Report from the Board of Directors: November 2017

Report From November Board Meeting
1.The ASU now has policy for foreign dojo to join the ASU. Currently, there are three dojo interested.

2. Chetan Prakash has been named the Liaison between the Board and foreign dojo wishing to join the ASU.

3.The Board is exploring various ideas to improve weapons skills throughout the organization.

4.  The report from Winter Camp is excellent. At this time, there are double the number of registrations compared to last year. A round of applause for the committee!

Respectfully submitted,
Wendy Whited

Summer Camp Town Hall Meeting July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017
Washington, DC
Shobukan Dojo

I.    The meeting was called to order by President Messores at 5:30 p.m.

II.   The members of the Board were introduced to the membership.

III.  A report was made to the membership on the activities of the Board over
the past six months since January 1, 2017.

A.  The seminars at the Aiki Shrine have continued with two more planned
for this year.

B.  There were several cleaning days at the Shrine that were very successful.

C.  A new roof was purchased by the Board for the main house at the Shrine
and other buildings were repaired or modified for better use by the

D.  The Ethics Statement was written, approved by the lawyer and Board and
posted on the ASU website.

E.  The requirements for yudansha promotion were redone and posted.

F.  Requirements for foreign dojo to join the ASU were written and will be

G.  A newsletter has been started that is sent to all of the dojo cho and should
be posted for membership to read.

H.  New mats were purchased by the ASU Board for the Shine Dojo.

I.  Winter Camp will now be run through the ASU Board.

J.  One hundred and eighty new mats will be purchased for Winter Camp.

K.  The mortgage on the Shrine property was paid.

L.  The Instructional Committee got a very good response to a survey on
working with beginners.

M.  A Scholarship Program has been started and the first four 2018 Winter
Camp Scholarships have been granted.

IV.  The Board open the meeting for questions from the membership.

Q.  Does the Board have a process for accepting new dojo into the ASU?

A.  Yes, there is policy and it can be found on the ASU website.

Q.  What are the testing requirements?

A.  These can be found on the ASU website.

Q.  How is Aikido membership doing world-wide?

A.  The Board can only address membership in the ASU which is holding
steady at this time.

Q.  How can we retain new members?

A.  The Instructional Committee is working on this problem right now.
They’re working on gathering various ways that different dojo deal
with this problem.  They hope to have something ready for the
membership in the near future.

Q.  How will members of the Board train new Board members? Is there
an internship planned?

A.  The Board terms are staggered so the first new members to be
formally replaced will be January 2019.  The Advisory Committee
submits a list of candidates to the Board who will then chose the
new members.  At this time, Board members must be sixth dan and
above and members in good standing of the ASU.

Report from the Board of Directors: May, 2017

1.  ASU testing fees and annual dues will be $25 for college sudents training in
any ASU club as of June 2017.

2.  The Board is working on policy for admitting foreign dojo into the ASU.

3.  The Board is going to purchase 180 new mats to be used for Winter Camp.

4.  The Winter Camp Committee has signed the contract for Sirata hotel as the
place for Winter Camp.

5.  There will be an open Town Meeting with the Board at Summer Camp.
Bring your questions/ideas to discuss with the Board.

Report from the Board of Directors: March, 2017

  1. The Board is working on the new policy for promotions which will contain seminar requirements. During this process, the Board, with input from all of the ASU committees, developed the follow list of reason people should go to seminars:
    A.  Improve technical skills by practicing with different senior students, either
    as training partners or under the direction of the senior instructors.

    B.    Encourage people to work with different Aikidoka outside of their own

    C.   Introduce newer students into the greater Aikido world.

    D.  Give students a chance to train with an uchideshi of O-Sensei by having
    the opportunity to train under Saotome Sensei.

    E.  Develop relationships between junior students, senior students, and

    F.  Build relationships within the Aikido world, locally, nationally, and

    G.  Get to know the people who might take uke on your test.

    H.   To fulfill the suggested requirements from the Aikikai that people
    demonstrate their worthiness for higher promotions.

    I.   Have a reason to visit a new city.

    J.  See and preview promotional testing.

    K.  Hang out with your friends from other dojo.

    L.  Have fun! If you come up with other ideas, please let the Board know.  (

  2. Mudansha books are ready!  A special thanks to Cliff Patrie of the Louisville Aikikai who spent a lot of his time on this project. These “passports” are jus for yet-to-be black belts to record their seminars, extended Saturday training, or visits to another dojo. These booklets will never be handed in to prove seminar attendance; rather they are designed to be an Aiki diary. They are $5.00 each and will only be sold at seminars and camps.
  3. The Scholarship fund was approved and funded. There will be two places awarded for each of the three camps and ten individual awards for people to attend regular weekend seminars. The camp scholarships will be awarded by a raffle and the ten seminar awards on need.  More information on how to enter the first raffle will be given in the April Newsletter.
  4. The Board approved allowing foreign dojo to join the ASU. This was approved by the Aikikai in Japan.
  5. The committee for the 2017 Winter Camp reported their progress to the Board. Kim Fitzgerald and Melissa Bell are jointly running the committee with the help of Chase Wolf. A special thanks go to John Messores Sensei for running Winter Camp these past ten years. Messores Sensei will still be attending camp, but this year he gets to enjoy it. Putting on Winter Camp is a huge project and people’s help will be greatly appreciated.
  6. The next item was the requirements for promotion.  These requirements are easily attained and should have already been done by anyone seriously looking to be promoted.

I. Requirements:

These requirements are a bare minimum. For people planning on attaining higher rank in the future, many more seminars than listed below will be needed.

Ikkyu to Shodan:  Two seminars/intensives or one camp

Shodan to Nidan:  Three seminars/intensives or one camp

Nidan to Sandan:  Three seminars/intensive or one camp

Please refer to the ASU Handbook for the definition of a seminar/camp.

II. Qualifications for Camps and Seminars/Intensives:

Only ASU approved camps qualify for promotion.

Activities fulfilling these requirements are to be ASU seminars/Intensives (i.e., those taught solely by ASU instructors), except a non-ASU instructor may teach one seminar for each promotion or a “friendship” type seminar with various teachers from different organizations may be attended for credit. The majority of instructors at such “friendship” seminars must have a sixth dan or above issued by the Hombu Aikikai.

Requirements are to be completed in the two years prior to each test. Also, ASU dues must be up-to-date for the requisite minimum number of years for testing to take place.

III. Waivers

These may be requested for a student via e-mail from the dojo-cho to the Board Secretary who will forward them to the Waiver Committee.  Waivers are for family, work, or health issues, not for financial problems.  A scholarship program has been created to help those students with financial constraints.

These requirements are a product of a six month period of discussion among all of the members of every ASU committee and the Board members.

Report from the Board of Directors: January, 2017

The Board is currently working on the following projects:

  1. A “mudansha” passport that non-black belts could use to record their seminars. These would be on sale at various seminars and are not  mandatory.
  2. A scholarship fund that will be used to help students get to camps and various seminars in the ASU.
  3. The policy on seminar/camp requirements is almost finished. A big thank you to all of the committee members who worked on this important policy.
  4. Kagami Biraki certificates will be distributed this month.
  5. New mats have been purchased for the Shrine Dojo and are down in the Shrine though the good graces and kind help of the members of the12th Street Dojo from Sarasota, spearheaded by Melissa Bell and Ken Osbun, manager of the Aiki Shrine. Thank you so much!
  6. The new Ethics Statement has been completed and is available on the ASU website (  Thanks to Richard Moore for his efforts on this project and Guy Hagen for posting it.

2017 Kagami Biraki Promotions

The following 44 ASU instructor promotions were recognized by the Aikikai Hombu (World Aikido Headquarters) at their annual Kagami Biraki celebration:

Charles TsengMike Adachi
Jude Blitz
Douglas Hanson
Eugene Lee
Alex Nakamura
Gary Small
Marsha Turner
Tracy Alpert
Larry Bowman
Barb Brown
Mark Campbel-Olszewski
Nina Carleton
Don Ellingsworth
Guy Hagen
Brian Healy
Eric Henkels
James Klar
Jonathan Klopp
Jonathan Lewis
Leslie Libby
Cheryl Matrasko
Laurie Nusbaum
Douglas Peelie
Ken Purdy
Kay Sandacz
Brian Scott
Thomas Stenzel
Todd Trzaskos
Jennifer Barr
James Codaman
Robert Fergusen
James Ford
Michael Hunter
Garth Jones
Min Kang
Warren Little
David Mosley
Cliff Patrie
Daniel Rubin
Beth Schenk
Kirk Scott
Kooros Shirazi
Andrzej Siwkiewicz
Billie Steiert

The formal Aikikai announcement is linked here.