Octavio Piña is the Head Instructor of the Aikikai Aikido of Las Cruces Dojo and he began studying Aikido in 2006 at the city of Chihuahua, Mexico looking for a martial art with a philosophy focused on peace and not violence. He has attended Aikido Seminars in Australia, Japan, Mexico and USA. He is a member of the American Aikikai Federation, under the teachings and supervision of Michael Moreno Shihan (7th Dan Aikikai). Mr Pina open Aikikai Aikido of Las Cruces in 2011, giving him the opportunity to share and promote this beautiful martial art. Mr. Pina holds a fourth degree black belt that is recognized by Hombu Dojo in Japan as well as a Shidoin-level (insturctor) certification through American Aikikai Federation.
Trisha Rude began studying traditional Aikido in Tucson, Arizona in 1998 under the direction of Judith Robinson Sensei. Over the past two decades she has continued to practice Aikido, developing a deep love and appreciation for the art. In 2004, she moved to Farmington, New Mexico and began teaching Aikido classes at San Juan College. She later opened a small dojo in Aztec, New Mexico and taught there before moving to Las Cruces in 2015. Ms. Rude holds a third degree black belt that is recognized by Hombu Dojo in Japan as well as a Fukushidoin-level (assistant teacher) certification through Takemusu Aikido Association. She keeps a strong relationship with her original teacher Judith Robinson who is chief instructor at the Aikido at the Center dojo in Tucson. Ms. Rude is skilled in Iwama-style Aikido including use of two traditional Aikido weapons, the wooden sward (bokken) and staff (jo).