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

Interview with Sam Combes: Yoshinkan Aikido in Southern California Part II

Currently holding the rank of nanadan in Yoshinkan Aikido and teaching at the Kadokan Dojo, Sam Combes began his aikido journey in 1963, in Hawaii, studying under Yukio Noguchi. After moving to Norwalk, California in 1967, he began his own school and has stayed within the Los Angeles area for more than thirty years. In … Continue reading Interview with Sam Combes: Yoshinkan Aikido in Southern California Part II

Interview with Sam Combes: Yoshinkan Aikido in Southern California Part I

Currently holding the rank of nanadan in Yoshinkan Aikido and teaching at the Kadokan Dojo, Sam Combes began his aikido journey in 1963, in Hawaii, studying under Yukio Noguchi. After moving to Norwalk, California in 1967, he began his own school and has stayed within the Los Angeles area for more than thirty years. In … Continue reading Interview with Sam Combes: Yoshinkan Aikido in Southern California Part I

Interview with Aikido Shimbokukai Founder Lisa Tomoleoni: Aikido Training and Future

Lisa Tomoleoni, founder of Aikido Shimbokukai, began her aikido training in the early 1990s and traveled to Japan shortly after. In her time there, she trained under both Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. Upon returning America, she co-published Along the Way with Michelle Tate. In this interview, we discuss her initial … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Shimbokukai Founder Lisa Tomoleoni: Aikido Training and Future

Interview with Aikido Shihan George Kennedy: Rodney Grantham and Southeastern Aikido

This is a transcript of an interview with the United States Aikido Federation’s Chairman of the Board of Directors George Kennedy Shihan in the summer of 2017 for research of my upcoming American aikido history book. In it, we discuss his first aikido instructor, Rodney Grantham, as well as Yoshimitsu Yamada and his role in … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Shihan George Kennedy: Rodney Grantham and Southeastern Aikido