Fundraising for Cuban Aikido Federation

Grand Rapids Aikikai to host Aikido Seminar with Elmer Tancinco Sensei

April 1st at 9 AM to April 2nd at 12 PM at Kyoseikan Dojo.

Dave Mata Sensei, Chief Instructor at Kyoseikan Dojo, recently visited Cuba and trained with fellow aikidoka of the Cuban Federation of Aikido.  This experience has inspired Mata Sensei to return to Cuba, and to raise awareness for the needs of our friends there.

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Senseis Tancinco and Mata with members of the Cuban Federation of Aikido.

To that end, Grand Rapids Aikikai will be hosting an Aikido Seminar with special guest Elmer Tancinco Sensei, Chief Instructor of Alameda Aikikai.

In Mata Sensei’s words:

Our goal is to help our friends who are members of the Cuban Federation of Aikido. The CFA is recognized by Aikikai and a member of the Sansuikai under the direction of Y. Yamada Shihan. The CFA is made up of about 35 dojos spread throughout Cuba. The USAF has been active through the efforts of Peter and Penny Bernath Shihan(s) (along with many others) in funding Dan registration with Hombu Dojo for the CFA. This is a monumental task and those involved with these efforts deserve our appreciation.

Now for our part. As we all know, the financial situation for the people of Cuba is limited. Statistics show that the average income is about $30. US each month. Many students are training with home made weapons and some only had sticks of bamboo. We celebrate and respect their dedication to training and the mindset that training is what’s important so you do whatever you have to do to train. Now is time for those of us with a little more to give to our cousins in Cuba.

We are not asking anyone to take sides on the political situation in Cuba. We are asking our friends, family members and fellow Birankai members around the world to help us share with strong, passionate and talented Aikidoka.

We hope those who are able to attend the seminar will be here and train with us. For those who can not attend and those who are not Aikido students we hope you are able to make some small donation towards our efforts. Here is a link for donations.

Donations and funds from this event will go toward outfitting as many CFA Dojos as possible with quality Bokken and Jyo.

Donations may be made through our on-line store:

https://mkt.com/store/GrandRapidsAikikai

Please make a note if you would like your donation to remain private.

We would like to extend special appreciation to our friends at Nippon Budogu for helping to sponsor this event.

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Planning for the New Year

Happy holidays, Grand Rapids Aikidoka!  Your Aikido community has been busy scheduling events to satisfy your New Year’s Resolutions for more training!

First, Max Honey Sensei will begin teaching a new weekly morning Aikido class, Tuesdays from 8 to 9am, starting January 3rd.

Next, Mata Sensei has added some additional Saturday morning sessions specifically for our newer students, February 18th and March 18th.

And it is looking to be another great year for Grand Rapids and Midwest Birankai Seminars.  Here at Kyoseikan Dojo, we’ll be hosting an April Seminar with Elmer Tancinco Sensei to raise funds for our new Aikidoka friends in Cuba. And we’re also very proud to announce the return of Lynn Shihan for our Summer Seminar in August!  Regionally, we’re excited for the return of Sovoca Sensei at Logan Square Aikido, and for a seminar commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Fox Valley Aikikai.

All these dates can be found on our calendar page.  If you’d like to print out these dates to hang on your wall, a beautiful PDF version can be downloaded here.

Oct 22-23: 10 Year Anniversary Seminar!

We are very excited to have Elizabeth Lynn Shihan, 6th Dan, Chief Instructor of Eastshore Aikikai in Richmond, CA, to lead a seminar celebrating the 10th anniversary of Grand Rapids Aikikai!

Please register in advance here.  Payment may be submitted online here.

Seminar Schedule:

Saturday, October 22
9am-Noon Aikido
Teacher’s Meeting
2-4pm Aikido
430pm Dan Testing
730pm Dinner

Sunday, October 23
10am-1pm Aikido