Archives for June 2017

Dan Promotions January 2, 2017 – May 31, 2017

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



  • 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


  • 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



  • 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


  • 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



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