Archives for 2020

Join us September 26th! USAF Aikido for Kids Online Class!

We are excited to invite you to the 5th Aikido For Kids Online Class taking place on Saturday, September 26 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructor Mohamed Mounji, 6th dan, Aikido de la Montagne.
Join the Zoom Class, September 26 at 1 pm EDT:
This 45 minute class will run concurrently Live on the USAF-United States Aikido Federation Facebook page and is open to everyone. Please invite your friends and students and anyone you think would be interested.
Thank you to those who joined a class previously. We appreciate your participation and support.
See you online!

Join us September 19! USAF Aikido Online Class!

We are excited to invite you to the fifth class in our USAF Aikido Online Series on Saturday, September 19 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructors Laura Jacobs Pavlick, Shihan – Litchfield Hills Aikikai, Kiyoshi Yasutake, Shidoin – Midwest Aikido Center, and Paul Manogue, Shidoin – Aikido of Raritan Valley. Each class in our Online Series will host instructors exclusively from our diverse USAF family and will be held every Saturday, alternating weekly between adult classes and classes designed specifically for kids.
This class is open to everyone and will run concurrently on Zoom and Live on the USAF – United States Aikido Federation Facebook page. Please invite your students and anyone you think would be interested.
Join the Zoom Class, September 19 at 1 pm EDT:
Thank you to those who joined our previous classes, and welcome to new participants. We appreciate your support!
See you online!

Join us September 12th! USAF Aikido for Kids Online Class!

We are excited to invite you to the 4th Aikido For Kids Online Class taking place on Saturday, September 12 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructor Anna Gallagher, 2nd dan, Aikido Center of Atlanta.
Join the Zoom Class, August 22 at 1 pm EDT:
This 45 minute class will run concurrently Live on the USAF-United States Aikido Federation Facebook page and is open to everyone. Please invite your friends and students and anyone you think would be interested.
Thank you to those who joined a class previously. We appreciate your participation and support.
See you online!

 

Up Next August 29! Join Us For The USAF Aikido Online Class!

We are excited to invite you to the fourth class in our USAF Aikido Online Series on Saturday, August 29 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructors Andy Demko, Shihan – New Castle Aikikai, Karen De Paola, Shidoin – Skylands Aikikai, and Stephane Janczuk, Shidoin – Aikido la Forge. Each class in our Online Series will host instructors exclusively from our diverse USAF family and will be held every Saturday, alternating weekly between adult classes and classes designed specifically for kids.
This class is open to everyone and will run concurrently on Zoom and Live on the USAF – United States Aikido Federation Facebook page. Please invite your students and anyone you think would be interested.
Join the Zoom Class, August 29 at 1 pm EDT:
Thank you to those who joined our previous classes, and welcome to new participants. We appreciate your support!
See you online!

Aikido For Kids! Next Class Aug 22!

We are excited to invite you to 3rd Aikido For Kids Online Class taking place on Saturday, August 22 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructor Susannah Rodriguez, 1st dan, Albany Aikido.
Join the Zoom Class, August 22 at 1 pm EDT:
This 45 minute class will run concurrently Live on the USAF-United States Aikido Federation Facebook page and is open to everyone. Please invite your friends and students and anyone you think would be interested.
Thank you to those who joined the launch of our Aikido for Kids series. We appreciate your participation and support.
See you online!

A Special Presentation from Yamada Sensei

On this just-completed video, Yamada Sensei shares some of his personal aikido history through a grand tour of the NY Aikikai kamiza. Aside from O Sensei’s photo and calligraphy, there are photos of Yamada Sensei’s fellow uchi deshi – Tamura Sensei, Chiba Sensei, Kanai Sensei and Sugano Sensei – all of whom have passed away. On the opposite wall are three of Yamada Sensei’s most cherished teachers, Doshu Kisshamaru Ueshiba, Kisaburo Osawa and Koichi Tohei.

The movie is about 20 minutes long so grab your popcorn and enjoy. Click on the link below to view.”  New York Aikikai

Y. Yamada – Kamiza Konfidential.

 

Up Next Aug 15! Join Us Online!

We are excited to invite you to the third class in our USAF Aikido Online Series on Saturday, August 15 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructors Penney Bernath – Florida Aikikai, Vu Ha – Boston Aikikai, and Joshua Layton – Monteregie Aikikai. Each class in our Online Series will host instructors exclusively from our diverse USAF family and will be held every Saturday, alternating weekly between adult classes and classes designed specifically for kids.
This class is open to everyone and will run concurrently on Zoom and Live on the USAF – United States Aikido Federation Facebook page. Please invite your students and anyone you think would be interested.
Join the Zoom Class, August 15 at 1 pm EDT:
Thank you to those who joined our previous classes, and welcome to new participants. We appreciate your support!
See you online!

Good News from the USAF Working Group

We are pleased to share with you some news about the work the USAF Working Group has been doing behind the scenes for the last few months.  

In January 2020, the USAF Board of Directors approved a proposal from the Working Group to highlight and promote issues around equity and inclusion within its organization. Sharon Dominguez was appointed as the Working Group Chair and joined by Sylvie FirestoneHarvey KonigsbergJulia FreedgoodArturo Peal, and Christine Wong.

Mission and Goals

What is the Working Group’s mission? 

To foster and promote inclusivity and diversity within the USAF, and to provide USAF Instructors with tools and information for addressing these issues within their dojos.

What are the Working Group’s goals? 

1. Increase recognition that gender equality and unconscious bias are valid issues that need exploration in the USAF.

2. Create lasting programs that identify, acknowledge, and improve the culture of inclusion and representation of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA members within the USAF structure, as well as in USAF activities and seminars. 

3. Identify the needs of dojos, if any, to promote growth and inclusion.

4. Help address membership retention issues that may arise from conscious and unconscious bias.

5. Collaborate with the Board, Technical Committee, Administrators, key members, and specialists to fulfill the above objectives in 2020 and beyond. 

What are some concrete results the Working Group has accomplished so far?

  • Gender and equity training has been provided and completed by the entire Board, Technical Committee members, the Technical Advisor, Administration, Consultants, and the Working Group.
  • A program of training on gender equity and implicit bias (sexual harassment prevention training) is currently being organized for all dojo-cho and chief instructors to complete in 2021 as part of the membership guidelines and renewal process.
  • Gender and equity discussions open to all attendees at the USAF annual summer camp was planned but postponed due to COVID-19.
  • Plans to hold a “Meet & Greet” during summer camp to introduce the Working Group and to mingle with members of the Aikido community was curtailed due to COVID-19.
  • Collaborated with the Board and Technical Committee to produce Aikido Online classes for adults and kids, featuring instructors within the diverse USAF community, and globally transmitted live on the USAF FaceBook page.
  • A series of online conversations focusing on Gender, Equity, Race, and Implicit Bias have been initiated for USAF dojo-cho and instructors. The initial roundtable discussion on Race & Bias was well attended with over 80 participants.
  • Sharon Dominguez was appointed as a senior delegate and the USA representative of the International Aikido Federation (IAF) Gender Balance Working Group and is working with people globally on these issues.

What are the Working Group’s next steps for 2020 and beyond?

  • Partnering with the IAF to produce Zoom classes featuring women from multiple aikido organizations within the US.
  • Organizing community outreach initiatives such as The Dojo-cho Video Conversations about the effects of COVID-19 on USAF dojos, comparing strategies for member engagement, online presence, and dojo reopening procedures.
  • The next Dojo-cho Video Conversation as part of our series, Equity, Inclusion, and the Future of Aikido will address bias as it relates to gender and sexuality.
  • Planning climate surveys for USAF dojos to use internally as a tool to assess the environment within their dojo. Request that the data be shared with The Working Group, to measure the progress of these initiatives.
  • Continue to explore ways to celebrate our diverse community and to help support our instructors and membership.

We will stay in touch as we continue our work, and welcome your comments and feedback along the way!

A Message from Yamada Sensei 2020_08_09

There have been some complaints on social media by aikido practitioners about how women have been treated unfairly. These complaints about gender equity are targeting me and the USAF, so I’d like to express my opinion. Gender discrimination in aikido is something I never believed in. I have tried to remain fair and open minded in my aikido career. I consider people’s rank, experience and integrity to be very important. I personally view my students, women and men, the same and have given equal opportunities to all of them, on the mat, for promotions, to teach class and to open their own dojos.

One of my biggest surprises was that there were two of my students, NYA members, among the group complaining. I was very upset and felt sad because these two women were equally treated just like other people at NY Aikikai. They were given a class to teach regularly every week along with other female teachers. They took my classes for decades, and even traveled to teach at seminars. Needless to say, there was no complaint from male members about the opportunities I gave my female students and many men attended the classes taught by female teachers. One teacher responsibility I feel strongly about is to create peace and harmony in your dojo. Anybody who makes unnecessary waves disrupts the balance and enjoyment for others who want to come and practice peacefully. When people ask, “Was I not chosen to teach because I’m a woman?” I have to say that is not true. It’s simply because you are not ready yet and the time will come for you sooner or later.

I’m Japanese and educated in the old budo world, but I know how to make adjustments and to be flexible. I knew I would be teaching in USA and I tried my best to make mental adjustments when I came to USA.

You must understand that aikido is a unique art, not like other arts or sports. On the mat, all people can practice equally and enjoy equally. There are many women who have even more physical ability and skills than men have. Women may and can participate in all sports and martial arts but in a different way we do in aikido. For instance, sports teams are separate by gender like baseball, boxing, football and basketball. Even most other martial arts are separate even by rank. That is why each sport has a separate league. We don’t have to separate or make another league in aikido. We are all together.

In old days, aikido was tougher and only limited to persons accepted to become students. But after World War II, the late Kisshomaru Doshu made a big adjustment and changed the way of practice to the way we practice today. Uke gives in completely to Nage and reacts according to Nage’s physical ability, so that everybody can have fun on the mat. We all should thank Doshu for giving us an opportunity to enjoy aikido equally. I want all of you to concentrate only on practice, not other stuff; just feel lucky to be a part of aikido society.

I’d like to show you a photo taken about 45 years ago. They were my assistants at that time. Don’t they look tough and don’t they look proud?

Y. Yamada

 

Aikido for Kids! – Next Class August 8

We are excited to invite you to 2nd Aikido For Kids Online Class taking place on Saturday, August 8 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring guest instructor Crystal Aldrich, 3rd dan, Fukushidoin.
Join the Zoom Class, August 8 at 1 pm EDT:
This 45 minute class will run concurrently Live on the USAF-United States Aikido Federation Facebook page and is open to everyone. Please invite your friends and students and anyone you think would be interested.
Thank you to those who joined the launch of our Aikido for Kids series. We appreciate your participation and support.
See you online!
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