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akiy
05-02-2017, 12:35 PM
Hi folks,

So, who are some non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

And, what are three words you might use to describe them?

-- Jun

Shadowfax
05-02-2017, 04:36 PM
Off the top of my head the ones I know and have trained with.

In no particular order.

1) Mary Heiny- One of if not the most senior female aikido instructors in North America. Not sure what I can say about Mary sensei that the rest of the aikido world doesn't already know. And outstanding teacher and a really all around good person.

2) Wendy Whited- The only woman on the ASU board and a wonderful teacher. Wendy focuses a lot on correct technique. I tested shodan under her after things went south with Ikeda sensei and Saotome. I had been going to test with Ikeda that spring and Wendy stepped up and provided an solution to a problem that I and a number of others in my area who were needing to test.In the short period of time we all had to make the adjustment she was wonderful in making it very clear to all candidates and their teachers, just what she wanted to see on a test. She is a tough but kind teacher and I have gotten a lot out of the instruction I have received from her over the course of several seminars.

3) Chris Jordan-until very recently the head instructor at Bond Street dojo in NYC. I have trained with her many times at seminars and have always found her fun to train with. I would love to get to know her more.

4) Kayla Feder-I have only seen her a couple of times but for me the things that most interested me. Her way of teaching koshi and breakfalls so that people with physical issues are able to do them safely. I found her to be a fun and interesting teacher and would love other opportunities to learn from her.

5) Okay I am a bit biased here. Tara Meyer sensei (4th dan) is one of the head instructors at my own dojo, Allegheny Aikido, in Pittsburgh. Tara has been teaching aikido for quite a few years and has been, for me, a wonderful, compassionate and influential instructor. If not for her I might not have come back for my second class. And here I am 8 years later. Tara has an academic and methodical approach to teaching aikido that I have not seen with any other teacher outside of my dojo. She is very good at taking techniques apart and looking at them in close detail and then reassembling them. She is very good at finding what will help a student to understand the principle or movement she is teaching in a way that suits their individual learning style. It would be great to hear about Tara and teachers like her who maybe are not so well known but who have a strong influence with their students.

I know there are many more amazing women in aikido but the above are the ones I have personal experience with.

akiy
05-02-2017, 06:38 PM
Hi Cherie,

Thanks for your thoughts! I've had firsthand experience with the first four folks on your list and have appreciated them. Nice to hear of the last person on the list, as I haven't heard about her before now.

Any other folks wish to let us know about non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

-- Jun

Michael Hackett
05-02-2017, 09:54 PM
Yoko Okomoto gets my vote. Her vertical movements are just incredible and give her so much power and the ability to gain kazushi during her techniques. There is a lot of Yamaguchi Shihan in her art, but she has found her own course.

Linda Holiday is someone that is just plain fun to train with. She is a terrific practitioner and great teacher, but still manages to be a wonderful person to be around.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2017, 07:01 AM
Any other folks wish to let us know about non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

Never met her personally but I always enjoyed what I have seen from Stephanie Yap.

Jim Sorrentino
05-03-2017, 11:24 AM
So, who are some non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

And, what are three words you might use to describe them?

I just saw Pat Hendricks-sensei last weekend out here in Virginia. I've taken many classes with Pat-sensei, both at her dojo and in seminars. Three words: clear, compassionate, and non-dogmatic. Like Kayla Feder-sensei (whom I also hold in the highest esteem), Pat-sensei has always been very open and inviting to those of us who do not have a background in Iwama-style aikido. As her uke, I have always experienced her nage as smooth and powerful, and most important, trustworthy.

Riai Maori
05-03-2017, 04:43 PM
Hi folks,

So, who are some non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

And, what are three words you might use to describe them?

-- Jun

Bernice Tom: Saito Sensei, Iwama and Pioneer.:)

RonRagusa
05-03-2017, 08:06 PM
Mary Eastland. As a survivor of both domestic abuse and multiple sexual assaults in her pre-Aikido days she is a personification of the transformative nature of Aikido training. Despite her history, none of the hard edginess one might expect to see in her Aikido is evident. Her teaching comes from her heart. Her practice is punctuated with compassion, caring and power.

Ron

lbb
05-04-2017, 08:03 AM
Yoko Okamoto: amazingly clear movements, really conscientious teacher. I saw her at Birankai summer camp in...2014? She taught many classes, but also trained in classes taught by other senseis. After each class she would sincerely thank the teacher, and then would incorporate what she had seen into her next class. Led by her example, it was a really great camp.

Lorraine DiAnne: the thing I remember about her most is her vision, her ability to see what a student was doing and provide the instruction they needed at that moment. Also her laugh and her kindness.

Zoso-013
05-04-2017, 11:02 AM
In addition to Cherie's nominees, some other phenomenal female instructors are:

Patty Saotome Sensei: now retired but "weapon's instructor extraordinaire".
Raso Hultgren Sensei: like a silk covered fist, Hultgren Sensei delivers feather soft Aikido with unexpected power.
Ana Arango Sensei: a true "teacher" who provides her students so much more than Aikido training by sharing ALL the knowledge she has amassed AND delivering precise lessons transmitted by her teacher, Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, whom she visits almost monthly.
Melissa Bell Sensei: arguably, the successor to Patty Sensei's weapons legacy.

akiy
05-04-2017, 01:17 PM
Great list so far! I'm appreciating everyone's input.

Are there other non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

-- Jun

barron
05-04-2017, 11:32 PM
Tamami (Tama) Nakashimada Sensei,6th Dan Vancouver Canada student of Morito Suganuma Shihan, Aikikai 8th Dan

A very powerful 5 foot tall Sensei with a great sense of humour , precise technique and exceptional teaching skills. A hidden jem. :)

crbateman
05-08-2017, 02:54 AM
For me, the list of worthy instructors is long, but here is a shorter list (in no particular order) of notables, some already mentioned, some not:

Mary Heiny
Linda Holliday
Lisa Tomoleoni
Lia Suzuki
Pat Hendricks
Stephanie Yap
Penny Bernath
Patty Saotome
Micheline Tissier
Kayla Feder
Wendy Whited
Kimberly Richardson

oisin bourke
05-08-2017, 03:31 AM
Emiko Inoue, a student of hirokazu kobayashi, is very interesting. Mary Heiny's aikido is very sophisticated. I think there are probably a lot of very good female aikidoka in Japan that are virtually unknown.

shuckser
05-08-2017, 09:41 AM
Janet Cliff
Anita Köhler
Nadia Korichi

Sorry for lack of bios - just throwing some names out there. :)

akiy
05-08-2017, 10:05 AM
Thanks for everyone's input so far! It's quite nice to see names I haven't seen before (as well as the familiar names, too).

Are there other non-male (identifying) aikido instructors (living or otherwise) whom you would like to see highlighted more in the aikido world?

-- Jun

langenoir
05-08-2017, 01:46 PM
I am only 6th Kyu, but two women who helped me along my Aikido path are:

Kate Savoca 4th Dan of Brooklyn Aikikai
and
Katherine Heins 5th Dan of NW Michigan Aikikai

Jeremy Hulley
05-08-2017, 02:29 PM
Denise Barry

rulemaker
05-08-2017, 09:22 PM
Yoko Okamoto Sensei = Beautiful Aikido

rugwithlegs
05-08-2017, 09:25 PM
Yumi Nakamura, Hilary Dawson

lbb
05-09-2017, 08:02 AM
Roo Heins Sensei, absolutely! I also really like Patty Lyons Sensei's aikido.

This thread is really making me look forward to summer camp :D

Mark Mueller
05-09-2017, 09:16 AM
When I was still practicing Marsha Turner from Chicago was one of my favorite....beautiful to watch, great power and nobody could manipulate the height differences like her.

Also enjoyed Sarah Bluestone...I drew a lot of my lessons on posture and balance from watching her. She was also always willing to explore on an equal level.

jimbaker
05-09-2017, 09:29 AM
USAF (6 dan or higher and just off the top of my head, in no particular order)
Jane Ozeki
Gina Zarelli
Penny Strake Berth
Claire Keller
Barbara Britton
Tina Shepard
Laura Jacobs Pavlick
Ruth Peyser
Yukiko Katagiri
Dolita Cathcart
Karen DePaola

Birankai (just the 7th dan Shihans):
Gloria Eiko Nomura
Lorraine DiAnne
Kristina Varjan
Elizabeth Lynn
Coral Crane

You might also want to see “Holding up half the Sky” which is about women Aikido instructors. http://www.womeninaikido.com/index.html

Diana Frese
05-09-2017, 03:39 PM
the late Sioux Hall of New England Aikikai. She had a profound influence on many, I will try to look up her biography, but don't wait for me...:)

giriasis
05-10-2017, 11:46 PM
USAF (6 dan or higher and just off the top of my head, in no particular order)
Jane Ozeki
Gina Zarelli
Penny Strake Berth
Claire Keller
Barbara Britton
Tina Shepard
Laura Jacobs Pavlick
Ruth Peyser
Yukiko Katagiri
Dolita Cathcart
Karen DePaola

Birankai (just the 7th dan Shihans):
Gloria Eiko Nomura
Lorraine DiAnne
Kristina Varjan
Elizabeth Lynn
Coral Crane

You might also want to see “Holding up half the Sky” which is about women Aikido instructors. http://www.womeninaikido.com/index.html

Ditto all the above...And ditto on Sioux Hall. I would like to add some up and comers:
Wee Wow Dumlao
Chris Wong
Dee Seabolt

MattMiddleton
05-11-2017, 12:25 PM
Mary Heiny, Yumi Nakamura, and Fran Turner

Avery Jenkins
05-14-2017, 04:55 AM
I'll second Jim Baker's mention of Laura Pavlick. She combines very strong Aikido with excellent teaching skills. That can be a hard combination to find, regardless of gender.