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 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 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 Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

Cecelia Rocciotti began training under Shuji Maruyama in 1974 in Philadelphia, following him in that year’s Koichi Tohei split from the Aikikai and Maruyama’s exit from the Ki Society in 1986. She currently teaches at Philadelphia Aikido. Today, Rocciotti took some time to talk about her time and experience with Maruyama while he was in … Continue reading Interview with Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

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 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 USAF Technical Committee Member Claude Berthiaume: His Aikido Journey

Beginning his aikido training in 1971, Claude Berthiaume had the opportunity to train and forge connections with Yoshimitsu Yamada and Mitsunari Kanai. Since then, he has helped grow and facilitate the United States Aikido Federation. Today, we had the opportunity to speak with Berthiaume about how he got started in aikido. Martial Arts of Yesterday, … Continue reading Interview with USAF Technical Committee Member Claude Berthiaume: His Aikido Journey

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