About Our Instructors
Ken Nisson, 6th Dan
Chief Instructor, Aikido
Ken Nisson, Sensei is Chief Instructor at Aikido of Modesto since 2004. Over the years, O’Sensei has trained a large number of students, many of whom have grown into great teachers in their own right. Some of them were uchideshi, or live-in students. Ken Nisson Sensei was a student and greatly influenced by three of O’Sensei’s uchideshis. He began Judo training in 1958. In 1961, while in the Air Force Reserve, Mr. Nisson assisted in teaching the Strategic Air Command Judo Team. After leaving military duty, in 1964, Nisson Sensei began Aikido training under Koichi Tohei, Sensei, the only 10th dan awarded by Ueshiba and approved by Aikikai. Nisson Sensei was awarded shodan by Yoshimitsu Yamada, Sensei in 1967. In 1976 Ken Nisson began his training and long association with Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan and affiliation with Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). He was awarded 6th Dan by Saotome Sensei in 2012.
In the summer of 1973, Ken Nisson, along with Terry Dobson, Sensei, co-founded Vermont Aikido, in Burlington, Vermont. Also in 1973, they co-founded the Bond Street Dojo in New York City. In 1980, Mr. Nisson devoted most of his time to The Aikido of Vermont dojo, and remained as Dojo Cho until 2001. During this twenty-year period Mr. Nisson also taught seminars at Bond Street Dojo, Palisades Aikido Club, and many other dojos throughout the United States. Besides his dedication to Aikido, Mr. Nisson has studied art all his life, and works as an Artist. Mr. Nisson has his artwork displayed in many home and corporate collections and fine galleries around the country.
Anna Davis, 3rd Dan
Instructor, Aikido and Certified Personal Trainer
Anna began her aikido training in 1997. She currently holds rank of Sandan, 3rd Degree Black Belt. She loves being a student first and foremost, approaching each discipline with a beginner’s mind. Anna’s interest lies in attending seminars and workshops in aikido, fitness, and yoga. She completed Yoga Teacher’s Training at The Yoga Tree in San Francisco, California in January 2015.
As a fitness enthusiast and professional, Anna is certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Senior Fitness Specialist. She is also a TRX qualified trainer in suspension and RIP training.
Brandon Guerra, 2nd Dan
Chief Instructor, Shaolin Kung Fu and Instructor, Aikido
Brandon Guerra is an instructor for our Junior’s Program and Adult Basic’s class. He also teaches Aikido and Kung Fu for kids as well as Womens Self-Defense through Modesto Junior College’s community extension program. He has had over 20 years of martial arts experience, including karate, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shaolin Kung Fu and Aikido. Brandon has spent time training in China and Japan.
Brandon has been a student of Aikido of Modesto for the past ten years and has earned the rank of Nidan in 2011. Brandon says, “I love Aikido because it offers a non-violent alternative for resolving conflict.”
Brandon recently returned from China where he continues his training in Shaolin Kung Fu.