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 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 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 Aikido Author Walther von Krenner: Training in America and Japan in the Early Years

Beginning his martial arts journey in Germany in 1957 with judo, Walther von Krenner spent the next sixty years training in various martial arts, from aikido to kendo. Today, Krenner took the time to talk about his aikido journey, which started in 1961 with Isao Takahashi in Los Angeles, and took him to Japan to … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Author Walther von Krenner: Training in America and Japan in the Early Years

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