The Tulsa Aikido Club is affiliated with the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) and through the ASU with Worldwide Aikikai Headquarters. The ASU is headed by Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, 8th dan Aikikai Shihan. Saotome Sensei was a direct student of, and instructor under, the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei. Saotome Sensei is based in Sarasota, Florida and has established the Aiki Shrine in Myakka City, FL.
The Tulsa Aikido Club has been offering aikido classes in Tulsa since 1985. The Club’s Chief Instructor is Mike Pollak. Mike began his martial arts training in 1970, studying Shotokan karate while an undergraduate student at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After moving to Oklahoma City in 1973 to attend graduate school, he continued his karate training for several years prior to beginning his study of jujutsu. In addition to his aikido rank of yondan (4th level black belt) under the ASU, he also holds the rank of shodan (1st level black belt) in karate under the American Martial Arts Society and in Aibujutsu-Ryu Jujutsu. Mike began his aikido training in 1978 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and moved to Tulsa in 1981 where he co-founded the Tulsa Aikido Club.
Iaido classes are taught by Chris Guzik. Chris began his martial arts training in 1997, studying aikido under Jack Wada Sensei in San Jose, California. Since returning to Tulsa in 1999, Chris has continued his study of aikido with the Tulsa Aikido Club under Mike Pollak Sensei. Chris began studying iaido under Susan Burke Sensei, 7th dan, in 2004 and holds the ranks of kyoshi nanadan in iaido under the Seitokai, and nidan in aikido under the ASU.