Rescheduled: Gideon Haimovitz’s Shodan Exam

Gideon Haimovitz’s shodan test (first degree black belt) will be Saturday, November 11, 2017, around 10 am, Gideon Haimovitz will be doing his shodan exam. The exam is during Craig Fife Sensei’s seminar, November 10 – 12, 2017.

Gideon is a long-time student of Aikido’Ka, going on 8 years. Everyone who knows Gideon thinks the world of him and he’s immense fun to train with. He’s been preparing very diligently and his exam will be amazing.

Gideon is the third home-grown black belt for me, after Gabriel Cuppet and Ian Isbell. Both Gabriel and Ian did amazing tests. I expect Gideon’s to be the best yet.

Everyone is welcome to watch, at no charge. If you want to train during the seminar (which you really ought to do!), click here to register.

Craig Fife Sensei Seminar is November 10-12, 2017

We’ve rescheduled Craig Fife Sensei’s seminar to November 10 – 12, 2017. Our good friend Gideon Haimovitz will do his shodan test on Saturday morning, November 11, at about 10 am.

Many folks will know Craig Sensei from being one of the Aiki Summer Retreat headliners. He’s an extraordinary aikido instructor and an absolutely first-rate person. You will enjoy yourself and learn a tremendous amount at this seminar. Please join us!

Craig Fife Sensei is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido Northwest. Since 2013, Fife Sensei has been one of the headliners of Aiki Summer Retreat, with Michael Friedl Shihan and Kimberly Richardson Sensei. He began his aikido training 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.

For more info and to register for the seminar, click here.

Aiki Summer Retreat 2017 – Registration is Open!

Aiki Summer Retreat logo

Join us for Aiki Summer Retreat 2017, June 4 – 10 at beautiful Granlibakken Tahoe. Our headline instructors are Michael Friedl Shihan, Kimberly Richardson Sensei, and Craig Fife Sensei.

Get all of the information about the Retreat and registration at the Aiki Summer Retreat home page.

Here’s a link to a PDF of the Retreat flyer.

Don’t delay! The Early Bird Special ends on April 30 and registration closes on May 21.

Aiki Summer Retreat 2017 flyer

Attend Our 10th Anniversary Celebration — March 10-12, 2016

It’s completely hard for me to believe, but our 10th Anniversary is coming up. So, I think this calls for a little dojo history lesson. 🙂

White-Faced Ibis

These are White-Faced ibis, not Sandhill cranes.

In Japanese culture, the crane is special. It’s a sign of longevity and good fortune, because it supposedly lives for 1,000 years. In reality, cranes do live long lives. In captivity, their life-span averages 40 to 60 years. Supposedly, one captive Siberian crane lived for 83 years and fathered chicks at age 78. OK, then!

Anyway . . . to Aikido’Ka Opening Day. We had classes and other events going all day long. It was quite the extravaganza and tremendous fun. While I was leading a class, I heard a familiar sound and listened carefully. It didn’t take too long for me to think I was hearing Sandhill cranes — a lot of them.

I dashed outside and saw circling directly above the dojo a flock of Sandhill cranes. There must have been hundreds of them. The cranes visited several times that day. I’m not superstitious, or anything like that, but I sure did appreciate the visit. 🙂 The cranes don’t show up every year, but they often do.

Michael Friedl Shihan and Kimberly Richardson Sensei

Michael Friedl Shihan and Kimberly Richardson Sensei

While I can’t guarantee the cranes will appear during our 10th Anniversary Celebration, I can assure you that we’re going to have a great time. Two of my favorite aikido people will be teaching — Michael Friedl Shihan and Kimberly Richardson Sensei. Michael Shihan is my direct aikido teacher. He’s an extraordinary teacher and a great guy — informative, fun, easily approachable. Kimberly Richardson Sensei is an absolute marvel. She moves with extraordinary grace. She’s very friendly and approachable. You’ll love both of them. Getting the two of them with us together is an incredible treat. We’ll also have some other teachers who have been instrumental in our success teach some. We’ll be providing lunch at the dojo. I also understand that Michael Shihan may put on a brief magic show during lunch!

On top of all of this fun, Ian Isbell will be doing his shodan test Saturday morning around 10 am. Ian will be our second home-grown black belt. Talk about exciting! Ian has been training for about 8 years, and is a key member of Aikido’Ka. He’s a really great guy with a truly joyful spirit.

Ian Isbell

Ian will be demonstrating for his shodan on March 10, 2017.

Aikido’Ka is a friendly, fun dojo where you are welcome. So please join us and celebrate! You’ll get a $20 discount if you register before March 3, 2017.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.

By the way, the photo I’ve used with this post is not of Sandhill cranes. They’re White-Faced ibis. Ibis aren’t cranes, but they’re considered “crane-like.” Since I couldn’t find any photos of cranes that I’ve taken, I used this one. I expect to get some crane photos soon and I’ll update this post then.

Fundraising Success!

Fundraising SuccessThanks to our amazing community. We met our fundraising goals!

I set our original goal at $5,000, knowing that that amount would really help with paying for our new mats, floating floor and storage container. But I had forgotten that we only get 92% of the amount donated.

So, I let everyone know that for us to actually get $5,000, we had to raise $5,435. And we did it! We raised exactly $5,435. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am.

We’ve successfully completed the fundraiser. While the fundraising page still exists, I have turned off the donations.

I will keep you posted about how the installation goes, with pictures and everything. 🙂

It’s our goal to have everything completed for Chuck Hauk and Daryl Berlie Senseis seminar December 9 – 11. Gabriel Cuppet will be doing his shodan test Saturday morning (December 10). Please join us and enjoy the new mat and floating floor.

Click here to register, or get more information about the seminar.

Fundraiser Success!

Aikido'Ka LogoThanks to our amazing community, we met our fundraising goals!

I set our original goal at $5,000, knowing that that amount would really help with paying for our new mats, floating floor and storage container. But I had forgotten that we only get 92% of the amount donated.

So, I let everyone know that for us to actually get $5,000, we had to raise $5,435. And we did it! We raised exactly $5,435. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am.

We successfully completed the fundraiser. While the fundraising page still exists, I have turned off the donations.

I will keep you posted about how the installation goes, with pictures and everything. 🙂

It’s our goal to have everything completed for Chuck Hauk and Daryl Berlie Senseis seminar December 9 – 11. Gabriel Cuppet will be doing his shodan test Saturday morning (December 10). Click here to join us (or just learn more) and enjoy the new mat and floating floor.

October 2016 Testing and Prep. Dates

Ian will be demonstrating for his first kyu on May 16, 2015.

Ian having fun not long before his 1st kyu test.

Here are the dates for our special events, including testing and test preparation dates (these dates/times do not affect our regular schedule) for October:

Tuesday, 4 — Test Prep. Day

Monday, 10 — Adult Beginner Seminar (8th Kyu – 5th Kyu) @ 5:30 pm, Youth Ranks: 8th, 7th, and 6th Kyu Seminar @ 3:30pm and 4:15pm

Tuesday, 11 — Adult Intermediate Seminar (4th and 3rd Kyu) @ 5:30pm Youth Ranks: 7th, 6th, & 5th Kyu Seminar @ 3:30pm and 4:15pm, Shodan Ho Seminar @ 7:00pm

Wednesday, 12 — Adult Advanced Seminar (2nd & 1st Kyu) @ 12pm and 7pm, Youth Ranks: 4th & 3rd Kyu Seminar @ 4:15pm

Thursday, 13 — Adult Beginner Weapons Seminar (8th Kyu – 5th Kyu) @ 5:30pm

Friday, 14 — Adult Black Belt Seminar @ 6:30pm

Saturday, 15 — Women’s Class @ Noon

Wednesday, 19 — Test Prep. Day

Monday, 24 — Test Prep. Day

Tuesday, 25 — Testing and Demo Day: Youth Class @ 4pm, Adult Class @ 5:30pm

Join Us for the Linda Holiday Sensei Webinar

Linda Holiday Sensei

Linda Holiday Sensei

n 1970, Linda Holiday Sensei joined an aikido class at the University of California Santa Cruz. She didn’t realize it at the time, but she was beginning her lifelong study of aikido.

She soon moved to Japan, meeting and training with some of the Founder’s closest students, including Motomichi Anno Sensei.

Holiday Sensei’s new book, Journey to the Heart of Aikido, tells her and Anno Sensei’s remarkable aikido story.

Please join our conversation on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 pm PT.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE FREE WEBINAR.

We Can Drive Through for the Food Bank

We Can Drive Through 2012 for the Food Bank

Helping the Hungry on Saturday, October 20
11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Photo of Food Bank Truck for Aikido'Ka food drive

Collecting Food at We Can Drive Through by Aikido’Ka

On Saturday, October 20, from 11 am – 6 pm (rain or shine), Aikido’Ka members will be at the corner of Broad & Union Streets for We Can Drive Through 2012. This will be the 5th Annual Aikido’Ka food drive for the Food Bank of Nevada County.

Drive Through is an amazingly easy and effective way for you to support the Food Bank and our community. Clean out your pantry and drop off your extra non-perishable food items at the corner of Broad and Union Streets in Nevada City. Just pull in on either side of the street, drop off your cash and/or food donation and drive away. We will be there rain or shine. It’s that easy!

I spoke with folks at the Food Bank on October 11. They emphasized how important this food drive is to them. In essence, by this time of year, the Food Bank is broke. They need to begin purchasing food for the big holiday season, but they really don’t have any money. They also have practically no food. Drive Through is their first significant boost going into the season. They said that Drive Through is critical to their success.

In early October 2007, we learned that the Food Bank was experiencing a tremendous increase in demand and had been running out of food. In fact, the Food Bank inventory was down to one case of cans. When the Food Bank runs out of food, children go hungry.

In emergency response, Aikido’Ka held We Can Drive Through. On October 27, 2007, at the bottom of Broad Street in Nevada City the community raised approximately $2,500 in cash and over 1,600 pounds of non-perishable food.

With We Can Drive Through, Aikido’Ka has raised approximately $11,000 and 5,750 pounds of food for the Food Bank!

The Food Bank does necessary work in our community and needs our support. The Food Bank provides food to senior citizens, single parents, working poor, families and homeless in our county. They are serving more families than ever before, on a budget made up of 80% donations.

Here is a partial list of the food items that the Food Bank needs (of course, this is not a complete list):

100% Fruit Juice
Canned Fruit
Dried Beans (any type)
Canned Tomato Products
Enriched Rice
Powdered Milk
Canned Fish and Meat
Enriched Pasta
Peanut Butter (plastic containers only)

Additional Child-friendly items:

100% Fruit Rolls
Raisins
Graham Crackers
Unsweetened Applesauce
Cheese and Crackers
Fruit Cups
Raisins
Pretzels
Trail Mix, Granola, Nuts
String Cheese
Dried Fruit

Please help us make this the most successful We Can Drive Through that we’ve had!

For pictures from previous Aikido’Ka food drives, click on the link:

Aikido’Ka food drives for the Food Bank of Nevada County.

If you have any questions, want to make donations or would like to volunteer, please contact Frank Bloksberg at (530) 273-2727.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Frank Sensei

Doran Shihan Seminar Tomorrow, March 31!

Doran Shihan‘s seminar is tomorrow, Saturday, March 31!

Here’s the schedule:

Morning Class — 10:00 – 11:30

Afternoon Class — 1:00 – 2:30

Drop by and train or just watch. It’s going to be amazing.

There’ll be aikidoists from all over training. So this will be a wonderful opportunity to train with many new folks.

See you on the mat!