My martial arts history begins with karate, which I started
in fall of 1968. I began to read about martial arts in general. And sometime
probably in early 1969 someone loaned me an issue of black belt magazine with
an article about aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba Osensei entitled “The Old Man
and the Ki”. It detailed how Ueshiba Osensei could perform unusual feats of
magic like throwing people without any physical contact. Later in the summer I
found an article in Psychology Today magazine entitled the “Psychology of the
Samurai” which had a great deal to say about aikido and about Osensei. I
remember remarking,”I wish there was aikido available here( I was in my 4th
and last year as an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa
October 1969: Went to an aikido demo given during
orientation week at UC Santa Cruz given by Robert Frager and Robert Nadeau.
Also in attendance were Allen Grow and Betsy Hill senseis.
Later in same month attended the first meeting of the UC
Santa Cruz Aikido Club taught by Robert Frager….
Discovered Robert Frager wrote article in Psychology Today.
December 1969 went with Robert Frager sensei to a weekend
co-taught by him and Nadeau sensei at the Mt. View dojo on Castro Street. It
was my first experience being in an Aikido dojo, not just a club.
June 1970: Graduated from UC Santa Cruz, tested for and was
awarded Blue Belt(4th kyu), participated in a weeklong Gasshuku at the Mt View dojo
co-taught by Robert Nadeau, Robert Frager, Frank Doran, and Allen Grow senseis.
Fall of 1970 thru June of 1972 trained at the UC Davis
Aikido Club under Allen Grow sensei.
Late 1972: Back home in Santa Cruz and tested for
and received ikkyu(brown belt) at UC Santa Cruz Aikido Club. Nadeau sensei and Frager
Early winter 1973: Left for Japan and trained out the rest of the year
at the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu Japan training under Hikitsuchi, Anno ,
Yanase, and Tojima senseis. This trip also featured short junkets to Hombu dojo
and to the Iwama dojo in the fall. Promoted to shodan in mid-December when I returned to California.
January 1974: Began teaching Thursday night adult class at
Aikido of Woodside(now Aikido West) at the request of Frank Doran sensei. Later
picked up the kids’ class as well.
August 1974: Returned to Japan and training at the Shingu
Late Spring 1975: Promoted to nidan. Returned to Santa Cruz to teach for Robert
Frager sensei who was leaving to open the then California Institute of
Transpersonal Psychology. Took over teaching the Aikido classes for the Phys ed
department and the Aikido club classes.
June 1976 taught a daily afternoon class at the Summer Retreat
which was then held at Dominican College in San Rafael……
July 1976 : Was asked by Nadeau shihan to teach at the San
Jose dojo, which opened that month. I was one of the original faculty, teaching
Friday night adults and Saturday morning kids and adults.
January 1977: Left for third major stay to train at the
Shingu dojo. Was Hikituschi sensei’s main uke at the All Japan Aikido
Demonstrations held in June at the Budokan….Trained pretty much until late
December then returned to California. Resumed teaching at the San Jose dojo.
Was given a night at the San Francisco dojo. Taught also at the UC Santa Cruz
Aikido Club which was now led by Linda Holiday sensei.
August 1978: Began teaching the beginning Aikido course at
San Jose State university. Continued teaching there through summer of 1994.
1979: …. Somewhere around here awarded sandan…..
February 1980: Purchased San Jose dojo from Nadeau shihan
and became chief instructor.
1983: Somewhere around here awarded yondan…..
1987” Awarded godan…….
1991: Awarded rokudan……………..
1994: Featured in half time demo of Forty niner game.
1997: Again featured in half time demo of Forty niner game.
1999: late in year rejoined now California Aikido
2001: Late fall spent 10 days visiting Anno sensei in Shingu
along with Linda Holiday sensei.
2006: In June went with Nadeau shihan to Hombu dojo. Led a
group to haka mairi at Founder’s grave in Tanabe. Then visited Anno
sensei at the Shingu dojo. The trip also included visits to the Hongu grand
shrine, the Nachi shrine, and the Hayatama shrine, all places the Founder
regularly visited and prayed at…..
June 2008: Guest instructor at the Summer Retreat now held
at Menlo College…….
November 2008: Celebrated 40 years in Aikido. In attendance
were Nadeau shihan, Robert Frager sensei, and Betsy Hill, Sue Ann McKean, Mary
McLean, Lou Berminham, and Frank Silvey senseis.
Fall 2009: featured in half time demo at Raider NFL game.
Awarded membership in the Bay Area Fighting Arts Hall of Fame. Met Mrs Bruce
Spring 2009: Became a member of special research team headed
by Nadeau shihan.
January 2010: Featured at an event at the Mt View Performing
Arts Center honoring the Founder of Aikido.