Our Instructors

Eddie Frager, Dojo-Cho, Chief Instructor
Yondan (4th dan)

Eddie Frager is the founder and chief instructor of Bridgetown Aikido. He is a second generation Aikidoist. His father, Robert Frager  (7th degree black belt), trained with the Founder of Aikido in the 1960s in Tokyo, and has been practicing Aikido for over 50 years. Edward has practiced Aikido since he was a child. He traveled to Shingu, Japan when he was 16 to train with Hikitsuchi Sensei (10th degree black belt). In 1996 Eddie became a personal student of Aikido master Kato Sensei (8th degree black belt). Edward had the unique experience of traveling to Kato Sensei’s dojo in Tokyo and taking his black belt exam there.    

Eddie’s Bridgetown Aikido Dojo is a thriving community, dedicated to development of body, mind and spirit. Eddie runs one of the largest and  most innovative children’s Aikido programs in the Pacific Northwest.

After a successful career as a commercial real estate broker, Eddie decided to completely change his life in order to be of greater service to the community. He started Bridgetown Aikido in order to teach children and adults the spiritual principles and martial practices of Aikido. Aikido practice is based on non-competition and nonviolence.  Aikido develops our capacity to remain centered, calm, balanced and focused—under the challenges and stresses of our busy daily lives.

Eddie believes strongly in the ideals of the Founder of Aikido.  According to the Founder the first aim of Aikido is to develop ourselves as human beings; the higher aim is to use our energies and capacities  to work for greater peace within ourselves, our families, and our community.

Eddie lives in Portland with his three young sons, who are all Aikido students.


Simran Gleason – Aikikai (Nidan, 2nd degree black belt) 

Simran started training with Frank Doran at Stanford and Aikido West  in 1983, and received his shodan in 1993. Around 2005 he began training  at Suginami Aikikai in San Francisco, in Kato Hiroshi Sensei’s organization. He teaches basics with emphasis on finding the principles inside the techniques. 

Ben Hess – Aikikai (Shodan, 1st degree black belt)

Brad Vachal

Brad was born and raised in the Portland/Vancouver area. Locally he’s well known as a longtime DJ and record aficionado. He first practiced martial arts as a teen, after being inspired, like many of generation, by Bruce Lee movies. Interest was reignited, when taking Aikido family class with his  young son, before eventually becoming a full time student himself. Brad  is also a long time yoga practitioner.