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 Aikido Instructor Salvatore Forestieri: Aikido in the Martial Arts Industry

Salvatore Forestieri began his aikido training under Fumio Toyoda. After his passing, Forestieri became an understudy of Steven Seagal. This is a transcript of an interview conducted in the spring of 2019, discussing the current state of aikido and its place in the martial arts industry. All images provided by Salvatore Forestieri. Martial Arts of … Continue reading Interview with Aikido Instructor Salvatore Forestieri: Aikido in the Martial Arts Industry

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 Bruce Wonnacott: Experiences Under Frank Doran

Bruce Wonnacott, a long-time student of aikido pioneer Frank Doran, began his training in 1991 at the height of Steven Seagal’s popularity while in college. By 1997, he found Doran and accompanied him on his many national and international seminars. Here, we discuss what it was like training during the height of Seagal’s popularity and … Continue reading Interview with Bruce Wonnacott: Experiences Under Frank Doran

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