Interview with Tomiki Aikido of the Americas Cofounder Robert Dziubla: Tomiki Aikido on the International Stage, Part II

Robert Dziubla entered the martial arts out of necessity, studying both aikido and karate as a teenager. In an effort to earn his black belt, he traveled to Japan in the early 1970s, training directly under Tomiki aikido founder Kenji Tomiki. Later, Tomiki tasked Dziubla with spreading Tomiki Aikido and the ensuing interview is his … Continue reading Interview with Tomiki Aikido of the Americas Cofounder Robert Dziubla: Tomiki Aikido on the International Stage, Part II

Interview with Tomiki Aikido of the Americas Cofounder Robert Dziubla: Tomiki Aikido on the International Stage, Part I

Robert Dziubla entered the martial arts out of necessity, studying both aikido and karate as a teenager. In an effort to earn his black belt, he traveled to Japan in the early 1970s, training directly under Tomiki aikido founder Kenji Tomiki. Later, Tomiki tasked Dziubla with spreading Tomiki Aikido and the ensuing interview is his … Continue reading Interview with Tomiki Aikido of the Americas Cofounder Robert Dziubla: Tomiki Aikido on the International Stage, Part I

Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Todd Kupper began aikido in the early 1990s, with Steven Seagal’s popularity reaching a high point in the United States. He did not find Seagal, but rather Shuji Maruyama, founder of Kokikai Aikido. From his teenage years until now, Kupper experienced many things under Maruyama, including a very close, almost father-son type of relationship. Today, … Continue reading Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part I

Todd Kupper began aikido in the early 1990s, with Steven Seagal’s popularity reaching a high point in the United States. He did not find Seagal, but rather Shuji Maruyama, founder of Kokikai Aikido. From his teenage years until now, Kupper experienced many things under Maruyama, including a very close, almost father-son type of relationship. Today, … Continue reading Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part I

Interview with Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

Cecelia Rocciotti began training under Shuji Maruyama in 1974 in Philadelphia, following him in that year’s Koichi Tohei split from the Aikikai and Maruyama’s exit from the Ki Society in 1986. She currently teaches at Philadelphia Aikido. Today, Rocciotti took some time to talk about her time and experience with Maruyama while he was in … Continue reading Interview with Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Kiyoshi Yasutake: His Time With Midwest Pioneer Akira Tohei

Kiyoshi Yasutake was Akira Tohei’s first student to go from white belt to black belt under him. Beginning in 1973, Yasutake took to aikido with much vigor, learning from and supporting Tohei in his many endeavors through the Midwest Aikido Center and the Midwest Aikido Federation. Today, Yasutake took some time to discuss his time … Continue reading Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Kiyoshi Yasutake: His Time With Midwest Pioneer Akira Tohei

Interview with Californian Aikidoka Robert Noha: Aikido’s Spiritual Aspect

Robert Noha began his aikido journey in 1966 and never looked back after finding a lifelong teacher and friend in Robert Nadeau. Under Nadeau’s guidance, Noha began to experience something more than the technical aspects of aikido – he began to see that the spiritual message left by O-Sensei would influence him for the rest … Continue reading Interview with Californian Aikidoka Robert Noha: Aikido’s Spiritual Aspect

Interview with Aikido Shihan Bill Witt: Aikido’s Decline in the United States

Bill Witt Sensei began training in aikido in 1967, under Ueshiba Morihei – O-Sensei – at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. After O-Sensei passed away in 1969, Witt Sensei began training under Saito Morihiro Sensei in Iwama, Japan. He cofounded the Takemusu Aikido Association in 2002, based in California, and currently has been teaching at Aikido … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Shihan Bill Witt: Aikido’s Decline in the United States

Interview with Aikido Shihan Bill Witt: The Early Days of Aikido in Northern California

Bill Witt Sensei began training in aikido in 1967, under Ueshiba Morihei – O-Sensei – at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. After O-Sensei passed away in 1969, Witt Sensei began training under Saito Morihiro Sensei in Iwama, Japan. He cofounded the Takemusu Aikido Association in 2002, based in California, and currently has been teaching at Aikido … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Shihan Bill Witt: The Early Days of Aikido in Northern California

Interview with Todd Jones: Thomas “Doc” Walker and Growing Aikido in Florida

Todd Jones, founder of American Butokukan, began his martial arts journey in 1971 with taekwondo, moving to aikido two years later. This is a transcript of an interview conducted the fall of 2018 for research of my upcoming American aikido history book. Here, we discuss his time under Thomas “Doc” Walker, the early days of … Continue reading Interview with Todd Jones: Thomas “Doc” Walker and Growing Aikido in Florida