Student Promotions

On Wednesday April 25, five students tested and were promoted by an instructor panel consisting of Hagen Sensei, Clementi Sensei, and Murray Sensei.  They had strong tests, and we congratulate them for their dedication and effort to make themselves better!

  • 4th kyu: Kenneth Bedeker
  • 5th kyu: Alan Abelson
  • 6th kyu: Tiago Dominguez
  • 6th kyu: Tian Dominguez
  • 6th kyu: Brittany Willard

Nidan Promotion – Meredith Abel

On Saturday, April 21 Saotome Sensei promoted Meredith to the rank of nidan (2nd degree black belt).  Meredith performed a phenomenal test and set a high standard for our Dojo.  Be sure to congratulate her when you see her, we are all very proud!

The following clip is from Meredith’s weapons randori (courtesy of Leslie Salas).  Ukes are Ian Pinkerton (Shindai), Phil Ott (Shindai) and Scott Ellis (Sarasota).

Meredith Nidan Weapons Randori

Schrader Sensei Awarded Ueshiba Juku Designation

This month, Saotome Sensei awarded one of our instructors – Daryl Schrader Sensei – the Ueshiba Juku designation. Ueshiba Juku translates loosely as “academy of the Founder”; it recognizes that the recipient has shown exceptional loyalty and leadership within the art, to transmitting the teachings of O-Sensei, and is a true inheritor of the teachings of O-Sensei. It is only awarded to very senior Aikido teachers, and rank is no guarantee of award.

This is a very high honor, and declares Schrader Sensei to be one of Saotome Sensei’s successors. Congratulations, we are all very proud!

ASU Yudansha Exam Preparation Handbook

In theory, regular practice of Aikido under a qualified instructor will prepare a student to pass their black belt test and to handle situations of stress, aggression and violence.  However, we are often nervous when test time approaches, as subconsciously we don’t have confidence that normal keiko is sufficient preparation for the above-normal stress and performance associated with testing.  We’ve all heard stories about students who have trained for a long time but had bad tests or even failed.

Psychology teaches us that humans perform best when provided clear and consistent goals and expectations, and then are given the tools to achieve them.  This handbook was assembled to help bridge the gap between testing expectation and preparation by sharing the best advice of some of ASU’s top instructors.

Sharing this handbook and linking to this page are encouraged; please, however, link to the page and not directly to the handbook. While the handbook is worded and focused foremost for members of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba, it’s our hope that the concepts and advice will be useful for Aikido students regardless of their affiliation or style.

2010 Carrie Matteoli Shodan Exam

The shodan (1st degree black belt) examination of Carrie Matteoli, member of the University of South Florida Aikido dojo (Tampa Florida, usfaikido.com). The exam was held during the annual Florida Rokudan Seminar, which was hosted this year by the ASU Sarasota dojo on August 21, 2010.

2010 Jon Posnick Shodan Exam

The shodan (1st degree black belt) examination of Jon Posnick, member of the University of South Florida Aikido dojo (Tampa Florida, usfaikido.com). The exam was held during the annual Florida Rokudan Seminar, which was hosted this year by the ASU Sarasota dojo on August 21, 2010.

2010 Barry Engh Shodan Exam

The shodan (1st degree black belt) examination of Barry Engh, member of the University of South Florida Aikido dojo (Tampa Florida, usfaikido.com). The exam was held during the annual Florida Rokudan Seminar, which was hosted this year by the ASU Sarasota dojo on August 21, 2010.