Michael Friedl is a 6th degree black belt in Aikido. He is also a Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in Shorei/Kempo Karate. Friedl Sensei began his Aikido training in 1972 under Clyde Takeguchi Sensei in Madison, Wisconsin. Friedl Sensei became a live-in student (also known as a uchi deshi) for Takeguchi Sensei from 1975-1977 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1978 Friedl Sensei established a dojo in Burlington, Vermont. He moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1979 and started a small club in which both Bob Peterson and Kate Nehrbrass were members. Friedl Sensei affiliated with Frank Doran Sensei in 1979 and has been a student of his since that time. Friedl Sensei was uchi deshi for Saito Sensei in Iwama, Japan from 1981-1983. There he studied weapons intensely and the Iwama style of weapons remains a strong influence in his weapons style to this day. Friedl Sensei returned to Ashland in 1986 and started a dojo at the Ashland YMCA in 1987. In July of 1994 Aikido of Ashland opened it's doors to dojo members. Friedl Sensei is a member of the Teaching Committee of the California Aikido Association.
Aikido of Ashland opened in March of 1995 with a celebratory seminar from March 24-26. Below are pictured some of the instructors who were present. From left to right, Hugh Young Sensei of Utah Aikikai; Michael Friedl Sensei of Aikido of Ashland; Mike Namura Sensei of Milwaukee Aikido Club; Clyde Takeguchi Sensei of Capitol Aikikai, Silver Springs MD.; Frank Doran Sensei of Aikido West, Redwood City, CA.; and Craig Fife Sensei of Aikido Northwest, Portland, OR. The opening seminar was attended by over 100 guests.
Aikido of Ashland belongs to the California Aikido Association (CAA). The CAA is dedicated to the promotion of Aikido in the greater northern California area. It is an association of dojos, clubs, and individuals who seek to uphold the traditions and ideals of Aikido and provide a forum for their expression. The Association is recognized as an official organization by the Zaidan Hojin Aikikai ("the Aikikai or Hombu Dojo") located in Tokyo, Japan. The CAA communicates with Hombu Dojo and other Aikido organizations on behalf of its members. This official status enables the association to obtain Dan (black belt) rankings for its members. There are three Divisions that comprise the CAA.