06-27-2006, 12:25 PM
Aikido started for me when at a rowing training camp in the spring of 1993. (I'm a professional rowing coach.) I was asked for means to help the kids better figure out how to balance a boat, and told them a little judo-related trick (I have a shodan from the 1970's) about centering and "lowering" the "weight" to try and stabilize the boat under the people. The parent/chaperone/assistant coach was also an Aikikai shodan, who (later) demonstrated a few things to a willing victim (me) in front of the group, and I decided I needed more. So, in 1993, in October, I started at Saskatoon, Canada, with Don Ragush as Sensei, with Y. Kawahara as shihan. In January 1995, my job took me to Regina (260 km south), where Rocky Izumi was looking to start a dojo. We did. (When Rock went to Barbados, that's one of the dojos he shut down on departure.) I worked a lot with Rocky, including hunting for bunnies and deer in Saskatchewan, until I got a job in New Zealand, where Aikido was something I got to only rarely. I lived in Invercargill and coached in a lot of places - Dunedin being one - there was a dojo, but practice was scheduled so that I could only be there if the weather was complete crap. After NZ, I moved to Edmonton, Alberta, with Bill Heron as Sensei at the U of Alberta, and in 2004 I moved to Calgary, Alberta, and now train with Aikido Bozankan, where Steve Erickson is the Sensei. Kawahara Yukio is the Shihan for Canada from whom I've attended several seminars. Whilst in NZ, I attended seminars in Auckland and Christchurch with Takase Nobuo, Andrew Williamson, and guest shihan Masuda and the late Ichihashi sensei.
Sensei who have put up with my awkwardness include: Don Ragush, Rocky Izumi, Andrew Williamson, Andrew Robbins, Nobuo Takase, Bill Heron, Kenji Yoshimi, Gerry Hilchie, Steve Erickson, Robb Wheatley.
So, I'm a clumsy, old, mixed up Aikido fellow who loves also to compete in target matches.
Welcoem to AikiWeb and thank you for your introduction.