February 2020 ASU Newsletter

The ASU Board:

  • President: Wendy Whited
  • Vice President/Secretary: Ania Small
  • Treasurer: Josh Drachman
  • Members at Large: – Lee Crawford – Chetan Prakash – John Messores – Marsha Turner

  • Legal Counsel – Richard Moore
  • Ranch Manager – Ken Osbun
  • Shrine Coordinator – Julie Tollen
  • Website / Marketing – Guy Hagen
  • ASU Office Administrator – Don Ellingsworth
  • Technical Task Force – Kay Sandacz

February 4, 2020 Board Meeting Report (Winter Camp)

President Whited called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

Items of business:

  1. 1The ASU Office Manager will contact any ASU dojo who has not paid dues as of December 31st of the current year. If dues are not paid or the dojo is non-responsive by March 31, the dojo will be listed as “inactive” on the ASU website and lose its ASU privileges.
  2. The lead person of the ASU Winter Intensive will be asked to attend one or more seminar(s) for the expressed purpose of observing various instructors with the intent of hiring such instructors at future Winter Intensives. The Board will cover costs for the lead person up to $3,000.
  3. The Board will sponsor two seminars a year aimed at dojo that do not have regularly planned events due to size or location. Amounts will be up to $3,000 per grant (as reimbursable expenses) and instructors will be nanadans. The Grant Committee will be charged with determining appropriate selection criteria and deciding grant participants.

The next meeting will be March 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Ania Small
ASU Board Secretary

Promotions for the first half of 2019

I plan on posting the yudansha promotions for 2019 over the next few newsletters until I can start posting 2020. The names of some dojo have been shortened due to space constraints. Sorry about that.

  • Erwin Ricafort Yondan 2/25/19 Aikido Bushin
  • Mark Chin Shodan 7/25/19 Aikido At NWU
  • Derek Hedstrom Sandan 4/20/19 Aikido Borealis
  • Diana Hedstrom Nidan 4/20/19 Aikido Borealis
  • Ravi Kumar Shodan 4/5/19 Northshore WA
  • Sean McIlwain Shodan 2/25/19 Aikido Madison
  • Andrita Huckle Nidan 4/14/19 Central Ohio
  • Wansu Choi Nidan 5/15/19 Shobukan Dojo
  • Roy Hodges Nidan 5/15/19 Shobukan Dojo
  • Sooyong Kim Sandan 5/15/19 Shobukan Dojo
  • Arnaud Lyet Shodan 5/15/19 Shobukan Dojo
  • Noah Meltzer Shodan 5/15/19 Shobukan Dojo
  • Tom Giebink Nidan 7/25/19 Bozeman
  • Andrew Vitale Yondan 4/5/19 Chicago Aikikai
  • David Hirtle Sandan 7/25/19 Ellsworth Aiki
  • Ayberk Abayhan Nidan 7/25/19 Lake County IL
  • Matthew Burleson Nidan 7/25/19 Lake County IL
  • Jim Tews Shodan 7/25/19 Lake County IL
  • Lars Ullberg Sandan 7/25/19 Lake County IL
  • Joe Kinman Yondan 2/25/19 Louisville Aiki
  • Terry Apa Shodan 7/25/19 Mountain West
  • Angel Espinoza Sandan 5/15/19 Berkshires MA

Got an app for that?

Does your dojo use software for administrative tasks, like billing or seminar registration? We’d appreciate dojocho responding to the topic in the dojocho forum. The forum can be accessed from the dojocho portal. Click “Log in” at the bottom of asu.org and enter your credentials.

Also, if you need information on testing fees, tips on how to run a seminar, etc. check out the dojocho forum.

Saotome Sensei’s Schedule 2020

  • January 31-February 2: Midwest Shrine Session
  • February 21-23: Shrine session, Nidan/Sandan, focus on curriculum
  • May 1 – 3: Shindai Dojo, Orlando, FL
  • June 5 – 7: Bond Street Dojo, New York NY
  • July 1 – 5: Summer Camp, Washington DC
  • August 28 – 30: Aikido Eastside, Bellevue WA
  • October 16-18: Shrine session, Shodan, focus on curriculum
  • December 11-13: Shrine session, Yondan and above, focus on curriculum


As of 2021, Sensei will only be flying to attend seminars in Washington, DC.

The Shrine session started with the usual opening the Shrine and chasing out the tree frogs. This was followed by three days of training with Saotome Sensei, Mary McIntre, Kay Sandacz, and Steve Mathews, Sensei all. The general report from people attending was that is was refreshing to have the senior students on the mat moving about and training with everyone. The mudansha were a great addition to the energy level. Saotome Sensei was in a jovial mood and focused on Aiki connection. “If I can do it, you can do it” was repeated many times.

The next regional seminar will be hosted by the Pacific West Coast Feb. 5-7, 2021.

Midwest Shrine Seminar 2020
Photo by Wendy Whited

Teaching Tip of the Month

Help teach your students the best way to get the attention of an instructor when they go to a seminar or have a guest instructor visiting your dojo. Teach them to walk up to the instructor and ask for help. It is considered rude in a Japanese art to call an instructor over to you. Please remind them that a “Thank you, Sensei.” is greatly appreciated by the instructor.

Grant Application Deadlines

Please be aware that the grant window for Summer Camp is fast approaching. One of the great joys of the the ASU Board is to help send people who might not otherwise be able to go to these wonderful training experiences. If you like training with ten people, try eighty or more at a camp.

  • Summer Camp – March 1 – 31, 2020
  • West Coast Fall Camp – August 1-31, 2020
  • October Shrine -August 1 – 31, 2020
  • Winter Intensive – September – 1- 30, 2020
  • December Shrine session – October 1 – 30, 2020

Applicants will be notified if an award has been granted at the end of the application window. Applications received past the window dates will not be considered for awards.

The grant application material is available on the website: http://asu.org/asu-grant-program.