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.