In 1995, before the Internet, a person had to research martial arts through books, TV, and movies. Steven Seagal’s movies piqued my interest, because he never got hit, and he didn’t ever hit anyone, yet the art he demonstrated seemed “effective.” Once I heard of Aikido, I researched and realized it was right for me, based on O’sensei’s philosophy of non-violent conflict resolution. I enjoy the practice and engaging with other people physically in a fun and non-competitive way. It’s good exercise, and I enjoy sharing Aikido with my students.
My practice is about developing sensitivity to the needs and wants of your partner, and applying the complement to those needs. I strive in my Aikido practice to be “sharp but soft.” When you encounter people who are stiff, you need to be soft, and when you encounter people who are too soft, you need to apply structure. I’m interested in the subtlety of deep partner contact, usually a grab or touch, that can affect an entire interaction. Certainly, the geometrical alignment of Aikido techniques is equally important, but for richer, deeper study, you have to study both feeling and geometry.
I began teaching classes at Seattle School of Aikido in 2002; I’m also a member of the original school of Aikido in Japan (Hombu Dojo Aikikai), and I currently hold the rank of fourth dan, called Yondan. I continue to study under the guidance of Jan Nevelius Shihan.
In addition to my Aikido practice, I’m also an MD in internal medicine and practice full time in Lynnwood.