View Full Version : New Guy Dennis Penick's Introduction

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04-17-2007, 08:27 PM
Hi, My name is Dennis Penick. I am a retired Navy Chief who has lived in the San Diego area since 1979. My first exposure to Aikido occurred while I was visiting the Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan back in 1973. Some of the American military medical staff were practicing Aikido techniques under the direction of a Japanese Sensei. I was fascinated with the beauty, grace and effectiveness of the techniques I observed. It was not until 1984, when I was assigned to duty on the island of Guam, that I had the opportunity to actually begin the study of Aikido. The Polaris Point Naval Base sponsored Aikido classes under the guidance of Sensei Fuentes, a wonderful man from the Philippines who actually fought the Japanese in WWII. In 1986 I left Guam with my tattered yellow belt and returned to San Diego. In 1991, I again encountered Aikido (my destiny?) while I was standing in line at a Blockbuster Video store. In front of me stood a kindly, older Japanese gentleman who was discussing Aikido techniques with another customer in line. I introduced myself to him and asked for directions to the Aikido dojo where he practiced. He hooked me up and I started attending practice in a small dojo in Bonita, CA. He introduced me to Sensei Akira Sakane (7th dan). I attended Sensei Sakane's Aikido classes for several years and was eventually promoted to brown belt. Sensei Sakane is one of the finest teachers I have ever met in my entire life. He is kind, loving, unselfish and very patient with his students. He always had an infectious smile on his face during practice, and has sacrificed many hours of his own time for the benefit of his students. Even when he was especially tired after a long hard day at work, he would never complain and always made us practice with vigor. We have shared many good times together, especially during our annual Christmas parties and summer B-B-Q's. That small Aikido class was like a second family to me. I made some very good friends there. For reasons that I would prefer not to discuss in this forum, I was forced to suspend my study of Aikido under Sensei Sakane, a few years ago I would love to return to Sensei Sakane's Aikido classes some day. Aikido continues to amaze me and I doubt that I will ever fully understand or appreciate its true meaning and complexities, But, it is my sincere pleasure to tell you that practicing Aikido has changed my life for the better, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in self-fulfilment and self-improvement :) DRP-

04-17-2007, 08:35 PM
Nice intro, welcome to aikiweb.
Dojo Search, to the left under databases, (or click here) (http://www.aikiweb.com/search/) could help you find other dojos of the same style in San Diego.


04-17-2007, 08:38 PM
Thank you Mike!
Dennis Penick

04-18-2007, 08:47 AM
Hi Dennis,

Welcome to AikiWeb and thank you for your introduction.

-- Jun

Larry Cuvin
04-18-2007, 10:17 AM
Hey, what's up chief! Welcome to AikiWeb. I whish I could say that I'm also a retired Navy guy but as luck would have it, I injured my back in 92. I got out in 97 as an EM1. San Diego became my first stomping ground back in 85. In some ways like you, my first introduction to Aikido was in Japan, in the small navy bookstore in Sasebo while deployed. I was bored, nothing to do so I picked up this Aikido book and started reading. The more I read, the more I got fascinated.

It's unfortunate that I only started three years ago with aikido. To tell you the truth, I did not know if my back problem will be a hindrance to learning aikido but so far it's helping me stretch.

Good intro chief.