The goal of Aikido with Ki training is not to fight, but to live in peace and make this planet a better place. It is based on nature's laws, where right is might, and emphasizes love, harmony, and a positive attitude. Neither size, weight, nor sex have anything to do with the execution of powerful Aikido.


Sensei Steve Ota

Steve Ota Sensei has been practicing Judo and Aikido since his teenage years. First Judo with his father and later Aikido with his father and with Koichi Tohei Sensei.

During his college years at San Jose State in northern California he was a member of the NCAA Champion Judo team. He also started Aikido training with Hideki Shiohira Sensei at that time. Steve Sensei continued to train under Shiohira Sensei until 1994.


David Plant

Senior instructor David Plant has been an aikidoka since 1995 when his daughter, Chloe, wanted to learn karate. During his childhood he had studied judo off and on with his father who ranked Yondan in Japan. Sensei Plant was apprehensive about having his daughter learn Karate but noticed a dojo that taught Judo and some other martial art called Aikido. Fascinated by watching Aikido, he enrolled soon after his daughter and has been involved with The Cultural School ever since. He received his Shodan Aug. 28, 1999, his Nidan Aug. 23, 2003, and his present rank as Sandan Aug. 20, 2005. Sensei Plant enjoys studying Aikido and teaching children, adults and weapons classes at The Cultural School.


Richard Polichetti

Sandan Richard Polichetti is a Senior Instructor at The Cultural School. Richard was first introduced to Aikido and the concepts of Ki in Sensei Rod Kobayashi's PhysEd Aikido class at CSU Fullerton in 1980. Richard took three semesters of the class and became convinced that Aikido and Ki would become a way of life and a life's study some day. 

After finishing with his BA and moving to Santa Barbara in 1989, he joined The Cultural School in 1991. During the 90's he had many wonderful experiences with students and teachers alike; gaining more appreciation for Aikido as an art and exercise but especially for the attitudes and style both Ken, Miye, and Steve Ota brought to the school and his education

Richard began teaching kid's class in 1999 and received his Shodan rank in 2000 and his present rank of Sandan in January of 2006. Richard teaches Kids, Adults, Ki, and Weapon techniques. Richard is very proud to have all three of his children enrolled- and even their mom has a rank of blue belt.