I studied martial arts, primarily aikido and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, for over 8 years in California and then took a long break until I restarted 3.5 years ago when we moved to New York and looked for a dojo for our children to study aikido. We where initially attracted to Scarsdale Aikido because of the Sensei’s philosophy of aikido and life. We were also attracted here because of the number of children’s classes (5 days out of the week) as well as the number of adult classes which are offered every day and some days even 3-4 classes per day.
As time went on, my understanding of Sensei Steve Kanney and his understanding of life deepened. I am an osteopathic physician with a holistic traditional osteopath practice in which I have been practicing and deepening my understanding of osteopathy at many levels for almost 2 decades. In this realm, I treat patients at many different levels which may include at a boney level, muscle level, fascial level, fluid level, energetic level, spiritual level or more. Many times in our aikido practice, I have mentioned to Sensei, that he is talking and living osteopathy…of life. You see, it seems to understand aikido or osteopathy, we should be living life and understanding life's preciousness and value.
Another amazing instructor is Sensei Nathalis Wamba whom with his global experience, kindness and compassion have made this dojo and even greater prize. Other instructors such as Kim Gold or Masato Tani are also wonderful to work with and learn from. In fact, all the seniors students are great to work with primarily because there is no ego. I think each of us has learned that lesson from our teacher as we are part of the Iwama lineage up to the founder of Aikido.
Because of Steve Sensei’s reputation in the aikido community, we have top instructors visit our dojo over the years. Sensei Mark Larson comes once a year to teach us. Sensei Kim Peuser and Sensei Hoa Newens and others have come to share their wisdom. Sensei Alessandro Tittarelli came back repeatedly and spent months coming to our dojo before he passed. Many of our members have travels to Tahoe, Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia and even Canada to study with various top instructors who know our dojo including Sensei Hans Goto.
My two children have now studied aikido 3.5 years as well. Their growth has been tremendous in life and aikido. Their confidence has blossomed. Steve Sensei teaches them philosophy as well even though some of the students are as young as 4 or 6 years old. They hear it over and over and at some level it is getting into their persona. I also like that they cannot obtain a black belt as a child. They must put in their time and be able to test at a true black belt level when they are ready. This means that they will not become black belts until they are 16 years old or even older. I respect this strategy and feel it is a nice change of pace from the fast pace that most children, adolescents and even young adults live life.
We need to be aware of our surroundings and our environment in life, to slow down our pace. I feel Scarsdale Aikido has offered this to our family.