Winter 2007 Update
Hello. I recently returned from a week of training in Japan, with Tsuneo Ando Sensei at the Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu Dojo. I also tested for Shodan during my last day there. Ando Sensei announced that I passed at a farewell party that night, and officially named my dojo in Fairbanks, Shoryukan Dojo – House of the ascending (or rising) dragon. Training was rigorous but very enjoyable. I am always amazed at the dedication, sincerity and generosity of Ando Sensei’s students in each class I attend. There is truly amazing stuff happening there. Former full-time deschi of Ando Sensei, Bret Duchon Sensei is also teaching classes in nearby Minami Gyotoku, and offered great insight and explanation of aikido technique...along with great friendship! I wish I could have stayed longer to absorb more.
During my travels I also spent a few days training with Geordan Reynolds Sensei of Aikido Yoshinkai Siam, in Pattaya, Thailand. Reynolds Sensei filled my head with details and plenty to think about and put into practice. His dojo is growing and his students are growing stronger. It’s a privilege to be a part of it, albeit only briefly each year. Reynolds Sensei is also applying Yoshinkan aikido to “bodyguard” defensive tactics and dignitary protection training – interesting and exciting stuff.