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

Interview with Independent Coalition of USAF Women Founder Janice Taitel

Janice Taitel began her aikido journey in 1992, first training under Mitsunari Kanai then Greg O’Connor, before establishing her Aikido Center of Dover. In the summer of 2019, she and others formed the Independent Coalition of USAF Women in an effort to bring awareness and discuss a solution to the gender equity in the organization. … Continue reading Interview with Independent Coalition of USAF Women Founder Janice Taitel