A closer look at Lewallen Sensei

Cody Lewallen has been a student of martial arts for well over 20 years, more than half of that time in Japan. As a teenager he studied many styles including Kenpo, Ninjutsu, Jujutsu, Hwa Rang Do, Karate, Iaido and Kenjutsu. He researched extensively trying to find a martial art that was personally fulfilling. Aikido became his passion which led to moving to Japan right after graduating from college. Cody moved to Japan to study Aikido before his degree was mailed to him.

Lewallen Sensei earned his black belt in Aikido at the Aikido Tenshin Dojo, the school founded by Miyako Fujitani and action star Steven Seagal. He stayed in Japan, a loyal student of his teacher Fujitani Shihan and her Uchi Deshi Satoshi Nakamichi Shihan for over 11 years. In fact, because he learned to speak Japanese during his lengthy stay in Japan, he not only studied Aikido and weaponry from Fujitani Shihan, she also became his mentor and spiritual teacher.  Because of his intensive study in Osaka at the Tenshin Dojo, and his continued practice, 19 years later Lewallen Sensei was awarded a 5th degree black belt in Aikido. There are thousands of “5th degree black belts” in other martial arts out there, but at the Tenshin Dojo, keeping to the tradition and the full meaning of that rank, Cody Lewallen is only one of a hand full of students to reach that rank from the Tenshin Dojo.  He also has black belts in Sword, Stick, and Knife Fighting.

During this adventurous time, Lewallen Sensei studied, Shinto, Oomoto, Zen philosophies, and the Kototama. These esoteric philosophies are usually impossible to study first-hand by a non-Japanese -not only because of the language barrier, but also because of the inherent intricacies of these ideologies being embedded deeply within the Japanese culture. Even today, Lewallen Sensei continues the traditions he started over a decade ago in Japan, chanting ancient Shinto and Oomoto prayers daily. Some of the more lucky students have accompanied Lewallen Sensei on his treks to do Misogi (Purification ritual) in the waterfall and mountains.

Complimenting these many years in Japan, Lewallen Sensei also has a degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona.

Lewallen Sensei instructed American Naval & Air Force personnel stationed in Japan in Aikido, stick, sword and knife fighting. He put his skills to the test while managing the security team at the largest social club in Tokyo. There he had the opportunity to confirm his technique and experience its effectiveness. After witnessing Lewallen Sensei’s calm demeanor and masterful qualities during those days of battling the Japanese mafia and other random ruffians in the club, many of his security team joined his martial arts school. He is one of the few authentic masters that not only teaches martial technique, but ancient wisdom and life lessons learned from studying in Japan, the birthplace of Aikido.

Feedback & Reviews

What Lewallen Sensei’s actual students think:

“As an existing Aikido teacher, I was confident in my martial abilities and technique. However I am always looking to improve. I found the Shoubu Dojo online course that suposedly teaches the Tenshin Aikido technique and was very curious but didn’t want to spend any extra money for my martial arts training. But, with the free trial at sign-up, it was easy for me to try it out. I am so happy I did! Lewallen Sensei’s technique is unbelievable. He was able to show me all the mistakes I was making. I look back and think “wow, I have learned so much since joining!” I watch the class videos every morning before work and let them resonate with me throughout the day, then I put them into practice at my dojo later that night. It is the best decision I have made in a long time. Thank you Lewallen Sensei!”

Francisco Silva

“Recently while performing my duties as a Loss Prevention Officer with a major retailer, I was attacked by a shoplifter. After 15 years in this industry this can be a common occurrence where you have to fight to defend yourself. What was different about this encounter was my ability to use the Aikido training taught by Cody Sensei that helped resolve the situation quickly, with the least amount of force necessary, with no harm to myself or the shoplifter. The shoplifter admitted to the police as they took him to jail that he fought to get away, but was taken down so fast that he just decided it was easier and safer for himself to give up. Cody Sensei has worked in the security industry and understands the volatile nature of this profession and teaches remaining calm under pressure as well as confidence in your aikido training. Anyone who is in the security or Law Enforcement field owes it to themselves and their loved ones to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to train with a true aikido Master, Cody Lewallen Sensei.”

Sean Thornhill

“Tenshin Online is the internet’s best kept secret. Having studied in martial arts myself for over 13 years, I was critical about the potential for learning traditional martial arts effectively. I knew however that Steven Seagal’s technique was very impressive. Thanks to his fluency in both Japanese and Aikido, Cody Lewallen Sensei has not only an understanding of the art for himself as a skilled practitioner, but has the ability to communicate the art’s meaning eloquently, pragmatically, and concisely-a truly unique trait in a teacher these days. The result is a fast-paced class focused on more doing than talking where student growth and proficiency are the inevitable outcomes of consistent practice and simply following Cody Lewallen Sensei‘s lead.” 

Dov Diamond

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