About Knoxville Aikikai The Knoxville Aikikai was founded in the spring of 1993. We are a United States Aikido Federation member dojo. All students have the opportunity to attend USAF regional seminars hosted and taught by USAF instructors or instructors from Japan. The Chief Instructor of the Knoxville Aikikai is Rob Crowell, 5th dan, Shidoin. Crowell Sensei began Aikido training in 1985 and his early training was under the direction of Akira Tohei Shihan.
In 1993, Knoxville Aikikai was founded by Rob Crowell Sensei at the direction of Akira Tohei, Shihan. Tohei Shihan was the Chief Instructor of the Midwest Aikido Federation and the Midwest Region of the United States Aikido Federation. Tohei Shihan was born in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, in 1929, and began the practice of Aikido in 1946 under the direct instruction of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. In 1966 Tohei Sensei was awarded the title Shihan (Teacher of teachers). We strive to train with the inspiration of Tohei Shihan’s legacy and endeavor to learn from the teachings of the USAF’s current instructors, led by Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan.