Renée Bean Sensei began her martial arts training in 1983 doing Tae Kwon Do here in Columbus Ohio with Sunny Graff. After Graff Sensei left Columbus Renée began training in Tang Soo Do with Melanie Fine Sensei under Maynard Stanley Shihan in Cincinnati. She received her black belt in 1988 and continued to train in Tang Soo Do until 1990.
In 1990 she discovered "the peaceful martial art" of aikido at Aikido of Columbus, the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) dojo of Paul Linden Sensei and Peggy Berger Sensei. With additional guidance from Cincinnati's Charlie McGinnis Sensei she earned her shodan in 1999. She went on to earn her yondan (4th degree black belt) in 2011.
Looking to expand her internal practice she left Aikido of Columbus to train in the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) system under Claude Geeroms Sensei at Aikido School of Central Ohio. While there she enjoyed expanding her awareness with the influences of Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan and Mary Heiny Sensei.
While at Aikido of Columbus she had the privilege of training with Larry E. Bieri 7th dan, Shihan. She has always appreciated his clear, concise movements and wealth of budo knowledge. Bieri Sensei also trains in koryu, traditional Japanese weapons arts. She was lucky enough to be introduced to Shinto Muso Ryu Jo (stick art) in 1993 by Bieri Sensei. She continues to train in this art and other koryu under Phil Relnick Sensei, who awarded her Okuiri-sho in Shinto Muso Ryu Jo in 2002.
"Aikido gives me an opportunity to work on how I interact with people," Renée says. "Connection, and centering, and being in harmony with people---That's what I try to work on when I'm on the mat."