Brandon Needham Sensei is a GoDan (5th Degree Black Belt) in Aikido and was given the title of Shidoin by John Araujo Shihan of the Bushido TenShin Aikido Federation.  He is the DojoCho and Chief Instructor of Aikido of Benton County Bushido TenShin Dojo in Richland, Washington and has been studying Aikido for over 20 years.


Michael, Shodan, began studying aikido in 1993 under Paul Martin Sensei and continued under his son Todd Martin Sensei for a total of seven years and obtained the rank of second kyu. Both of them are affiliated with United States Aikido Federation (USAF). He graduated from college and moved out of state unable to continue his study of Aikido. After returning from deployment, he returned to Aikido in 2015 joining Aikido of Benton County under the instruction of Brandon Needham Sensei.

John is a shodan and joined Aikido of Benton county in 2013.  Having no prior Aikido experience he embraced the Bushido Tenshin Aikido method and immediately knew it was what he was looking for.  John has remained very dedicated and vigilant in his Aikido training and applies it to his daily life.

John is the dojo manager and assists with instruction and other facets of dojo operations.

Mike obtained his Shodan directly from Brandon Needham Sensei, and he is currently assisting with instruction of the adult program.

Vuong started practicing Aikido in 1993 in Hochiminh City, Vietnam under the Hochiminh City Aikikai Federation.  He earned his Shodan in 1997 then practiced for another year then stopped to focus on his career. In 2001 Vuong came to the us, but in 2017 his destiny lead him back to Aikido at Akido of Benton County with Brandon Needham Sensei. Vuong was accepted as a student and has been training with us ever since.  Vuong is currently a Shodan and assists with teaching regular classes.




Sensei Needham has trained with several Aikido instructors and high-ranking Shihan over the years including: Bernie Lau Sensei, Frank Ani Sensei, Jim Eggleston Sensei, Fujiko Gardner Sensei, Mike Bissonette Sensei, Luis Santos Shihan and Hiroshi Isoyama Shihan among many others.

In 2002 while training at the Tacoma Aiki Dojo he attended an Aikido seminar with one of Steven Seagal Shihan's students, who showcased Seagal Shihan's more martial approach to Aikido.  Needham Sensei fully embraced this method and studied this approach to Aikido exclusively after being introduced to it.

Sensei Needham then moved to Eastern Washington after many years of Aikido study and opened his first Aikido Dojo.

In early 2014 Needham Sensei broke ties with his old dojo and association,  and was accepted into the Bushido TenShin Aikido Federation. He is now a Direct student of John Araujo Shihan.  Aikido Of Benton County was then established as an official Bushido TenShin Dojo and was re-named Aikido Of Benton County Bushido TenShin Dojo.  Sensei Needham travels to Araujo Shihan's dojo several times a year to train and recertify his skill set.

In July of 2015, Needham Sensei was appointed as the Vice President ​of the Bushido Tenshin Aikido Federation.