Interview With Aikido of Monterey Dojo-Cho Danielle Smith: Aikido in Northern California, Part I

Danielle Smith began training under Stanley Pranin in 1973, eventually taking over Pranin’s Aikido of Monterey three years later. As she continued through her aikido journey, she had the opportunity to experience many different early instructors, like Frank Doran, Mary Heiny, Linda Holiday, and Motomichi Anno. She also trained in Hakko-ryu Jujutsu, Seibukan Jujutsu, and … Continue reading Interview With Aikido of Monterey Dojo-Cho Danielle Smith: Aikido in Northern California, Part I

Interview with Ravenwood Aikikai Chief Instructor David Hurst: Akira Tohei’s Legacy

David Hurst began his aikido journey in January 1988 after watching a demonstration led by Akira Tohei. He was enamored by Tohei’s ability and quickly took to his teachings. In addition to Tohei, Hurst had the opportunity to train under Hawk Durham and Judy Leppert. Currently, he holds the rank of sandan and is the … Continue reading Interview with Ravenwood Aikikai Chief Instructor David Hurst: Akira Tohei’s Legacy

Interview with Shindai Aikikai Chief Instructor Steve Fasen: Dennis Hooker and His Legacy, Part II

Steve Fasen found aikido almost by accident. After training in karate for a number of years before coming to the Orlando area, he wandered into an aikido class when his kids’ gymnastics class ran over. A few weeks later, Fasen met Dennis Hooker and proceeded to follow his teachings and later became friends with his … Continue reading Interview with Shindai Aikikai Chief Instructor Steve Fasen: Dennis Hooker and His Legacy, Part II

Interview with Shindai Aikikai Chief Instructor Steve Fasen: Dennis Hooker and His Legacy, Part I

Steve Fasen found aikido in Central Florida almost by accident. After training in karate for a decade prior to moving to the Orlando area, he wandered into an aikido class when his kids’ gymnastics class ran over. A few weeks later, Fasen met Dennis Hooker and proceeded to follow his teachings. Today, Fasen met up … Continue reading Interview with Shindai Aikikai Chief Instructor Steve Fasen: Dennis Hooker and His Legacy, Part I

Interview with North Florida School of Aikido Chief Instructor Mike Page: Florida Aikido and Individualized Training

Mike Page wanted to start aikido sooner, but the stars did not align until his graduate career at Florida State University, where he quickly joined the college’s club. From there, he trained under Yoshimitsu Yamada and Thomas “Doc” Walker, soon learning from Mitsugi Saotome, Dennis Hooker, and John Messores. Today, Page took some time to … Continue reading Interview with North Florida School of Aikido Chief Instructor Mike Page: Florida Aikido and Individualized Training

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 Sangenkai Chief Instructor Christopher Li: Internal Martial Arts in Hawaii

Aikido Sangenkai chief instructor Christopher Li began training aikido in the early 1980s under Mitsugi Saotome and Yoshimitsu Yamada, later traveling with the latter to Japan to train at Aikikai Hombu Dojo. By the 1990s, Li began to explore the internal power side of both aikido and the martial arts, ultimately affiliating with Dan Harden. … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Sangenkai Chief Instructor Christopher Li: Internal Martial Arts in Hawaii

Reflecting on Walther von Krenner’s Following the Martial Path

von Krenner, Walther G., and Ken Jeremiah. Following the Martial Path: Lessons and Stories from a Lifetime of Training in Budo and Zen. Spring House, PA: Tambuli Media, 2016. After reading Walther von Krenner’s Atemi, I wanted to acquire more of his work to understand how he reached his conclusions in Atemi. Soon, I found … Continue reading Reflecting on Walther von Krenner’s Following the Martial Path

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