Aikido of South Florida
Stephanie Yap Sensei
Yap Sensei 1
Yap Sensei 2
Yap Sensei 3
Stephanie Yap Sensei

About the instructor

Aikido of South Florida was founded by Stephanie Yap Sensei who has earned a 7th degree black belt and the Menkyo Kaiden in Aiki-Ken and Aiki-Jo, awarded to her by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan. After graduating from the School of Engineering and Design in Miami, FL, Sensei Yap engaged in becoming a long term uchideshi (live in apprentice) to Morihiro Saito Sensei, one of the highest ranking and most prestigious aikidoists in the world. This initial training as uchideshi under Morihiro Saito Sensei has subsequently been enhanced by annual training sessions, accumulating numerous years spent living and training in Iwama, Japan. Throughout her many years of dedication and diligence to the Saito Family, Sensei Yap, a member of Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shurenkai, has achieved the honor of being the highest ranking female in the organization.

A dedicated tutor, Stephanie Yap Sensei remains under the auspices of Hitohiro Saito Sensei since the passing of Morihiro Saito Sensei in 2002. She has traveled extensively throughout the world providing seminars in Korea, Mongolia, France, Scotland, Germany and South America, to name a few. Sensei Yap has also the privilege of being involved with AHAN, a non-profit organization which is a humanitarian organization serving the underprivileged and charities worldwide.

For several years, Sensei Yap, with the direction, organization and guidance from Gakku Homa Sensei (Founder of AHAN), has been involved in the raising of food, financial aid, medical supplies and other provisions to charities around the world. These establishments include Children with Cancer, Children's Burn Center, Children's Orphanages and homeless shelters. All the proceeds raised from Sensei Yap's seminars in affiliation with AHAN are directly provided to the organization delegated. Through these humanitarian efforts and she has realized ,first hand, the power of using aikido as a tool to truly reconcile the world, one step at a time.

In addition to her credentials, Sensei Yap has the experience of not only training annually at the Iwama Dojo, accumulating numerous years as uchideshi, but she also instructed the Hollywood, Ft Lauderdale Police Department, and the Fort Lauderdale S.W.A.T team in a series of seminars formatted towards their specific needs.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recognition from the Korean Aikido Foundation for the donation made from the Korean fundraiser seminar for the betterment of aikido in Korea, hosted by the Korean Aikido Association. Nippon Kan's Homma Kancho and Stephanie Yap were presented plaques of recognition honoring community service and humanitarian activities. Sensei Yap was the first female Aikido instructor to teach a seminar in Korea.
  • Recognition Certificate from the Children's Miracle Network for the donations provided towards the MRIs, heart repairs, bone marrow transplants and beds needed for the Intensive Care Units.
  • Recognition from AHAN for the donation made from the Ulaanbatar, Mongolia fundraiser seminar towards the Zorig Foundation's scholarship program, hosted by Wolf Aikido Club and the Mongolia Aikikai. Nippon Kan presented Stephanie Yap a plaque of recognition honoring community service and humanitarian activities. Sensei Yap was the first female Aikido instructor to visit Mongolia to conduct a seminar.
  • Recognition from AHAN and Denver Rescue Mission for the donation made from the fundraiser seminar for the homeless in Denver, CO. Nippon Kan presented Stephanie Yap with a plaque of recognition honoring community service and humanitarian activities.
  • Recognition from AHAN, Obra del Berco and LAR Beneficiente AMAR for the donation made from the Brazil fundraiser seminar for these children orphanages. Nippon Kan, presented Stephanie Yap a plaque of recognition honoring community service and humanitarian activities.
  • Recognition from Casa de la Amistad for the donation made from the fundraiser seminar for children with cancer in Mexico, hosted by Mexico Aikido Takemusu Aiki. Nippon Kan, Homma Kancho and Stephanie Yap were presented plaques of recognition honoring community service and humanitarian activities.
  • 2nd Recognition award for the support of the Arts from the Florida Martial Arts Association. Stephanie Yap was presented a plaque for her support to the martial arts community by Sifu Andrew Chung at their annual convention.
  • 1st Recognition award for the support of the Arts from the Florida Martial Arts Association. Stephanie Yap was presented a plaque for her support to the martial arts community by Sifu Andrew Chung at their annual convention.