I was introduced to Aikido in 1989 by watching a class taught in Tokyo by my current teacher, Kenji Shimizu, who founded the Tendoryu style of Aikido. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to meet and train extensively with some great Japanese Aikido teachers, several of whom learned from the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei.
I return to the HQ dojo of Tendoryu every year, where Shimizu Sensei (Sensei means teacher) regales us with tales of O-sensei’s teachings and what it was like to train under him.
My teaching style is one of curiosity and patience. I try to share what I’ve learned and seen in over 30 years of visiting and living in Japan. Tendoryu, a style that’s not taught anywhere else in the US, is about the specifics of certain movements, timing, and techniques. The basic Aikido principles you may see in other styles are all there, and the techniques we practice are practical and logical, with strong, flowing movements that use the power of the whole body in a coordinated fashion, with the goal to better yourself and open up your consciousness, even in the face of conflict, fear, or danger. These are skills that are useful in life. In Aikido, we learn to move with confidence and grace, and that itself can spread peace when we meet others, however we meet them.