Henry Smith Shihan, from Yamada Sensei

I am very sad to have received the news about the passing of Henry Smith.  As one of my old time students at NY Aikikai, and now a Shihan in the USAF with his own dojo for many years, he as been a part of my life for a very long time.  Henry was always involved in so many interesting things, and he positively influenced so many people.  I know he has a family that was very dear to him, and many students who will now have to continue on without him. This is never easy, but we must try to remember his spirit, his generosity, and his smile. This will help us all get through this difficult time together.


A Message Regarding Henry Smith Shihan by Aikikai of Philadelphia

We are sorry to report that on Sunday May 12th Henry Smith Shihan drowned while swimming off the coast of Turkey, where he had recently led a week-long Aikido retreat. His Spirit, guidance, and expertise will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of training with him over the years. For Further information please visit the Aikikai of Philadelphia Facebook page we will updated as we get information.

Information regarding funeral arrangements for Henry Smith Sensei can be found here

Announcement Regarding New Resource for USAF Instructors

Having an in-house reference library based on the experience of USAF instructors is a great way to support each other with tasks that may sometimes seem daunting:  How to come up with new ideas for a brochure, how to define aikido for marketing material, what kind of layout for a pull-tab flier works best, where to find a good insurance company or direct billing company, etc.  There is now a place where you can share your ideas as well as benefit from the contributions of others.

The Filebrowser section of the USAF website is where important USAF documents and information are stored for your easy access.  This is only available to USAF instructors with a login and password.  A new folder has been added to this section, titled USAF Resources. Within this folder are currently 3 sections – Dojo Marketing Material, Insurance Company Referrals, and Direct Billing Referrals.  With your submissions, this section will continue to grow and will hopefully become a wealth of information that can help support USAF member dojos.  The first dojo marketing material document has been upload – a pull-tab flier from Litchfield Hills Aikikai (only pdfs will be uploaded).  You will not be informed each time a new addition is made.

Please email me any materials you would like to share.  If your contribution falls outside the definition of the current folders, than new folders will be made to accommodate your material. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely yours,

Laura Pavlick

Director of Operations

A Message Regarding 2014 From Yamada Sensei

Dear Aikido Friends,

The year of 2014 is going to be a big and meaningful year for me. It will be the half-century anniversary of my time in the United States and of the NY Aikikai.  I know that neither you nor I want to miss such a great opportunity to have a big party and celebrate together.

I had a few ideas to make this celebration an enjoyable one for everyone.

One idea was to use summer camp for the time and location of the celebration, but unfortunately, that will not work out. It will be impossible to accommodate the many people who might come from all over the world.

My second idea was to have a big seminar in New York City. It seemed like a good idea at the beginning, until we found out that there were no big spaces that could handle such a big crowd and provide us with the services we would need, like changing rooms and showers. There were also safety issues and regulations that both public and private places would impose on us and make the number of people who could participate very limited. I would not want to have many people shut out because of such restrictions. I’m very upset about these circumstances but we really have no choice.

So here is my solution: In 2014, I will still conduct my yearly major seminars so I can see you all. Whenever and wherever you see me, just give me a big hug and warm words.

Anyway, we will have a drinking party at the NY Aikikai sometime in June of 2014 and you will all be welcome to attend. I’ll let you know the exact date later in this year.

Thank you for your understanding, your concern and your wish to help me celebrate.

Y. Yamada