Official news and announcements about the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.

Condolences: Thurston Carleton

It is with great sadness that ASU shares news of the passing of Thurston Carleton, 6th dan, Aikido Shobukan Dojo Board member, and longtime contributor to the aikido community. Thurston’s deep understanding of aikido principles and commitment to Saotome Shihan’s vision served as an inspiration to us all and benefited many. His time at Shobukan spanned five decades. From rigorous training in his early years (e.g., we’ve heard the stories of koshi-nage practice in the parking lot) to leading seniors’ class in his later years, Thurston was always engaged in the happenings of the dojo. Thurston truly did it all for the dojo and always from a place of love and respect for the art and those around him. We will miss Thurston’s sage guidance and generous spirit.

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/silver-spring-md/thurston-carleton-9123800

The following memories are offered by George Ledyard Sensei:

“I knew Thurston Carlton for over 40 years. I began my Aikido training in 1977 at the newly opened Aikido Shobukan Dojo with Saotome Sensei and in those early days of the dojo, Thurston was ever present. In those days the dojo was not yet close to finished. Warren Little lived in his camper behind the dojo (where the rock garden is now). Only half the space was matted. It had been an electrician’s business and half the space was filled with old cable reels, wiring, and all sorts of garbage while we had cleared the other half and built the mat. The walls were in the process of being paneled. Thurston and I among others did that.

Thurston always seemed to be at the dojo somewhere, fixing something. In those days there was no residence upstairs so the Dojo was the mat area and a cave-like basement. Sensei lived elsewhere. Thurston seemed to be over at Sensei’s when he wasn’t at the dojo. I know he had a job in those days but I am not at all sure how he managed that since between his time at Sensei’s helping him and his time at the dojo working on the space it seemed like aikido took up all his time. In those days the core group all trained six days a week. But Thurston would even come in off-hours and train with Glenn Bluestone who lived with Sarah down in the basement. Glenn was always happy to have Thurston drop in for more Aikido.

No one loved Aikido more than Thurston did. And no one did more for Sensei or the Dojo than Thurston did in those early days. Over the years that never changed. If something needed fixing, he jumped right in. If Sensei needed help with something, he jumped right in… right up until his passing.

The Aikido Shobukan Dojo owes Thuston more than can be expressed. And it will not be quite the same place without his presence. His passing is the end of an era.”

Message From Saotome Sensei

I hope that all Aikidoka everywhere in the world stay safe. Aiki is the ability to recognize circumstances around you and adapt. For example, I hear you are using new technology to keep to keep connected. Very good!

I am very proud that my students have put safety first and closed their dojo. Taking care of the community was always in the heart of O-Sensei. If we help each other, we will get through this and return to our usual practice.

Please know that Patricia, my wife, and I are safe and taken care of here in Sarasota. I hope to see all of you soon.

Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan
Aikido Schools of Ueshiba

ASU Dojo-Cho Videoconference: Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak

ASU will be hosting a special videoconference to help member dojos respond appropriately to the current COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak.  All ASU dojo-cho are encouraged to participate.

March 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm ET
If you are a dojocho and you did not receive an invitation,
contact Tres Hofmeister at tres@nullasu.org

2020 Kagami Biaraki Promotions

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

GodanYondan
Dwayne Bolt Philadelphia, PA
Dana Hays Missoula, MT
Daniel McConnell Columbus, OH
Richard Moore Tallahassee, FI
Betsy O’Donnell Cleveland, OH
Brad Schultz Edmonton, Canada
John Taylor Washington, D.C.
Scott Brady Billings, MT
George Carroll New Lenox, IL
Katherine Derbyshire Seattle, WA
Reginald Robinson Washington, D.C.
Michael Stabile Washington, D.C.
Tseng Wang Madison, WI

The ASU Board would also like to congratulate the successful candidates. Thank you for all of your efforts on the various committees.

The formal Aikikai announcement is linked here.

2019 Kagami Biraki Promotions

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

NanadanRokudanGodanYondan
Raso HultgrenAyhan Kaya
Nick Kiritz
Mary McIntire
Tom McIntire
James Sorrentino
Ed Cline
Stephen Earle
James Gardner
Jeffrey Hadley
Steven Matthews
Taku Okubo
Steven Duncan
Tobin Foster
Brad Kaser
Joe Kinman
Al Krever
Kristien Kubler
David Meisner
Michael Pollak
Ed Reiff

The formal Aikikai announcement is linked here.

2018 Kagami Biraki Promotions

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

RokudanGodanYondan
Brian Canin
Stephen Fasen
Steven Lee Schneid
Ana Arango
Melissa Bell
Luis Escamilla
Cheryl Moore-Gough
Jerold Hargis
Sharon Seymour
Kerry Connell
Tom Graham
Jay Hartley
Ola Karasik
Cathy Middlecamp
Amir Moayedpa
Alex Rodriguez
Ebon Soul
Jesse Williamson
Tracy Wujcik

The formal Aikikai announcement is linked here.

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:

NanadanRokudanGodanYondan
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.