Archives for October 2013

2012 New USAF Dojo

The USAF would like to welcome the following new member dojo:

(updated 12/31/2012)


Aikido of South West Florida

Chief Instructor: C. Barry Benjamin

360 Santa Barbara Blvd Cape Coral FL
Cape Coral, FL 33910


Dairyukai Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Fabio Chirinos

5733 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, Quebec H4A 1W9


Mount Saint Vincent Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Fraser Graham

C/O Fitness Center, Mount St Vincent University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3M 2J6


Myoho Aikido Vermont

Chief Instructor: Wassim Nehme

183 Park Street, Middle Barn
N. Bennington, VT 05257


Notting Hill Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Antheas

95 Lancaster Rd
London, United Kingdom WAA 1QQ


Oak Hill Aikido

Chief Instructor: Michelle Ruschhaupt

8404 Candelaria Drive
Austin, TX 78737


Providence Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Paul Sheedy and Wayne Sherman

545 Pawtucket Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860


Water’s Edge Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Meg Bower

1117 State Rt. 3 North Woong’s Taekwondo Center
Ganbrills, MD 21054


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!

Myoho Aikido Vermont Announces New Location

Myoho Aikido Vermont thanks the unfailing efforts of its incredible students  & friends who transformed what was a complete shambles of an industrial space, one that needed to be fixed in every way, to what you see below. What everyone did in only one week, mostly at night, and often until the early morning hours, is something we will always be so grateful for.  New location: Vermont Mill Properties, 160 Bemont Ave, South Wing, 4th floor, Bennington, VT



Morihei Ueshiba, An Inspiration

Morihei Ueshiba, a name that not many outside of the Aikido community will likely know.  Most that do practice the art know him by the title O’ Sensei or “great teacher”.  I look at this individual as a hero, not for the usual reasons of the definition, but because he chose to lead a life of learning and evolve his body and mind.  He is the founder of one of the most popular modern martial arts, Aikido.

So why does this make him a hero?  We have to take a deeper look into his past and just exactly what Aikido means. Morihei Ueshiba was born on December 14th 1883 in the Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.  His younger years were spent reading and usually staying indoors which made the boy rather weak for his age.  His father encouraged young Morihei to take up swimming and sumo wrestling to increase his strength.  A couple of years later Morihei realized the importance of being strong after his father was brutally attacked by a gang of thugs.  After a brief stint in the Japanese military he returned home and moved to a small village in the wilderness.  His father built a small dojo on their farm and invited the well know Jujutsu instructor, Takak to train his son.  He took the training well and learned extremely quickly.  A blog on “Energy Arts” says, “Actually, Ueshiba was far beyond aikijitsu’s level of sophistication. His ability to enter, turn, attract and then play with and lead an opponent’s chi and mind was phenomenal.”

  Morehei, later studied under a new type of religion known as Omoto-kyu under Deguchi Onisaburo.  The leader was a pacifist and a believer in non-violent resistance.  It was though odd that Onisaburo would become so close with Morihei, an accomplished and well know martial artist.  Ueshiba later separated with Onisaburo under his request so he could begin his own “way”.  Morehei realized that true budo has two aspects, the spiritual side and the martial side.  They must connect in order to be beneficial in one’s life.  He used his background in various martial arts to create an art with a more peaceful resolution rather than focusing on destroying one’s enemy.  Aikido was the way of harmony, to blend with an attack and use their own energy against them.  The idea was to take the energy given to you, blend with it, and resolve the conflict without causing serious harm to the attacker.  This is what Morihei believed budo was.  A more peaceful way of dealing with negativity and aggression.  There has been controversy about if he ever “created” the art of Aikido.  He took a lot of the techniques from other arts and molded them to fit his idea of what Aikido is.  Peter Boylan gives his side, “What Ueshiba did, was take a very brutal art, Daito Ryu, as taught by Takeda Sokaku, and meld it with the philosophy of Omoto-kyo. This melding is what made it possible for him, and for those who have followed him, to extend their use of its principles to every corner of life.”

After 1925 he gained a large following of students and spent the next four decades teaching.  The art started out as Aiki-jutsu, to Aiki-budo, to the final name he gave the art of Aikido.  After the loss of life during World War II Morihei was evolving the art to a different level.  He wanted his students to learn the way of Aikido but also wanted them to live it.  He taught forgiveness and that it was very important to take your thinking to a higher level than that of your attacker.  The attacking person was always on a lower level of thinking and needed to be forgiven for his actions.  O’ Sensei has an important saying regarding the art:

“In my opinion, it can be said to be the true martial art. The reason for this is that it is a martial art based on universal truth. This Universe is composed of many different parts, and yet the Universe as a whole is united as a family and symbolizes the ultimate state of peace. Holding such a view of the Universe, aikido cannot be anything but a martial art of love. It cannot be a martial art of violence. For this reason, aikido can be said to be another manifestation of the Creator of the Universe.”

That is why Aikido is taught to not severely injure one’s opponent if possible.  Even though the techniques can cause serious injury.  It was during this time that Aikido and the decades that follow that allowed the art to gain a worldly following.  His goal of creating a way of life relating to harmony and still applying a way of protection was achieved.  It is this art in which I practice almost full time and I do my best in applying the practices and forgiving beliefs of Aikido.  But I am also a firm believer that the art was meant as a way of life with an emphasis on self-defense.

Works Cited

“Morihei Ueshiba-Aikido Master.” Energy Arts.  N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“Interview with Morihei Ueshiba and Kisshomaru Ueshiba.” Aikido Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

Boylan, Peter. “Did Morihei Ueshiba Invent Aikido?” AikiWeb. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.




By Chad Banister

Open Sky Aikikai










2013 New USAF Dojo

The USAF would like to welcome the following new member dojo:

(updated 12/9/2013)


Aikido of Amherst

Chief Instructor: Heath Atchley

316 College Street

Amherst, MA 01002


Aikido of Prince Edward Island

Chief Instructor: James Reed Jones

40 Enman Crescent

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  C1E 1E6


Alamo Area Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Noel Murphy

3233 N. St Mary’s Street

San Antonio, TX 78212


Arizona Aikikai of Phoenix

Chief Instructor: Jorge Enrique Barreiro

513 E. Roosevelt Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85004


Bristol County Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Mark White

2 Cedar Street

Taunton, MA 02780


Heaven and Earth Aikido

Chief Instructor: Brian Ericksen

688 Spring Street

Herndon, VA 20170


KAIST Aikido Club

Chief Instructor: Michael Pak

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Daejon, Korea 305-701

Republic of Korea


Napoca Budokai

Chief Instructor: Ovidiu Ratiu

Bazinul Olimpic


Cluj, Romania


NY Eastside Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Ken Yamazaki

307 East 92nd Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10128


Pax River Aikikai

Chief Instructor: David Norton

24620 Three Notch Road

Hollywood, Maryland 20636


Rivertide Aikido

Chief Instructor: Patrick Gaucher

8 West Bridge Street

Catskill, NY 12414


Thiel Aikikai/Thiel College Aikido

Chief Instructor: Jack Hayes

75 College Avenue

Greenville, PA 16125


Wei Yi Dao Dojo Academy

Chief Instructor: Lenny Cook

68 Wenchang Rd

121 Street, Bldg 38-404

Kunming, TN 650093



Dan Promotions May 16th 2013 – September 15th 2013

Test applications received and dated between May 16, 2013 and September 15, 2013 (some listings represent applications prior to Hombu approval).




  • Jeffrey Alenski – Suffolk Aikikai
  • Thomas Faraone – Suffolk Aikikai
  • Arielle Herman – Woodstock Aikido
  • Joanne Hsu – Skylands Aikikai
  • Rajesh Jaiswal – Framingham Aikikai
  • Amos Kennedy – Aikido Center of Atlanta
  • Allen Kline – Framingham Aikikai
  • Ilia Kulik – Newport Beach Aikikai
  • David Oskardmay – Open Sky Aikikai
  • Estelle Ostro – Aikido Center of Atlanta
  • Clark Pomerleau – Aikido of Denton
  • Brock Rutherford – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Christopher Sinclair – Aikido North Jersey


  • Sandra Biesinger – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Robert Clasen – Suffolk Aikikai
  • Nicholas Coast – Aikido Schools of New Jersey
  • Nicholas Hunter – Aikido of Houston
  • Mark Manning – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Peter Matthies – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Felicia Munoz – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Danny Nunez – Aikido Schools of New Jersey
  • Jeff Rotondi – Aikido of Ramapo Valley
  • Laurie Seymour – Framingham Aikikai
  • Samantha Taitel – Aikido Center of Dover
  • Jennifer Yabut – Aikikai of Philadelphia


  • Sulaiman Abdul-Hakeem – Aikido of Center City
  • James Brumm – Newport Beach Aikikai
  • Jay Cooke – Monadnock Aikikai
  • Anthony De Sando – Aikido of Ramapo Valley
  • John Holt – Aikikai od Philadelphia
  • Steve Jones – Newmarket Aikikai
  • Ann Lorenc – Jersey Shore Aikikai
  • Omar Martinez – Newport Beach Aikikai
  • Vinh Nguyen – Aikido de la Montagne
  • Charn Pennewaert – Newport Beach Aikikai
  • Gil Scutti – Aikikai of Philadelphia
  • Tinka Sloss – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Yondan
  • Marie Chantal Landschoot – Austin Aikikai
  • Thank Vinh Pham – Aikido de la Montagne
  • John Porter – Vicksburg Aikikai

Dan Promotions December 16th 2012 – May 15th 2013

Test applications received and dated between December 16, 2012 and May 15, 2013 (some listings represent applications prior to Hombu approval).




  • Melissa Avendano – Aikido of Dallas
  • Michael Boeder – Two Rivers Aikikai
  • Riccardo Cannavo – Northern Virginia Aikikai
  • David Chamblin – Aikido of Nassau County
  • Signe Constable – Lunenburg Aikikai
  • ELizabeth Cramer – Midwest Aikido Center
  • Garret Curry – Davis Aikikai
  • Jeff Davis – New Castle Aikikai
  • Sean Emerson – Two Rivers Aikikai
  • David Glotfelty  – Southern Maryland Aikido Center
  • Lawrence Hambrick – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Joe Heim – Kenosha Aikikai
  • Michael Henson – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Amy Hyatt – Monadnock Aikikai
  • Susan Irion – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Mitsuko Kunikane – San Francisco Aikikai
  • Amy Langlois – Ellsworth Aikikai
  • David Marquez – Aikido of Austin
  • Patrick McCarthy – Aikido of Columbus
  • Megan Meehan-Dorr – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Gary Miller – Finger Lakes Aikido
  • Nicholas Mills – Lunenburg Aikikai
  • Matt Moller – Springfield Aikido School
  • Stuart Pieloch – Two Rivers Aikikai
  • Richard Pierce – Aikido of Charlotte
  • Alyssa Pusey – Commonwealth Aikikai
  • Dale Roznowski – Florida Aikido Center
  • Javier Servello Perez – Florida Aikido Center
  • Roger Stein – Aikido of Summit
  • Scott Stein – Palm Beach Aikikai
  • Louis Torres – Palm Beach Aikikai
  • Charlie Wilson – Lunenburg Aikikai


  • Mark Cantin – Greater Hartford Aikikai
  • David Cole – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Charles Cunningham – University of Iowa Aikikai
  • James Dore – Commonwealth Aikikai
  • Seth Hansen-Hall – Aikido of New Paltz
  • Robert Hewell – Pasadena Aikikai
  • David Janicone – New Castle Aikikai
  • Shawn Kim – Plano Aikido Center
  • Laura Kopczak – Kingston Aikido
  • Vihren Milev – Glen Ellyn Aikido Club
  • Yoko Nomura – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Cosjun Pabua – Aikido Schools of New Jersey
  • Frank Pakulski – Aikido Schools of New Jersey
  • Artemio Ramos – San Juan Aikikai
  • Charles Traverse – Aikido Institute of Newfoundland
  • Huong Vu – AIkido of Houston
  • Fred Westcott – Aikido Institute of Newfoundland
  • Christopher Whittle – KAIST Aikido Club


  • Carlos Bartolomei – Aikido of Scottsdale
  • Lauren Bergman – Aikido of Nassau County
  • Robert Kores – Aikido Society of Memphis
  • Michael Lum – Aikido of Houston
  • Martin Panariello – Jersey Shore Aikikai
  • Joanne Recca – Aikido of Nassau County
  • Christopher Walla – Aikido of Houston


  • Christy Calder – Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Eugene Chang – Aikido of Nassau County
  • Shawn Dansby – Aikido of Cincinnati
  • Jean Laplante – Aikikai de l’Universite Laval


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