the approach is very similar with how sensei,
and o’sensei transmitted. it is direct, mind to mind, the dojo is right here, right now.
students are met, mutual, in
daily life, and on existing mats;
work with what is given.
Currently on sabbatical from a decade in secular life; meditating, gardening, calligraphy, study, poetry, and observing training from all aspects of budo and religious practice are the current topic of main concern.
Return to Aikido
A few years ago, Aikido called back, simultaneously from a powerful vision combined with having being asked by individuals to teach them and one in particular very sincerely over the course of many years. It did not feel appropriate to teach without first paying respects, so having booked a flight and permission to stay at the DC Dojo, it was time to return to the mat, having changed.
Worked in secular life for a decade of which was leading technical efforts both engineering and analytics related in public, private, and not-for profit industries while simultaneously developing a home with domestic partners and a future property for a shrine, dojo, study, and retreat center. Prototyped, built, supported, and sold several software companies during the secular decade, and returned to Aikido much better for it.
Before the decade of secular life, lived as a deshi in Aikido Shobukan Dojo for nearly a decade in Washington, DC, the Headquarters Dojo of ASU under the graces of the Saotome Sensei. lived, trained, and practiced aikido daily. practiced meditation, calligraphy, reading, writing, poetry, arts, and instructed between scheduled classes 1:1 and to small personal groups who requested instruction. Sensei’s regular visits allowed for significant time with sensei, driving, shopping, accompanying walks, museums, tending to VIP guests, and receiving lectures and instructions.
While at Aikido Shobukan Dojo, increasing meditative practices and relationships with dojo members lead to meeting Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche and receiving instruction as root guru in Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism. committed to vows and empowerments, and teachings, which remain today, the name given by Shamar Rinpoche is Karma Semten Chophel.
Prior to living in the dojo, while training there, worked in private support of government, military, and intelligence communities in the DC metro area toward a career, that is, until an invitation to move in temporarily at the dojo was offered to care take, which was a narrow window to assist, which was taken at the expense of several career invitations as a “blue badger” in Central Intelligence Agency and a specialist career option at State Department, with invitation to training at Quantico.
Was in the United States Army in the field of electronics and communications for several years. Served in United States Army Alaska (USARAK), in support of United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) as a sole supporter of specialized equipment serving operational readiness. It was in the military that awareness of O’Sensei first appeared while crossing intense study in Buddhist Suttas during off hours, which lead to finding a small aikido school on base, lead by a soldier well skilled in martial arts, whom left, having qualified for Special Forces. It was this soldier that said, “you don’t need to go to Japan to learn Aikido, the best Aikido instructor is right here in the United States, Saotome Sensei.”
While on base, assisted with a children’s program for the remaining years in the service. as a light unit, we received training fit for units that would meet opposing forces, and trained regularly, this training was helpful for future living in the dojo, and this training is highly effective after decades of research and mistakes through many wars and police actions around the world. Turned down re-enlistment options which had significant support from Warrant Officers for Warrant Officer Candidate School, and instead committed to training at Aikido Shobukan Dojo to learn from Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.
arrived at 天の浮橋