented children who have trained here.
Mumonkan-Do Aikido has remained in the same Orange County location (on Skypark Circle in Irvine) since we opened the dojo in 1990. The Youth Program was created shortly thereafter in 1991 by Sensei Doug McBratney. McBratney Sensei taught the youth class until 1996 at which time his wife, Senpai McBratney, took over the class. But, as it turns out, the McBratney’s teaching careers were coming to a close because they began to start a family. Their first child was born in April 1997 . . . and their SIXTH child (yes I did say SIXTH child) was born in October 2007.
So after their first child was born, Senpai McBratney handed over the reins of the Youth Class to our newest Black Belt, Sensei Tom Brooks. Brooks Sensei unfortunately, had to leave the state in November 2005 due to his wife’s job transfer. Senpai Okuma, our “next in line” took over the Youth Class at that time and has been teaching it ever since (13 years)! Senpai Okuma retired from teaching in June, 2018 because he was needed at home, to care for his aging mother.