Welcome to Aiki Summer Retreat 2016! Live, train, take meals and relax with fellow aikidoists in the beautiful Sierra Mountains from June 19 - 25. (If you can't attend the entire Retreat, then attend the Mini-Retreat from June 21 - 25. (Click here for the Mini-Retreat info.) Deepen your aikido practice with extraordinary instructors: Michael Friedl Shihan, Kimberly Richardson Sensei, Craig Fife Sensei, and Vince Salvatore Sensei. At Aiki Summer Retreat you will immerse yourself in your study of aikido, reflect on and reaffirm why you train, and nurture the spirit of aikido through community. Please join us for a wonderful week of aikido training, community and fun!
Aiki Summer Retreat is a cooperative, friendly environment where you can practice sincerely without feeling in competition with everyone else on the mat. You will feel welcome no matter your style or rank. You will enjoy the warmth of our aikido community! The Retreat is a great place to train, have fun and make friends.
Top notch training is the thing at Aiki Summer Retreat. But there's this: The headline instructors -- Michael Friedl Shihan, Kimberly Richardson Sensei, Craig Fife Sensei, and Vince Salvatore Sensei, will all be on the mat training for as many classes as they can. These are really nice people who are at the Retreat to train as well as teach. So, don't be shy! Just bow in to them for the training experience of a lifetime!
The quality of the teaching staff at Aiki Summer Retreat is second to none. I am not only referring to the fact that Michael Friedl Shihan, Kimberly Richardson Sensei, Craig Fife Sensei, and Vince Salvatore Sensei are all extremely experienced, fantastic instructors. And, I am not only referring to the fact that they are all amazing aikidoists.
What I am really getting to is that these are all really great people. You are going to want to count these folks among your friends. They are smart, happy to share, fun to be with, and caring. The sheer quality of these people drives an incredible retreat. And you get to hang out with them for a week!
In addition, the Retreat community is made up of great training partners many of whom are also very experienced instructors. They will teach morning and other classes, too. Then there's the wider community of lovely people who make attending the Retreat truly worth it.
Something you probably don't know about the Retreat -- particularly if you didn't attend last year -- is how we support up-and-coming instructors. This year, as we did last year, we will select a few "junior" instructors to participate in our mentoring program. These fortunate folks will teach a class with one of our headliners (!) and be mentored on their teaching skills. I do not know of any other Retreat that has ever offered such a program. Last year's mentoring program was a rousing success. I am sure this year's will be as good. Let us know if you want to be considered for the mentoring program.
While full-week, immersive retreats were all the rage years ago, very few exist today. They are very expensive and difficult to organize. Instead, Bridge-style retreats are plentiful now. In case you don't know, Bridge-style Retreats are a few days long where everyone trains in one location, but you are on your own for food, a place to stay, and all non-training activities. At those Retreats, you simply cannot get get the same level of experience and friendships as staying as a group for the week. All of these wonderful people will be with us for the entire week, and they're expecting to spend their time with you! Not only that, for what you get, Aiki Summer Retreat is an amazingly affordable vacation.
If you are at all serious about your aikido, then take your training (and your fun) to the next level by joining us.
Your Co-Host Frank Bloksberg Sensei
Michael Friedl Shihan, 7th Dan
Michael Friedl Shihan is founder and chief instructor of Aikido of Ashland. He is the head of Division 2 of the California Aikido Association (taking over for Frank Doran Shihan in February, 2016). Shortly before becoming the head of the Division, Friedl Shihan completed a tenure as President of the California Aikido Association.
Friedl Shihan began his Aikido training in 1972 under Clyde Takeguchi Shihan in Madison, Wisconsin. Friedl Shihan became a live-in student (also known as a uchi deshi) for Takeguchi Shihan from 1975-1977 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1978 Friedl Shihan established a dojo in Burlington, Vermont. He moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1979 and started a small aikido club.
Friedl Shihan affiliated with Frank Doran Shihan in 1979 and has been a student of his since that time. Friedl Shihan was uchi deshi for Saito Shihan in Iwama, Japan from 1981-1983. There he studied weapons intensely and the Iwama style of weapons remains a strong influence in his weapons style to this day.
Kimberly Richardson Sensei, 6th Dan
Kimberly Richardson is the founder and chief instructor of Two Cranes Aikido in Seattle, Washington where she teaches children, teens and adults. She began her training with Mary Heiny Sensei in 1978 and has studied throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, most notably with Motomichi Anno, Saotome and Ikeda Shihans, Terry Dobson and Tom Read Senseis. Kimberly Sensei received her 6th degree black belt from Mary Heiny Sensei.
In 2008 Kimberly founded a non-profit, TCI, an Institute that provides educational and embodied leadership programs in the Seattle community and beyond. Her goal is to share O'Sensei's principles and practices that cultivate peaceful solutions to conflict and encourage nonviolent action.
Additionally, Kimberly Sensei has studied Tai Chi Chen for ten years and she is passionate about ballroom dancing. Watching children develop confidence and self-esteem on the Aikido mat is the inspiration for her first book, Gus Learns to Fly.
Craig Fife Sensei, 6th Dan
Craig Fife Sensei is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido Northwest. Fife Sensei’s Aikido training began in 1973 in Boise, Idaho. Fife Sensei currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree black belt), from the Aikikai Foundation, Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. This rank was awarded to him by his teacher, Frank Doran Shihan.
In addition to Fife Sensei’s personal study of Aikido, he has been actively teaching Aikido since 1980. Fife Sensei has also been a student of Iaido since 1990 and currently holds the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt) from the All United States Kendo Federation. Fife Sensei is a member of the California Aikido Association Teaching Committee.
Vince Salvatore Sensei, 6th Dan
Vincent Salvatore Sensei is the director and chief instructor of Aikido of Reno. He has been practicing aikido for over 30 years and teaching Aikido full-time since 2002.
Salvatore Sensei says, "After all of these years living the art, I’ve never lost the student mindset which drew me to the art all those years ago. I still go to seminars and practice to constantly develop my own personal Aikido as well as my teaching abilities. A focus of mine is applying modern scientific practices to all of the training that goes on at our Dojo."
Salvatore Sensei was influenced at an early age by his Uncle Al, who was a black belt in Aikido. In 1987, in search of the masters of the art, he moved to Japan. Salvatore Sensei was an uchi-deshi (live in student) under Saito Shihan in Iwama, Japan. Salvatore Sensei studied intensively under Saito Sensei, and lived in Japan until 1999.
Salvatore Sensei is the author of an excellent, and innovative, introduction to Aikido practice entitled "Flight, Flight, Flow".
Here's What Attendees Say About Aiki Summer Retreat 2015
The training was most excellent! Loved every minute! I loved the surrounding woods. A real highlight for me was learning from the female instructors. They were particularly fantastic. All the training was amazing.Asha Cheval
I enjoyed camp very much. It was better than I had expected and exactly what I needed to grow my Aikido. These were nice people with high level of understanding of the art.Stephen Edwards
My favorite things about the Retreat are the high quality of the people and training.David Floeter
Friendship, Camaraderie. Community building was happening everywhere without efforts. I had a great time.Erik Haag
The camaraderie of a great group of people made the Retreat a wonderful experience.Zara Haimo
The camaraderie and the training were fantastic. What a total blast and honor to be part of it.Jeramy Hale
I especially enjoyed the mentoring approach to teaching. Two things -- inseparable, really -- that made the Retreat so good: the training and the camaraderie/friendship.Chuck Hauk Sensei
I truly adore the week long, total immersion aspect of this camp. There are so few opportunities to live together, train together, eat together, dance together, be silly together ... a true delight.Molly Hale
Being at the Retreat made me want to train even more. And I loved the location and campus.Travis Hedwig
My favorite things about the Retreat are the training and connecting with new aikido friends.Brian Hendrickson
The respectful group of teachers created such a respectful place to train. I really enjoyed meeting people from all over training in aikido. It was so energizing to immerse myself in the broader community of aikido for this week. It informed and transformed my aikido.Elizabeth Jannasch
I really appreciated the positive feeling and attitude of the participants and instructors.Rick Klein
I loved the camaraderie and the variety of teachers. The Retreat was fabulous.Kate Nehrbass
I had a wonderful time sharing practice and cultivating relationships across formal affiliations. Looking forward to next time!Susan Newton
Here's what I really enjoyed about the Retreat: The people, learning aikido, becoming a better person, the kindness of my training partners, and the community.Cindy Zuelsdorf
Everyone, including those who pay online, needs to fill out and mail in the Registration Form. Here is the link to the Full Retreat Aiki Summer Retreat 2016 Full Retreat Registration Form. Here is the link to the Aiki Summer Retreat 2016 Mini-Retreat Registration Form. Be sure to use the correct form! Please read and complete the registration/release form fully and return it with payment or pay online by using the links above. We will return incomplete forms and forms without payment without processing them. Please pay careful attention to your form. Don’t overlook the birth date, witness and signature sections.
Each person needs their own separate Registration Form and payment. Please call if you have questions. Everyone must register in advance. No on-site registrations.
We will accept registrations on a first-come, first-served basis by actual date of online registration or by post-mark date, if mailed. An individual registration form must be completed by each participant and include either full payment or deposit.
Each space at camp must be used by the individual registrant, and may not be shared. Registration is not transferable.
We will send you a confirmation of your registration and payment, along with more information about camp, within two weeks. Please allow for this turn-around time before contacting us to confirm your registration.
Meals will be served in the dining hall. Service will begin with dinner on June 19 and end with a continental breakfast on June 25. Three meals will be served Monday through Friday. Please be sure to indicate whether you're vegetarian on on your registration form. Write us a note about any special needs that you may have. If you have any really special needs, send Frank Bloksberg an email.
All meals are included in the Full Plan package. Those with the Independent Plan will provide their own meals. Generally speaking, you can purchase meals in the dining hall, but we cannot guarantee that.
If the camp is full, we will place you on a waiting list and let you know your position on the list. If you decide to change plans, you must cancel from one plan and re-register for the other. We will process your second registration in order of its online or postmark date.
Please Note: To be fair to everyone on our waiting list, registrations are non-transferable.
This is an Adult Retreat
Retreat participants must be 15 years of age or older by May 15. We may allow exceptional youth slightly younger with special permission from Frank Bloksberg Sensei. Please do not register someone under 15 years of age without Bloksberg Sensei's express permission.
Parent or guardian must sign and witness a minor’s registration/release form. If a minor attends camp without a parent or guardian, the parent/guardian must also provide a letter designating an adult camp participant as the person responsible for the minor during camp. Of course, you must have that participant's permission.
All cancellations are final. You may re-register with a new online/postmark date.
No cancellation fee if you cancel by May 15. If you cancel after May 15, the cancellation fee for the Full Plan is $75, and Independent Plan is $50. If you cancel after June 1st, you will be subject to a loss of the full registration fee.
Getting to the Summer Retreat
Feather River College is in Quincy, California, about 140 miles northeast of Sacramento and about 85 miles from Reno.
The drive from Sacramento is approximately 2 3/4 hours. The drive from Reno is about 1 3/4 hours. The challenge with the trip from Reno is an awful lot of it is winding roads traveling over the mountains. The last hour, or so, of the drive from Sacramento is getting up into the foothills.
Flights are often cheaper into Reno than Sacramento.
Feather River College is a drug and alcohol-free campus.
Here's the link to the Aiki Summer Retreat 2016 schedule. Please keep in mind that the schedule can change!
We'll be sending everyone who signs up emails with all of the necessary information for a great Retreat.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!
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