Established 1975

College of Lake County
19351 West Washington Street - Building 7, Room 706 - Grayslake, IL 60030

line decor
line decor

The history of The Lake County Aikikai, The Chicago Aikikai, and Charles Tseng Sensei are intertwined. Tseng Sensei was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. He studied at Taiwan University, and then came to the United States for his graduate study at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. As a student, Tseng Sensei studied T'ai Chi in Taiwan.

While attending the Ginza Festival in Chicago during August 1970, Tseng Sensei saw an Aikido demonstration given by Takahashi Sensei. His interest prompted him to join the Illinois Aikido Club (now The Chicago Aikikai) in Chicago during September 1970.

In January 1972 Tseng Sensei visited Hombu dojo where he met Akira Tohei Sensei and Fujida Sensei. Tohei Sensei was invited to instruct at the Illinois Aikido Club in April 1972. Three years later Tseng Sensei received the rank of Shodan from Tohei Sensei.


Charles Tseng Sensei started his dojo which became known as the Lake County Aikikai in September of 1975 at the Lake County YMCA in Mundelein. Over the years he has actively recruited his students including many who came from his place of business. His first lesson began with a class of 15.

In December of 1975 Tseng Sensei traveled with 10 people from the Illinois Aikido Club to visit Saotome Sensei during the Sarasota, Florida winter camp. This event was the illinois Aikido Club's first contact with Saotome Sensei. In May of 1976, Saotome Sensei visited the Lake County Aikikai at the YMCA in Mundelein. The Lake County Aikikai moved to the campus of College of Lake County in January 1977 where the classes became part of the college curriculum.

In February of 1977 Tseng Sensei received his Nidan rank while studying under Saotome Sensei and Suzuki Sensei in Chicago. He continued his study under Saotome Sensei and in January 1984 he received his Sandan rank, in 1986 his Yondan rank , Godan in 1988, and Rokudan rank in 1998. Charles Tseng Sensei currently holds the rank of Nanadan (7th degree black belt) which he recently recieved in 2017. His promotion was recognized by the Aikikai Hombu (World Aikido Headquarters) at their annual 2017 Kagami Biraki celebration.

Today the Lake County Aikikai is still located at the College of Lake County. The Aikikai continues to grow with new beginners each semester.


Nanadan(7th degree) Rank Certificate
Lake County Aikikai - Serving Lake County Illinois for over 40 years