Okamato Sensei began her training in 1977 at Hombu Dojo, mainly under the late Kissyomaru Ueshiba Doshu until 1979, and then continued training in France with Christian Tissier Shihan from 1979 to 1981. After returning to Hombu Dojo in 1981, she primarily followed the late Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan until her departure for the United States in 1989. She has also studied with I. Shibata, Hombu Dojo Shihan and present Chief Instructor at Berkeley Aikikai in California. She founded Portland Aikikai in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Chris Mulligan Sensei in 1990. She returned to Japan in 2003 and started Aikido Kyoto for the Japanese and international community of Kyoto.
"Our job as instructors is to give our students the hope, the dream, some kind of spark."
--- Yoko Okamoto Sensei