Knut Bauer began training
briefly in Aikido in 1976, as a member of the Illini Aikikai under the
direction of Jo Birdsong Sensei. After a two year hiatus, he began
training in 1980 under Akira Tohei Sensei, with whom he trained until
Tohei Sensei’s passing in 1999. Since that time, he has trained under the
direction of Y. Yamada Sensei, who promoted him to 6th Dan in 2017. Bauer
Sensei is also a Shidoin (certified instructor) in the United States
Aikido Federation.In addition to his training under Tohei Sensei and
Yamada Sensei, Bauer Sensei has also been greatly influenced by Clyde
Takeguchi Sensei, and has had the great privilege of attending numerous
seminars and summer camps over the last 35 years taught by some of the
greatest aikido teachers in the world, including the second and third
Doshu, Osawa Sensei, Shirata Sensei, Frank Doran Sensei, Chiba Sensei,
Sugano Sensei, and many others.

Bauer Sensei has been teaching 3 or 4 classes per week at Central Illinois
Aikikai since 1981, and was appointed Chief Instructor in September of

Dean Karres was introduced to Aikido in 1988 by Lamar
Sanders Sensei (a student of Clyde Takeguchi Shihan) in Columbia, SC. Since
then he has studied in dojos affiliated with Fumio Toyoda Shihan, Hiroshi
Ikeda Shihan and Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. He has been a student of Knut
Bauer Sensei at Central Illinois Aikikai since 2003. He received the rank
of Nidan in 2016 and the title of Fukushidoin in 2018.

Julio Soares started his Aikido practice at Central
Illinois Aikikai under the supervision of Knut Bauer Sensei, 6th Dan, in
October 1998. Moving to Brazil in 2002 he joined the Federação Paulista de
Aikido (FEPAI) and continued to study Aikido under the guidance of Paulo
Nakamura Sensei, 6th Dan. In 2004 he returned to Champaign-Urbana where he
re-joined Central Illinois Aikikai. He obtained his Shodan (1st Dan) in
2010. He is currently the lead instructor of the Central Illinois Aikikai
Youth Program. He works as a Research Scientist for the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the Materials Research Laboratory. His
hobbies, besides Aikido, include: camping, ping-pong, and the game of Go.