Nidan (2th degree black belt)
I was fascinated by aikido long before it was available locally; initially by Terry Dobson’s story “A kind word turneth away wrath,” a fascinating story about applying aikido to everyday life. Then years later, aikido popped up again in 1990 when I saw Tom Crum demonstrate The Magic of Conflict with aikido. I felt so moved by the work, I made a pretty radical change in careers to do leadership and team development with content grounded in aikido principles. I’ve penned a book, Spiral Impact: The Power to Get It Done with Grace, which applies aikido principles to conflict resolution.
Now almost 30 years later aikido remains an important part of my life. I am one of the early members of the Indianapolis Aikikai founded by Sensei George Bevins around 1991. I’ve attended numerous seminars and camps by Shihan, most frequently with Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. Twenty years into my practice, the late Kevin Choate Sensei had a very profound impact on my practice. He opened a deeper door to the subtleties of blending that is foundational yet often elusive in aikido.
But my aikido grows mostly through showing up to practice 3X a week with our amazing group of aikidoka. All bring their own aikido gifts and generously share. It’s wonderful to practice where everyone is interested in helping each other grow.