The Stanford Aikido Club was founded in 1972 by Frank Doran Shihan.
Doran Sensei has a long and varied background in the martial arts that began with his enrollment in a judo dojo in 1955. A former United States Marine hand-to-hand combat instructor and police defensive tactics instructor, he has studied a variety of martial arts.
In 1959 he began formal Aikido practice, and has since trained and continues to train under many of Japan's shihan (master teachers). Aikido is his primary discipline and way of life.
In 1974, Doran Sensei founded the Aikido West dojo in Redwood City, California, where he continues to serve as chief instructor.
An internationally known and respected teacher, Doran Sensei is a frequent guest instructor at training seminars throughout the United States and abroad.
Stressing that Aikido is Budo – a way of life that seeks to polish the self through a blend of rigorous physical training and spiritual discipline – his classes emphasize a balance between effective technique and the ethical and philosophical aspects of Aikido.
His current rank of 8th dan was awarded in January 2017 by Aikido Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba (grandson of the founder of aikido) at the Hombu Dojo, World Aikido Headquarters, Tokyo.
Doran Sensei was chief instructor of the Stanford Aikido Club until 2008. He still returns to Stanford regularly to teach as a guest instructor.