Interview with Vermont Aikido Chief Instructor Aaron Ward: Vermont Aikido, Ken Nisson, and Terry Dobson, Part I

Aaron Ward had an interesting event occur during his aikido journey: he got to know Terry Dobson on a personal level during his time at Vermont Aikido. Taking the role of chief instructor since 2001, Ward took some time to talk about his aikido journey, his relationship with Terry Dobson and Ken Nisson, and how … Continue reading Interview with Vermont Aikido Chief Instructor Aaron Ward: Vermont Aikido, Ken Nisson, and Terry Dobson, Part I

Interview with Florida Aikikai Cofounder Peter Bernath: Starting From Scratch

After seeing a poster for aikido in San Francisco in 1972, Peter Bernath quickly signed up. After moving to New York, he lost no time in joining Yoshimitsu Yamada’s New York Aikikai. By 1980, Bernath found himself in Florida at the request of Yamada, working with Florida native and future wife Penny. Today, Bernath joined … Continue reading Interview with Florida Aikikai Cofounder Peter Bernath: Starting From Scratch

Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Jane Ozeki: New York Aikikai and Family

Jane Ozeki began her aikido journey in 1971, becoming a student under Yoshimitsu Yamada at his New York Aikikai. Today, we had the chance to talk with Ozeki, discussing what the training was like at the New York Aikikai, along with her family. All images provided by Jane Ozeki. Martial Arts of Yesterday, Today, and … Continue reading Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Jane Ozeki: New York Aikikai and Family

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

Rodney Grantham and Aikido in America’s Southeast

The following is an excerpt from my recent book, Aikido Comes to America. This originally appeared on Tambuli Media here. Rodney Grantham (~1928-2008) played a pivotal role in the push of aikido in the American Southeast. Grantham began judo in 1950 while stationed in Yokosuka, Japan as a surgical scrub nurse during the Korean War. … Continue reading Rodney Grantham and Aikido in America’s Southeast

Interview with USAF Technical Committee Member Andy Demko: The Early Years in the American Northeast

Andy Demko began training martial arts and combat sports while he was in high school. After seeing an aikido class at Youngstown University, he joined, eventually meeting Koichi Tohei and Yoshimitsu Yamada in the mid-1960s. He later opened his Aikido Center of New Castle in 1971. Today, Demko discusses the fledgling years of aikido in … Continue reading Interview with USAF Technical Committee Member Andy Demko: The Early Years in the American Northeast

Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser: Supporting Gender Equity and the Independent Coalition of USAF Women’s Petition

Ruth Peyser began training aikido in 1980 after observing a class at the New York Aikikai. For the better part of forty years, she trained under Yoshimitsu Yamada, Seiichi Sugano and Donovan Waite. In late 2019, she signed the Independent Coalition of USAF Women’s petition, resulting in her banishment from the New York Aikikai. Today, … Continue reading Interview with Former New York Aikikai Instructor Ruth Peyser: Supporting Gender Equity and the Independent Coalition of USAF Women’s Petition

Interview with Arielle Herman, Part II: The Independent Coalition of USAF Women and the Future of Aikido in America

Arielle Herman of Rivertide Martial Arts and Yoga became a part of the Independent Coalition of USAF Women in late 2019, and soon became a representative of the Coalition in meetings with the USAF. Today, Arielle talks about her experiences with the Coalition and the future of aikido in America in relation to the event. … Continue reading Interview with Arielle Herman, Part II: The Independent Coalition of USAF Women and the Future of Aikido in America

Interview with Arielle Herman, Part I: The Independent Coalition of USAF Women and the Future of Aikido in America

Arielle Herman of Rivertide Martial Arts and Yoga became a part of the Independent Coalition of USAF Women in late 2019, and soon became a representative of the Coalition in meetings with the USAF. Today, Arielle talks about her experiences with the Coalition and the future of aikido in America in relation to the event. … Continue reading Interview with Arielle Herman, Part I: The Independent Coalition of USAF Women and the Future of Aikido in America

Interview with Former Independent Coalition of USAF Women Member Claire Keller: The Cause and the Future

Claire Keller began her aikido journey in 1980, having the chance to train under Kazuo Chiba, Mitsunari Kanai, Seichi Sugano, and Yoshimitsu Yamada. She trained with the latter until she became the only signatory on the Independent Coalition of USAF Women from the New York Aikikai and was subsequently expelled in late 2019. In this … Continue reading Interview with Former Independent Coalition of USAF Women Member Claire Keller: The Cause and the Future