Chief Instructor

Coryl Crane
7th dan, Shihan

Coryl Crane began her Aikido training in 1978 while at the University of California, San Diego, where she was studying for a visual arts degree. In 1981 Aikido became a stronger focus in her life when she commenced studying with T.K. Chiba Shihan (master teacher), one of the world's most respected Aikido masters. Chiba Shihan had just moved to San Diego from Japan. He remains her teacher to this day.

Click here to read Crane Sensei's interview with Biran.

From 1981, Aikido training became an integral part of her life while working as a stained glass artist. (Her work can be seen in many residences and businesses throughout California.) But with the birth of her son in 1988, the balance of her life changed. Art-making gave way to raising a child, and although her Aikido practice was, for a time, at a minimum, her commitment to it never waivered. As her son grew, she wove Aikido back into her everyday life, this time as a teacher. In April of 1991, she founded the North County Aikikai, renting a room in a nearby church. The school has since grown into its present, large and airy facility in Solana Beach.
Crane Sensei is a 7th degree black and was awarded the title of Shihan in the New Year of 2008. She is a certified instructor of Birankai North America, and has long been involved in its organization. Her study of the martial arts also includes Iaido, the art of Japanese swordsmanship and Zazen sitting meditation. Aikido has taken her to Europe, where she has taught in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Australia. She is co-author with artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw, of Aikido Conversations in Drawings and Words, published in 1999.


Dear Crane Sensei,

I am sending you this book [How to be Happy NOW ... even if things aren't going your way.] because one of my students used to study with you when she lived in San Diego. She said you were a wonderful teacher and that the experience was life changing. I just looked at your website and the energy that comes out of it is so amazing.

I hope you enjoy.

Best, Sara