Technical Director: Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros, 7th Dan

Special Dan Grade Committee (TAE's Approved Aikikai Examiners)

Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros, 7th Dan [bio]
Torben Bech Dyrberg, 6th Dan [bio]
Lars Landberg, 6th Dan [bio]

Grading Committee

Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros, 7th Dan [bio]
Torben Bech Dyrberg, 6th Dan [bio]
Lars Landberg, 6th Dan [bio]
Hanspeter Dietz, 5th Dan [bio]
Paul Keessen, 5th Dan [bio]
Arjan de Haan, 5th Dan [bio]
Christian Holst, 5th Dan [bio]
Richard van Berkum, 5th Dan [bio]
Andrea Pfisterer, 5th Dan [bio]
Barbara Ambrus, 4th Dan [bio]

TAE Examination Procedure (pdf-file) (protocol)

Syllabus (pdf-file)

Syllabus (pdf-file, German version)

Syllabus (pdf-file, Spanish version)

Levels of Takemusu Aiki (pdf-file)

Gradings are held at most international camps, please contact our examination secretary to arrange.


Lewis Bernaldo de Quirós trained full-time under Morihiro Saito Sensei (9th Dan) from 1986 to 1993 at the Iwama Dojo in Ibaraki ken Japan. Before beginning his training in Aikido he trained for 8 years in both Judo and Karate (Shotokan Karate under Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei, 9th Dan, in London). During his stay in Japan he also practiced Kyudo (Japanese traditional archery) and Zen. Since his return from Japan he has dedicated himself completely to teaching Aikido and has taught regular national and international seminars through out Europe since 1993. He maintained regular contact with his teacher after returning to Europe, through seminars participating both as an assistant and as a translator, until the death of Morihiro Saito Sensei in 2002. Lewis received the rank of 5th Dan Aikikai from Morihiro Saito Sensei in 1999 and 7th Dan Aikikai from Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba (Hombu Dojo in Tokyo) in 2024. He is currently Technical Director and Aikikai examiner for TAE (Europe).

Torben Bech Dyrberg began Aikido at the age of 15 in 1974 in Copenhagen after training Judo a couple of years. It was a very small group of people training under Takeji Tomita sensei (Stockholm) and his two top students in Sweden, Ulf Evenås and Lasse Anderson (Gothenburg). He was one of the founding members of the Copenhagen Aikido Club in 1975, and has been the co-dojo cho of the club for several years. He has been uchi-deshi in Iwama under Morihiro Saito sensei five times, the first time in 1984, and has received his fifth dan from Saito sensei and sixth dan from Aikikai. He has attended numerous training camps with Saito sensei in Denmark and the rest of Europe, and has taught seminars in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Lars Landberg has trained Aikido since 1979. First with Ulf Evenås and Takeji Tomita Sensei, then directly with Saito Sensei. Lars has been a long-term uchi-dechi at Saito Senseis Iwama Dojo several times, has trained on numerous international camps with Saito Sensei and was heavily involved in the organising of the Summer Camps with Sensei in Denmark. Lars has taught seminars in Ireland, Russia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany, he has co-taught numerous seminars too. Lars recived 5th Dan directly from Saito Sensei, and currently holds a 6th Dan Aikikai. Before starting to train Aikido, Lars trained Judo, Karate (Gensei-ryu), Taido and Jiu Jitsu. Lars is currently the co-dojo cho of the Copenhagen Aikido Club and teaches adults and kids.

Hanspeter Dietz began his Aikido training in 1992 with Roland Spitzbarth Sensei in Zurich. In 1995 he was uchi deshi (live-in student) under the late Morihiro Saito Sensei in Iwama for several months. Since 1998 Hanspeter Dietz has been a student of Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Shihan. He attended many seminars with Morihiro Saito Sensei in Europe and co-organized seminars with him and his son Hitohiro Saito Sensei in Switzerland. Hanspeter Dietz has been teaching Aikido since 1996 and is running the Kokoro Dojo Zurich since 2014 together with Andrea Pfisterer and Anita Stooss.

Paul Keessen started his training in 1995 in the Netherlands under the guidance of Marga Tupang and Bram de Blécourt (3rd Dan). After attending various seminars of Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Shihan, he became a student of Lewis in 2005. In addition, Paul was a live in student (uchi deshi) with Patrick Cassidy Sensei (2000), Hiroki Nemoto Sensei (2006) and Kayla Feder Sensei (2014). Currently, Paul is chairman of Takemusu Aikido Kyokai the Netherlands and chief instructor at the Weesp dojo in the Netherlands. In addition, he is busy with setting up a dojo in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Arjan de Haan started Aikido at the age of 16. This was in 1990 at Bram de Blécourt in Hilversum. This lasted until 1993 when Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros came to the Netherlands. In the summer of 1996 he was an uchi-deshi (resident student) in Iwama for six weeks, and the following year he obtained his Shodan (black belt) from Lewis. He started teaching in 1992 as a co-instructor in children's lessons and has taught since then. From 2000 to 2005 he lived in Sweden where he trained and taught in Stockholm and later in Linköping. In 2006, in addition to the lesson provided by Lewis, he started with beginners lessons in Naarden. Five years later he became Dojo-Cho van Naarden and thus responsible for all lessons. In 2015, the dojo moved to Weesp and merged with groups from Hilversum and Amsterdam, expanding the teaching team from two to four instructors. In 2017. He has taught seminars in the Netherlands, England, Switzerland and Argentina, Arjan was awarded the rank of Godan (5th Dan). Currently Arjan is a boardmember of TAKN.

Christian Holst Christian Holst started Aikido in 1982 at the age of 17 and took his Shodan in 1989 before he began practicing Takemusu Aikido under the late Edmund Kern Sensei. Christian received Ni-Dan and San-Dan Iwama- Ryu from Saito Sensei and from 2010 on his main teacher became Ulf Evenas. Additionally he visited numerous seminars conducted by Morihiro Saito Sensei, Hitohiro Saito Sensei, Shigemi Inagaki Sensei, Nemoto Sensei, Pat Hendricks, Bernice Tom and other Saito deshi, before he got to know Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros and joined TAE. Christian started to teach Aikido in 1988 and together with Dagmar Lackinger he founded Takemusu Aiki Dojo Griesheim in 1998. Today two of their students run their own dojos in Magdeburg and Bad König. Over the years there were more than 50 seminars he taught in Germany and Austria.

Richard van Berkum Richard started his martial arts career as a young boy in judo. When he moved to The Hague for his study as a P.E. he transferred to Aikido under Dick de Wit sensei. As his Aikido path continued he was introduced to Iwama ryu Aikido and followed an uchi deshi program under Tony Sargeant sensei in Cambridge. Back in the Netherlands Richard started teaching P.E. and studied Iwama ryu in Hilversum where he took his shodan test. It was at that time that he continued the dojo with a few other students for 7 year to keep training. During this time Richard got introduced to Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros sensei and started following seminars and classes. When the dojo of Lewis sensei moved to the east of the Netherlands Richard started training and teaching under his supervision. In 2014 Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros sensei moved to Spain and Richard took over the dojo. He started teaching full time until present day. To keep up to date Richard visits Lewis sensei in Spain as much as possible and joins seminars and summer camps.

Andrea Pfisterer has been training aikido since 1995. First in Holland with Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Sensei and then with Hanspeter Dietz in Switzerland. She studied under Morihiro Saito Sensei during a 6 week uchideshi stay in Iwama and whenever Saito Sensei was giving seminars in Europe. In 2003 Andrea was sotodeshi in Kobe with Shingo Nakao Sensei for 6 months. She is continuously developing and participating in international seminars. Andrea has been teaching aikido since 2000 and co-founded the Kokoro Dojo in Zurich in 2014, where she teaches adults and children. She has taught in seminars in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK and is teaching workshops for musicians and dancers together with her husband Nik Bärtsch.

Barbara Ambrus began her Aikido training in 1991 in Tübingen at the university Aikido group, where she first encountered Takemusu Aikido. After moving, Barbara tried out several Aikido styles. She attended her first four-day seminar with Morihiro Saito Sensei in May 1993. This completely convinced her to continue with Takemusu Aikido. So she went to the Malmsheim Takemusu Aikido group and parallel trained in an Aikikai Germany group. Barbara attended many Saito Sensei seminars in Europe as well as seminars by his students and by other Aikikai teachers. Barbara has been teaching Aikido since 2002, has held local seminars and instructs currently in three dojos.