Albany Aikido Celebrates Irvin Faust Sensei’s Shihan Certification

Albany Aikido was pleased to have Shihan David Halprin conduct a one day seminar in celebration of Sensei Irvin Faust being promoted to Shihan. David Sensei taught wonderful and inspiring classes. A good time was had by all. Students came from  Long Island, New Jersey,  Boston, Vermont, Brasher Falls and Montreal. Thanks to all and a special thank you to the wonderful dojo members.

In addition to the seminar, R. Vincente Rubio prepared the following statement to commemorate Irv Faust’s Shihan certification:

“I started aikido in 1977 with Sensei Luqman at Long Island University. I took all my exams from 5th kyu to San-dan under Yamada Sensei. I moved to Albany in 1985 and started my own dojo.” – Humbly and simply put by Irv Faust Sensei of the Albany Aikido of Albany, NY.

Recently, with a selected group of USAF senior teachers, Sensei Faust was promoted to the teaching level of Shihan. With this promotion to Shihan, Sensei Faust became the first Afro-American aikidoka to reach this level of teaching expertise. His many years in aikido, as well as, holding rank in two other martial arts, provides a deeply rich, honest and well thought out teaching perspective in all his classes. Sensei Faust is also a US Air Force Vietnam War veteran.

For me personally, I met Sensei Faust, when we were both performing with Sensei Henry Smith of Aikido of Philadelphia, who 1984 was the director of Solaris Dance Theater of NYC, NY. While waiting off-stage to perform, I watched Sensei Faust go through his bokken suburi for his warm-up. Hooked, I started aikido soon after at the NY Aikikai.

As a ‘newbie’ aikidoka, I would watch, experience by being thrown around, and would be excitedly inspired during the 6:45am morning class at the NY Aikikai. I watched Sensei Faust’s vigorous and joyful training, and safely from the sidelines the after the class all- out free practice he engaged in with the other black belts of equal vitality and ferocity.

To say that I was awe struck by what I witnessed at these after morning class trainings would be an understatement.

Through my mere 28 years of aikido training, Sensei Faust has continued to be an inspiration to me, as well as offering his valuable mentorship whenever we are together on the mat at seminars, or on the phone exchanging our mutual birthdays greetings on March 10th. So to you Sensei Faust, my older brother and honored sempai, CONGRATULATIONS on your promotion to Shihan!