Archives for 2017

Notes from Camp

At my first USAF Summer Camp, I have a singular experience. Instructors create a groundwork of training, and elicit spiritual development on a collective level. As fellow practitioners, we initiate each other with hard skill but exude tenderness. I bring back both learning and a bond of presence to my home dojo. Here I share impressions of the merciful correction I received.

Every day is an in-depth exploration of a basic technique. Without stopping, each instructor begins with a rote movement and unwinds its mental cords, examining them, and tying them together in a novel way. This is refreshing and expansive to me, as I strive to maintain an athletic pace and rebuild my functional basis. The assortment and volume of classes each day give me remarkable possibilities, if I can only keep up! Utmost exertion with complete surrender to development of the art is an exhilarating feeling.

My background emphasizes ukemi and weapons proficiency, but I benefit by focusing on fundamentals, on reasons for body positioning and how to move with finality in a small amount of space. I know well that movement originates from weapon form, yet to see it permeate every mechanism and have it reinforced on a daily level is eye-opening.

Execution and reception of each movement is a demonstraton in spiritual growth. With each arc of an iriminage or kotegaeshi, openings close and with forceful tenchinage uke demonstrates how to meet one’s end. However, real progress is hand-to-hand: in a safe structure, we sharpen each other by mutually striking, taking layers of rigidity from our partner. We sweat together, polish each other, and heal one another’s hearts.

A diverse and well-trained community informs and corrects me. At dinner and in the hallway, I find fellows to scrutinize discrepancies in technique and consider fine points of attack and response.   Many women are quite strict about solid form and stance. To resist those who are bigger and stronger, I better know what I’m doing. There is also a strong Senior Citizen cohort with decades of experience to reconstruct my concept of Aikido. I also feel the joy of an intense weapons interaction where my partner strikes boldly as a gentleman and I reply with ladylike composure.

The teachers are examples of dignity. Awe-inspiring and controlled, they stride across the mat and command attention with every movement. They choose ukes who broaden my view of who qualifies as a human; I feel my heart expanding with each new demonstration. The teachers give of themselves so liberally yet amazingly still draw breath at the end of class, although it is obvious they are enjoying themselves.

On the mat, our movement as an organic whole is almost transcendent. As a flock of sparrows with a single leader, we launch into motion at a single bow from our instructor; turning in a circular path of technique—traveling, changing, returning and resting in seiza, with hearts singing that we are alive. The 6:30 a.m. class for me is like attending a heartfelt worship service. It feels as if we are passing through another world.

I am within a tapestry of support, I feel well taken care of by a healthy community. My roommate, a sandan, allows me space to “do my own thing” but supports me well when accomplishing tasks I can’t do myself, such as understanding weapons education structure, or a Monday night trip to the laundromat! A teacher also challenges the way I absorb attacks and elevates my sincerity of correction in daily life, making me stronger and more fluent in the art. I see familiar instructors and fellow martial artists, gathered for the purpose of personal development with spiritual fruition. It seems like a family reunion!

Though the resort is accommodating, I miss my home dojo. I am absorbed in the collective spirit, but I feel drawn to my beginning. I depart with intent and a response to enrich our practice, and a threshed heart to help us rediscover our place in a great multitude of seekers. Aikido educates me to integrate the value of each human as we contribute to existence. I feel encircled by timeless methods and renewed by kind discipline, and hope to bear these gifts into the world.

by Natalie Konrad, Old City Aikido

 

Those Days…

How was your day? It’s almost as generic a question as “How are you?” but it’s nonetheless an important question. It can be answered with “good,” “okay,” or “bad” (or with other more detailed answers). The same is true for “How was your (Aikido) class?” The answers to these questions differ day-to-day, and class-to-class. These differences are important since a lot can be learned from the varying experiences of your different days and classes. A truly good day feels significantly better right after a horridly bad day. A day of novelty brings new excitement after a long series of routine days. We may go through several days with little memory of them because they are just so ordinary, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. They add up and one day we may look back on them with a feeling of nostalgia. Something that may not seem important today may be exponentially more important a year from now. Something that is urgent now may seem so irrelevant in the future. The contrasting days of our lives give us a series of mental tableaus to enrich our experience of this world.

You wake up full of energy and find that you have time to make (or buy) a hearty breakfast for yourself. After a tasty and filling breakfast you decide to commute to the dojo for practice. As you walk down the street all of the traffic lights seem to turn green for you as you get to the crosswalks, and just as you get to the subway station your train pulls in right away. You make two subway transfers and those trains just happen to arrive right away for you as well. When you get to the dojo and start your practice you wind up training with an amazing partner who is soft, flowing, and a wonderful uke. It’s a day where everything goes right for you and you are singing on the inside (and for some people the outside too). Later as you walk down the street the wind blows a twenty dollar bill right in front of you (this actually happened to me once). A romantic interest also starts to show some interest in you. Of course a great day is different for each individual and also depends on the stage of life each person is in. These are the days where you feel like you can do anything. They may not happen that often, and sometimes may even be just part of a day, but they just feel so rewarding and rejuvenating, especially after experiencing their polar opposite.

You barely got any sleep last night and your obnoxious alarm is already telling you to get up. You hit the snooze button and before you know it an hour has passed and you realize you’ve overslept. You leave your home in a rush with no time for breakfast. As you walk down the street you see red lights all the way and wait out each one. The train leaves just as you get to the subway station. You tried to rush for it but the doors closed right in front of you before you can make it in. You manage to take the next train, but midway through your trip that train stalls and is delayed for half an hour. While waiting for your train to move a disheveled person spouting nonsense walks into your train car. This apparently crazy person singles you out and bombards you with obscene words. When you eventually finish your train rides, just as you get out of the station, a downpour starts and you didn’t bring an umbrella. You get soaked. You arrive at the dojo half an hour late for class (the instructor was gracious enough to let you on the mat after your harrowing commute). You partner up with the spare person on the mat, but your nose notices that he seems to have neglected to wash his gi. Your partner stiffens up and tries to resist you at every turn, and when it’s his turn to throw he uses all the might he can muster. After that horribly draining practice, as you head home, you check your pockets and notice that your keys are missing. It’s like you are the embodiment of Murphy’s Law. Despite all you went through you survived and know that at least some of the days to come will be better. Just making it through a day like that is something you can be proud of. Anyone can breeze through a good day, but if you manage to slog through a terrible day and keep you head held up high (maybe not on the same day), your character may just have that much more depth to it. To stay centered while everything is falling apart around you; that is a true test of Aikido.

You wake up at the usual time with an okay amount of energy. You have your usual quick and simple breakfast. As you walk down the street, some lights are red and some are green as you get to the crosswalks. You wait a reasonable time for your train to arrive. Your Aikido practice was okay, but things are starting to feel monotonous. You feel like you’ve hit a plateau. The structure of routine keeps you going as you maintain your practice, but you feel like you need some new energy and inspiration in it. We’ve all had that feeling of just going through the motions. Maybe we need a major change in our lives, or maybe just a spark of novelty to reignite the flame of the great things we already have. It’s different for each individual. But deep down you know what you need to do even if the specifics are blurry. Sometimes we do an Aikido technique and feel like we’re doing something wrong. We can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what it is, but something just feels off. Eventually we may figure out that needed adjustment, but until we do it’s important to keep moving. Keep the practice moving and the adjustments will come with time. If we stop and over-analyze we get stuck. Feel it out in the motion. We may take several wrong turns before even having a glimpse of the right path for us, but it’s important to have those mistakes. I remember taking an exam in college where I got most of the answers right, but there was this one question I just couldn’t get. I thought about it for a long time before finally submitting the wrong answer. Later on when I looked up the right answer it stuck with me. I’ve forgotten all the answers I got right on that test, but I still remember the correct answer to the question I got wrong even after several years.

Each life is made up of days. Each day is made up of moments. Those moments of elation would not be possible without the moments of frustration. We need the bad moments to truly appreciate the good moments. Without that contrast everything would just be neutral. We need the routine days to make the eventful days that much more special. It’s the same with our Aikido practice. By dealing with a good variety of different people, we learn to adjust ourselves in different ways. We feel out the motions that are most efficient for our personal styles of movement. What may work well with one uke may be totally inefficient with another uke. As we figure out our techniques with movements, we figure out our lives with moments.

 

By Andrew Lee, New York Aikikai

Just A Little More

There’s a point in the technique where you can feel uke’s weight or resistance. You think you can’t go any further and feel as though uke has stopped you there in the middle of your movement. However it just so happens you are training with a sempai who directs you to move a little further to make the technique more effective. Sometimes just a little extra extension is all it takes. You were trying to be relaxed while doing the technique, but in fact made some parts of your body dead weight instead. There is a big difference between being relaxed and being limp. You can still be relaxed while having energy extend throughout your movements. That added energy is just the bit you need to extend upward for that Kokyuho or create a sharper cut down for that Ikkyo. When you’re at a point where you feel like you’ve hit a dead end, give it a little more energy and see where that takes you.

How far is your reach? There’s a $100 dollar bill hanging just a centimeter beyond your answer. Now, how far is your reach? We can often do more than we believe we are capable of (unless you’re one of those people with exceedingly high levels of confidence). Under the right circumstances and pressures we may see capabilities come out that we never knew we had. With the right motivation we find that extra bit of energy within ourselves to tip the scales in our favor. This doesn’t mean that we over-exert ourselves though. I often see people putting too much “effort” into their techniques. They put all their might into a throw and they get exhausted quickly. Meanwhile, the uke at the receiving end of their brutal efforts grimaces and would most likely avoid training with them in the future. Putting more energy into your movements is more subtle and precise than the brute force maximum “effort” approach. It’s adding some energy and extension while cutting with the edge of your hand, instead of using all your muscles to push through someone.

On my commute to the dojo delays on the subway happen every so often. Sometimes a train is delayed at a station indefinitely leaving passengers with no idea of when it will start moving again. It could be 5 minutes; it could be half an hour. When my train is delayed at a station where a transfer is available I think to myself of whether to wait out the delay, or to transfer to another train that may take slightly longer to get to my destination. There are those times where a minute after I exit the train to transfer, the train closes its doors and starts moving again. If I had just waited an extra minute I would have gotten to my destination sooner. The reverse can also happen where I stay on the delayed train too long, and transferring would have gotten me where I needed to go on time. Do I move a bit sooner, or wait a little longer? Timing is important in Aikido, and luckily it is easier to feel that out than how how long a train will be delayed for. As we train more we get a better sense of when to move to create the right distance between us and our partners. And as we learn to feel out better timing we start to understand where subtle changes need to be implemented to improve our technique and movement. Stepping out just a second (or less) sooner can make a significant difference. But if you step out too soon uke can track you with their attack. Sometimes an extra second of patience can be the key instead.

There are many different types of effort. There’s inefficient effort that just exhausts you without really getting you anywhere. There’s efficient effort that helps you steadily move towards your goals. Then there’s effort of intention that shows other people you care. Things like simply being present in someone else’s life can convey a lot of intention of care. Different people approach this kind of effort of intention in different ways. For the more gregarious types it may be enthusiastic conversation; for others it may be more subtle. It’s kind of ironic that I’m writing about this since I’ve never been good at showing effort of intention. I often come across as cold to others and don’t talk much to most people. But I see the effort of intention other people show me, even if it doesn’t look like I acknowledge it. Some people take a while to warm up.

You bring someone a cup of hot tea on a cold day, but that person doesn’t want it so it gets cold. For the next few days you try again, but the same thing happens; the tea gets cold. You keep trying though since it doesn’t really inconvenience you and you’re getting drinks for other people too. After thirty days of seeing that cold cup of tea each day, you think maybe tomorrow I’ll order one less cup of tea, but you decide to give it one more try. On the thirty-first day you find an empty cup, a smile, and a thank you. (Disclaimer: This story is for metaphor purposes only. I am in no way suggesting to buy tea for someone who doesn’t want it for thirty-one days straight). Some people may never warm up to you, because certain people just don’t connect well due to incompatibilities in personalities or worldviews (or other reasons), but sometimes chipping away with bits of effort of intention over an extended period of time can go a long way.

Whether it’s reaching or cutting that extra inch, moving a second sooner, waiting a second longer, or just adding that bit of extra effort that shows you care; a little extra energy along with some subtle changes can make a big difference. A strong intention doesn’t always guarantee results, but sometimes it’s the tipping point. For every grounded and heavy uke there is a weak spot. Find that spot, put some energy and intention towards it, and uke’s balance will come tumbling down. That extra bit of initiative or patience can bring surprising results. People don’t expect a lot from a little, but many little things add up and the simplest changes can open up a whole new world of possibilities.

By Andrew Lee, New York Aikikai

Living Aikido Life – An Invitation to Learning

A soft shuffle of barefoot students draws attention to the peaceful silence soon to envelop the practice space we call Dojo. As if by magic, the wave of people dressed in white uniforms find their spots as they slowly line-up in a sitting position called Seiza. And in a moment, all time seems to pause. Like breath, this is a suspension of thoughts, a way to call back one’s mental activity to the present moment and the space which one occupies. In this moment of recollection, all becomes unified. The state of calm ensues and invites new learning. Oftentimes announced by a clap, then another, then a third, the line of students bow, synchronized by an inner rhythm acquired through the practice of awareness and presence. Thus, practice begins.

Being immersed in the study and practice of Aikido – or any dedicated practice for that matter – slowly becomes part of our lives and in many ways it also becomes our way of living. As that happens, we become “insiders” and slowly adjust our language to express principles and concepts otherwise elusive to the general public. Maybe more so than other Martial Arts, Aikido has to felt to be understood – or to be experienced at deep physiological and psychological levels. 

The beauty of Aikido rests within its offerings. As students develop their skills, they also become more confident and more in tune with their own bodies, and their partners’. This generates a way of learning through partnership and it extends far beyond the Dojo’s mats, into the daily life comprised by a multitude of situations and relationships always in a state of permanent change.

Living Aikido Life is the embodiment of Aikido’s principles and it gently grows over time, much like a majestic tree soaring towards the Heavens. This is the message of the full length documentary titled Living Aikido Life, a message told by ten wonderful human beings whose life-long dedication to Aikido is making the world a better place for future generations to come.

Living Aikido Life is an invitation to learning, an open window into the world of those who share the same passion and love for the “Art of Peace” as the world has come to know it. The film captures the many aspects of the art, and offers “how to” insight to educators, parents, students; young and old, regardless of their culture, nationality, or any other artificial boundaries that separate us.

Living Aikido Life presents Aikido to the world in a way that hopefully respects the wishes of Aikido’s Founder Morihei Ueshiba who hoped that one day Aikido will bring peace to the world and harmonize society. Dojo-Cho and Instructors are invited to acquire and use the film as a fundraiser, as an introduction to Aikido for new students, or as part of their Dojo’s events. All orders of the film will support the goal of making the film freely available to any Public School in the world.

A Trailer and more information can be found on the project’s website: http://livingaikido.life/dojo-cho-info/ 

Bogdan Heretoiu

Central Illinois Aikikai

Just Saying Hello….

It has been many months since I wrote an article to the Aikido community, and that is actually good news because I have been back to my busy schedule traveling and teaching all over the world. I am happy to be taking these few days at my own dojo because right after USAF summer camp I traveled immediately to camp in Germany, and I leave soon for a trip to Brazil, Argentina and Chile.  So it’s always nice to be home, no matter how short! I would like to thank everyone who came to camp this year, both Osawa Sensei and I had wonderful week.

There are many instructors connected with New York Aikikai in the tri-state area who have been running their own dojos for a long time, even decades. It was an unusually busy spring for me as well because in addition to my international seminars, several of these nearby dojos had anniversary seminars. So while I was absent from even more of my usual Saturday classes at NYA, I was  happy to be included in these celebration seminars and see so many instructors in their own dojos surrounded by wonderful students.  

So, this is all to say that I am doing well, and I look look forward to seeing you soon, somewhere, on the mat.

Have a wonderful fall season,

Y. Yamada

Dan Promotions January 2, 2017 – May 31, 2017

Test applications received and dated between January 2nd 2017 and May 31st, 2016 (some listings represent applications prior to Hombu approval, applications not received by posting date will not be listed in the post). 

 

Shodan

  • Ralph Akin – Two Rivers Aikikai
  • Beverly Baker – Aikido de la Montagne
  • Bernard Becker – PAPA Aikido USA
  • Anthony Bentley – Springfield Aikido School
  • Guerman Ermolenko – Albany Aikido
  • Micahel Ettore – Twin Cities Aikido Center
  • Michelle Farris – Columbia Aikikai
  • Jone Gaunavou – San Francisco Aikikai
  • Matthew Gentile – Albany Aikido
  • Benjamin Goliwas – Asheville Aikikai
  • Kevin Johnston – Aikido Center of Jacksonville
  • Ulugbek Kasimou – Open Sky Aikikai
  • Stephen Koehler – Twin Cities Aikido Center
  • Jason Koonce – Heaven and Earth Aikido
  • John Lai – San Francisco Aikikai
  • Lance Luria – Springfield Aikido School
  • Chris Mangos – Shodokan
  • James Matheny – Jonesboro Aikido
  • Mary Moutoux – Open Sky Aikikai
  • Carmen Narvaez – Albany Aikido
  • Michael Nilan – Twin Cities Aikido Center
  • Donald Nollet – Twin Cities Aikido Center
  • Terrence O’Grady – Aikido of Nassau County
  • Robert Paluszek – Heaven and Earth Aikido
  • Wiley Patterson – Alamo Area Aikikai
  • Louis Pingitore – New England Aikikai
  • Grant Price – Aikido of El Paso
  • Brandon Rout – Jonesboror Aikido
  • Bill Querry – Portland Aikido
  • Stuart See – Albany Aikido
  • Dario Valcarcel – Southern Maryland Aikido Center
  • Michael Weiss – Aikido of Champlain Valley
  • Donovan White – Albany Aikido
  • Eric Yanofsky – Shodokan

Nidan

  • Faisal Ahmed – Albany Aikido
  • Don Eisele – Tatsumaki Aikikai/KSU Aikido Club
  • Ken Fung – City Aikido of Los Angeles
  • Basia Halliop – Toronto Aikikai
  • Lawrence Howard – Albany Aikido
  • Kaitlyn Hunter – North Vancouver Aikikai
  • Chris Ingham – Bermuda Aikikai
  • Dwi Jaya – Toronto Aikikai
  • Kim John-Banks – Bermuda Aikikai
  • Amos Kennedy – Aikido Center of Atlanta
  • Allen Kline – Framingham Aikikai
  • Andrew Konopacki – Albany Aikido
  • Catherine Lefebvre – Aikido de la Montagne
  • Michelle Lefkowitz – Aikido of Champlain Valley
  • Jason Martell – Lunenburg Aikikai
  • Xavier Matute – Monteregie Aikikai
  • Nicholas Mills – Lunenburg Aikikai
  • Matt Moller – Springfield Aikido School
  • Philip Natale – Albany Aikido
  • Ezzard Neri – Toronto Aikikai
  • Suzanne Rancourt – Albany Aikido
  • James Reed-Jones – Aikido of Prince Edward Island
  • Patrick Roux – Seattle Aikikai
  • Scott Somero – Portland Aikido
  • Jerry Vejar – City Aikido of Los Angeles

 

Sandan

  • Jeremy Akel – Aikido Center of Jacksonville
  • Jonathan Aronson – Albany Aikido
  • Linda Cox – Albany Aikido
  • Stefan Dromlewicz – Framingham Aikikai
  • Stephen Fay – Kingston Aikido
  • Jorge Garcia – Aikido of Austin
  • Shawn Kim – Plano Aikido Center
  • Damien Kick – Austin Aikikai
  • Paul Miroff – Kingston Aikido
  • Alan Moores – Aikido of Pahala
  • Daniel Top – Seattle Aikikai
  • Tom Visentin – Kingston Aikido
  • Thomas Voetsch – Kingston Aikido

Yondan

  • Daniel Almosny – Florida Aikikai
  • James Baptiste – Bermuda Aikikai
  • Alexandra Hamer – Open Sky Aikikai
  • Daryl Muranaka – Harvard Aikikai

Aikido Is Frustrating. It’s Supposed To Be.

You’re sitting there. Your legs hurt after a bunch of suwari-waza. The instructor demonstrates a technique, and you can tell there’s some subtlety to it. He shows it 3 times, pronounces its name, and says “Ok, partners”… and there you are, left mainly to your own devices.

You feel like you follow along well enough as uke, but then as nage, you don’t get it. You maybe don’t even GET what you don’t get. You receive some correction, but it doesn’t make the technique fully clear or resolve all of your questions… And what do we do with questions? We ASK them…

Except, not in aikido. NOT during practice.

In our culture, we are brought up to ask questions. We are encouraged to ask, and in most aspects of life, we are rewarded for them with explanations leading to a more acute understanding. “Ask and ye shall receive.” Even our government was once revolutionary in its dependence upon questioning policy and authority; dissent and discussion.

Aikido is different. It HAS to be experienced. You HAVE to fail. It will resist every attempt to convey it orally. That’s not to say you can’t talk about it or read about it – that absolutely enriches your practice. But don’t expect giving voice to your concerns to improve your technique where “the rubber meets the road” (or where “the face meets the mat”, for that matter). Ridiculous though it may sound, “he who questions training only trains himself at asking questions”.

It is particularly inappropriate to ask for specifics in the middle of class for a couple of reasons. For one, it is not in line with the traditional way in which budo is communicated – namely through demonstration and repetition. For another, an art like aikido can’t be put in a box or learned from diagrams, any more than you can learn to swim by clicking through a powerpoint slideshow – you have to get in the water! Moreover, these questions take the instructor out of the pedagogical flow he or she is seeking to establish. If you’ve got to follow up on the “what” and “how” of a technique, wait until after class. Avoid “why” altogether – unless you appreciated your mom’s response when you asked “why” you had to take out the garbage, you won’t like the answer. Maybe she said “because I said so”. I’ll say “Trust the path.”

On a certain level, this can seem a challenge at best and infuriating at worst. But when you realize that you are subscribing to a centuries-old philosophy of learning and preserving an art which has been evolving for generations, you find that it’s not a liability at all. It’s exactly what you signed up for. By feeling your way through this art with the guidance of your teacher, you will develop your own connections, conscious and otherwise. You will come to appreciate the fluidity of the movements, the symmetry of the positions, and the adaptability of the techniques. You will internalize those elusive, conceptual points which you initially took for granted. In short, you will find the way to make aikido your OWN… which dissolves a question too colossal to voice, let alone answer.

So yeah. Aikido is frustrating. It’s supposed to be.

 

Ed Haponik

Aikido of Charlotte

 

 

2017 Summer Camp Is Open For Registration

Once again, Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, located at 401 South New York Road, Galloway, New Jersey USA, will be the venue for the 2017 USAF Summer Camp beginning Sunday, July 30th and ending Saturday, August 5th. To accommodate Aikido camp participants and their family and friends, the hotel has blocked off a number of rooms at a discounted rate, including a very limited number of rooms for arrival prior to camp on Saturday, July 29th.

You are encouraged to register for a Camp Package and book your hotel room as soon as possible. Although you will have to pay in full for your Camp Package at the time of registration, you will not incur charges for your hotel reservation until your actual stay. The DEADLINE for registration is Friday, June 23rd but the blocked off USAF discounted hotel rooms may be fully occupied prior to the DEADLINE.

For more information and to proceed with your registration, click here

In addition, updates and further information will be available in this newsletter on the USAF Summer Camp Page

We look forward to seeing you at camp!
Sincerely,

Laura Pavlick and Karen De Paola

From our Birankai Friends to Students and Friends of Chiba Sensei

Dear Students and Friends of Chiba Sensei,

Mrs. Chiba has agreed to sell the last of Sensei’s life long collection of weapons and accessories. Below is a link to a website containing the collection.

The site itself is broken into three areas:

 

  • Tsuba
  • Kozuka, Kōgai, Menuki and Fuchi/Kashira
  • Swords

In each area there is a list of items. Clicking on a single item will show you details about that item as well as a Certificate of Authenticity, if one is available.

You can click on images in the detail pages to see larger versions.

The purchase process will take several steps:

  1. Click the “Buy Now” button you see on the listing page next to the item you wish to purchase.
  2. You will be directed to a page for you to fill in your shipping and personal information.
  3. Click the Purchase button.
  4. You will receive an email with further instructions, and the item will be placed on hold.
  5. Payments are being processed through Paypal. We will not be accepting checks. Items will be held for 4 days pending receipt of payment from Paypal. After 4 days, we will release the item to be sold to someone else. Once payment has been received your item will be processed and shipped to you, and the item marked as sold.

Thank you to Derek Shaw for building this website, Didier Boyet for cataloguing, researching, and appraising all of the items, Gary Payne for photographing them and Dick Miller for storing and shipping the items.

Web Site

https://chibasaleitems.azurewebsites.net/

Warm Regards,

Lynne Ballew

Trustee, TK Chiba Trust

Congratulations to new Shihan

The title of Shihan is appointed by Aikikai Hombu Dojo, which states that “no additional power or authority accompanies the title of Shihan, but it shows qualifications as Aikido instructors of the highest rank.”

The USAF is pleased to announce two members who received Shihan title, effective January 1, 2017. They are:

Collins Smith, Bermuda Aikikai

Kazuho Nishida, City Aikido of Los Angeles

Congratulations!

 

 

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