Kevin McGough, Chief Instructor
While participating in competitive and sometimes violent sports during his teen years on the Big Island of Hawaii, McGough Sensei often heard of and was intrigued by stories of the unusual powers displayed by Aikido practitioners in the area. After witnessing a few of these events first hand, he became even more curious.
While attending the University of Hawaii, McGough Sensei, accompanied by his now wife Leilani, started training in Aikido in 1979 in a physical education class taught by Takashi Nonaka Sensei and Ramon Goya Sensei. Soon thereafter, having fallen in love with the art, McGough Sensei joined Aikikai of Hilo under Barbara and Robert Klein Sensei students of Akira Tohei Shihan.
In 1987 McGough Sensei spent one year studying under Sadao Yoshioka Shihan in Honolulu. Upon returning to Hilo, McGough Sensei began assisting with teaching duties in the children's program.
He moved to Kohala in 1996 and began studying with Kristina Varjan Shihan and Rikko Varjan Sensei, both students of Kazuo Chiba Shihan.
McGough Sensei received a shidoin teaching certificate from Chiba Sensei of Birankai International in 2007, and currently holds the rank of Godan. His two children, Hollie and Ryan, have also chosen to continue their practice that started in childhood and are both yudansha.
One of McGough Sensei's greatest joys is to be in the Dojo with others, practicing, teaching, and learning. In addition to his Aikido practice he has had a life long interest in energy medicine and hands on healing methods.
Leilani McGough, Assistant Instructor
Leilani started her practice in 1979 along with Kevin Mcgough sensei. Her aikido career closely matches that of McGough sensei as described above, and she currently holds the rank of yondan (4th degree black belt). She instructs junior (ages 9 to 12) and general adult classes.
Ryan McGough, Assistant Instructor
As Kevin and Leilani's son, Ryan started his aikido training before he was born in 1988, but started formally taking class at the age of five. Since then he has trained steadily, and currently holds the rank of Sandan.
Sandra Otero, Assistant Instructor
Sandra began her study of aikido in 2003 at Kohala Aikikai. She also instructs junior (ages 9 to 12) and general adult classes. Sandra currently holds the rank of nidan (2nd degree black belt).