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Old 05-15-2006, 09:31 PM   #1
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
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Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Hello, Everyone,

My name is David Orange, Jr.

I started training in 1974, stuck with it from 1975, had my own dojo (the first yoseikan budo dojo in North America) from 1984 to 1987. I lived in Japan from 1990 to 1995. I was uchi deshi to Minoru Mochizuki sensei (himself uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei as well as uchi deshi to Kyuzo Mifune of judo).

My article, "Aikido Comes from Toddler Movement," was just posted to the Aikido Journal blog site:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1985

Any comments will be welcome.

David
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
Victor Ditoro
Dojo: Retsushinkan Dojo
Location: Alabama
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 20
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Hi David,

I train in Birmingham and there are number of options you may want to explore. Our dojo is the Retsushinkan located in Bluff Park. The instructor is Van Bushnell, who trained under Fumio Toyoda sensei originally, and now we are affiliated with an orginzation under Kevin Blok sensei (Blok sensei is affiliated with the Yoshinkan Aikido Federation).. You are welcome to stop by for a class. PM me if you would like phone numbers or details, or visit http://www.usamartialarts.com.

Greg Faulkner sensei also has a dojo in town. He has a long history in Aikido and is currently affiliated with the ASU under Saotome sensei. I have not trained with Faulkner sensei so I may be in error about their current affiliation.

Interestingly, in case you did not know, Yoseikan Budo has clubs in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. Or at least they did until very recently. Tuscaloosa is an hours drive at most. If nothing else, you could contact those clubs and inquire about their recommendations too, since you had a deschi relationship to Mochizuki sensei.

I'm sure there may be other options in town, and if I've left one out its not because I wouldn't recommend it, it's out of ignorance.

Regards,

Victor Ditoro
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:07 AM   #3
akiy
 
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Hi David,

Welcome to AikiWeb.

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:49 PM   #4
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

To follow up on Victor's post, there is also a fledgling, ASU-affiliated group at UAB.

"Welcome to AikiWeb."
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:39 AM   #5
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Quote:
Victor Ditoro wrote:
I train in Birmingham and there are number of options you may want to explore. Our dojo is the Retsushinkan located in Bluff Park. The instructor is Van Bushnell, who trained under Fumio Toyoda sensei originally, and now we are affiliated with an orginzation under Kevin Blok sensei (Blok sensei is affiliated with the Yoshinkan Aikido Federation).
Thanks. I've been out there and met Van. He really has a nice dojo and a good group.

Quote:
Greg Faulkner sensei also has a dojo in town. He has a long history in Aikido and is currently affiliated with the ASU under Saotome sensei. I have not trained with Faulkner sensei so I may be in error about their current affiliation.
I guess I've known Greg for about 30 years now. I trained once at his home in Huntsville, about 1976. I'm not sure about his affiliation, either. I recently met a Tomiki guy who said Greg had been affiliated with them, too.

Quote:
Interestingly, in case you did not know, Yoseikan Budo has clubs in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville.
Actually, other than the instructor, I'm the only person still training from the very first yoseikan aikido class at the University at Tuscaloosa in February, 1974. I left that group when I went to live and train in Japan with Sensei. I hear the Huntsville club is going pretty well.

Thanks for the pointers and suggestions.

David
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:41 AM   #6
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi David,

Welcome to AikiWeb.

-- Jun
Jun,

Thanks. You have an interesting site here.

Best wishes,

David
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:43 AM   #7
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote:
To follow up on Victor's post, there is also a fledgling, ASU-affiliated group at UAB.

"Welcome to AikiWeb."

Eric,

Thanks!

Actually, I noticed that group forming and contacted the teacher to offer my full support and assistance since the rec center is right next door to my office. I have a lot of respect for Saotome Sensei but I've seen very little of his method.

I continue to train in my own way at the rec center with a very small group.

Best wishes.

David
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:10 AM   #8
Robert Cheshire
 
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Dojo: Yoseikan Budo/Aikido
Location: Texas
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
I started training in 1974, stuck with it from 1975, had my own dojo (the first yoseikan budo dojo in North America) from 1984 to 1987. I lived in Japan from 1990 to 1995. I was uchi deshi to Minoru Mochizuki sensei (himself uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei as well as uchi deshi to Kyuzo Mifune of judo)....Actually, other than the instructor, I'm the only person still training from the very first yoseikan aikido class at the University at Tuscaloosa in February, 1974.
David - Not trying to start anything with you here, but, how can you say you had an instructor back in the 70's then go on to say you had the first Yoseikan Budo dojo in North America in the 80's?

Robert Cheshire
Yoseikan Budo/Aikido
www.yoseikanbudo.us
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:58 AM   #9
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Quote:
Robert Cheshire wrote:
David - Not trying to start anything with you here, but, how can you say you had an instructor back in the 70's then go on to say you had the first Yoseikan Budo dojo in North America in the 80's?
Well, Robert, Glenn was teaching at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa from 1974 on. I was at his first class. I am the only person (besides Glenn) who was at that first class and still practices aikido. That first class was held in a gymnasium at Foster Auditorium on ragged old mats (filled with straw as I remember) that had thin places where you actually fell on hardwood covered with canvas.

But you recognize the difference, don't you, between training at a community center or university gym and training in a freestanding dojo with no other function?

That's what I mean. I was the first person in North America to open a "dojo" instead of teaching classes at a rec center or whatever. That was 1984. I did it at the urging of Patrick Auge, whom I met in 1976, after Mochizuki Sensei sent him to lead all the yoseikan black belts in North America. He had not yet opened his dojo in Ottawa but he kept telling me I should open one, so I did in December, 1984. Roger Roy (now of Aikido Mochizuki, in Canada) opened his Yoseikan Budo dojo in Sherbrooke, Ont., a few months later, also under Patrick Auge's direction. Patrick Auge opened his dojo in Ottawa later that year or maybe the next year. So, yes, I was the first person to open a Yoseikan Budo dojo in North America.

Altogether, I have lived in dojos (having no other residence) for about seven of my fifty years besides all my attendance at dojos and "clubs" here and there since 1974.

Thanks for your sincere efforts to ferret out the truth.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:35 AM   #10
Robert Cheshire
 
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

I can live with that!

Thanks for the history lesson that backs up your point.

I guess where I differ is that I consider where you are training to be the dojo even if it is in a rec center. However, you did a good job of explaining it being the first free standing dojo.

Robert Cheshire
Yoseikan Budo/Aikido
www.yoseikanbudo.us
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:49 AM   #11
darin
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Posts: 375
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Hi David,

Bit late for this reply as I only just found your thread. I started Yoseikan Budo under the late Yoshiaki Unno back in early 1992. In 1996 I went to the old hombu in Shizuoka and got to meet Minoru Mochizuki, his wife, Washizu and Tezuka. It was an interesting experience. After training I said to Kancho, "omoshirokatta" and he laughed. Only later I had realized I had told him the training was funny. I should have said "benkyou ni narimashita". Kancho even tried to bargain with me to stay. My brother and I were only in Shizuoka for one day but he was asking if I could stay a month... then it became a few weeks... then a week. I promised him I would return however he returned to France when I went back to Japan.

Darin
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:55 AM   #12
darin
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Re: Aikido in Birmingham, AL

Sorry, I forgot to say welcome to aikiweb!
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