As holiday celebrations reverberate the end of 2022, and we prepare for the exciting year ahead, we reflect back and share some highlights of this pivotal year. We are deeply grateful to you, our community of practitioners and supporters for the magical year it has been.
Our One Dojo Family Grew in 2022
We Welcomed Three New Amazing Instructors
Kei Izawa — Six months after a fateful RTD skyride to DIA with Abel Villacorta Sensei in July of 2021, Kei Izawa Sensei, moved his community of aikido practitioners to One Dojo at the start of 2022. Izawa sensei, now 7th degree black belt and Chief Instructor of Aikikai Tanshinjuku, originally founded the group in 2000.
He began practicing Aikido in 1969, in Tokyo, Japan, at Aikikai Hombu Dojounder the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of Morihei Ueshiba, just one week before O Sensei passed away.
In 1976, Izawa Sensei moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he studied under Mitsunari Kanai Shihan, 8th Dan of New England Aikikai. Throughout the years, Izawa Sensei also trained under numerous instructors at Hombu Dojo such as Osawa Sensei (senior), and the third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. Read our interview with Izawa Sensei here.
It has been a true pleasure having such an exceptional aikido instructor at One Dojo and equally wonderful human being. I urge you to use your new One Dojo memberships in 2023 to spend some time learning aikido from this world-renowned teacher at One Dojo.
Daddu Pal — After some Peace Samurai children's summer camps this year, Villacorta Sensei approached Yogi Daddu Pal, who had been leading outdoor morning yoga classes at North Boulder Park. The fruitful meeting led to Daddu joining the One Dojo family in October of 2022.
Daddu Pal was born and raised in the ancient city of Varanasi, India. His depth of practice comes from years of training and study with yogic monks in Ashrams along the Ganges river. We look forward to Daddu's return in 2023.
Evolene Premillieu Sensei — Premillieu Sensei started her Aikido journey in 2000 at the ripe age of 10. Born in France, she mainly trained under Mariano Aristin Sensei and Franck Noël Sensei. In 2012, she moved to the United States to learn from Hiroshi Ikeda Senseiand Hofmeister Sensei in Boulder, Colorado.
Through the years, she has participated in countless seminars around the world with various sensei. It was at one of these events that she originally came to meet Villacorta Sensei, who encouraged her to start teaching at One Dojo this past fall.
Premillieu Sensei has dedicated her life to Aikido since she began her training. She loves sharing her deep joy of aikido with other people and is especially focused on keeping the younger Aikido generation engaged in the practice.
We're immensely grateful for her energy and dedication to teaching students at One Dojo. Sign up for her lively aikido classes on Mondays and Wednesdays 7:00–8:30am and Friday evenings 6:00–7:30pm.
One Dojo Hosted Aikido & Yoga Events!
Aikido University Workshop 2022
On April 2nd, we had the pleasure of hosting the 2022Aikido University Workshop. Presenting at this workshop were Tyffany Stipetic of Kinjo Dojo; Eric Dobbs of Boulder Aikikai, who leads the CU Aikido Class; and Abel Villacorta Sensei, host, One Dojo Director and Head Instructor of Boulder Ki Aikido.
In addition to supporting the growth of budding university aikidoka, we were also able to raise funds forBridge House Boulder.One Dojo was at capacity for this wonderful event and an amazing time was had by many aikidoka from different lineages and dojos.
Aikido for Ukraine Seminar
On June 18th, at the encouragement of Izawa Sensei, who had recently traveled to Romania, we hosted a fundraiser to help support the continued dissemination of Aikido throughout Ukraine.
In addition to our very own Kei Izawa Sensei, Evolene Premillieu Sensei and Abel Villacorta Sensei, we also had the great pleasure of hosting Edgar Johansson Sensei from Denver Aikikai.
We had a great turnout and were able to raise $1,250 to help Aikido dojos in Ukraine. The recipients of our efforts wrote, “We would like to thank you... aikidoka, friends and families. With this amount of donation we can, for example, help 12 clubs in Ukraine stay active.”
Thanks to all of our wonderful attendees and contributors for your energy and support!
This was a wonderful day of instructors and students, who may not normally cross paths at the dojo, coming together to explore new teachings and disciplines.
Kashiwaya Sensei Seminar
On September 11th and 12th, One Dojo had the distinguished honor of hosting Koichi Kashiwaya Sensei, 8th degree black belt in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, Okuden in Ki Development, and Chief Instructor of Midland Ki Federation. This marked Kashiwaya Sensei's first visit in person to Colorado, since the two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to COVID.
He conducted a focused one-day workshop at Denver Ki-Aikido, designed specifically for about a dozen black belts, who had been diligently training through the long corona disruption. All students performed well and passed their long-awaited black belt tests on the second day of Kashiwaya Sensei's visit.
This was followed by a full Sunday seminar at One Dojo in Boulder, open to all levels and aikido affiliations.
The day culminated with a Joden Ki Development test for Villacorta Sensei, which qualified his advancement to 5th dan in 2023.
We also had the rare opportunity of hosting a children's class with Kashiwaya Sensei. Some of our younger Colorado Ki Aikido students experienced Kashiwaya Sensei's unique, playful and creative teaching style.
Pat Hendricks Shihan & Yasumasa Itoh Sensei
Closing out an incredible year, One Dojo had the good fortune of hosting Patricia Hendricks Shihan and Yasumasa Itoh Sensei, December 2nd-4th.
On Saturday afternoon, many aikidoka gathered to glimpse a sample of Itoh Sensei's Kanai style of Aikido. Itoh Sensei began his Aikido training in 1973 at the Musashi University Aikido club in Tokyo under Norihiko Ichihashi Shihan. In 1978 he went on to study under Mitsunari Kanai Shihan in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants of all styles, some puzzled by the uniqueness in movement, enjoyed the lively group training.
Patricia Hendricks Shihan, 7th degree black belt in Aikikai, lead an engaging and inspiring weekend seminar from Friday–Sunday. Students from many surrounding Colorado dojos (even as far as Santa Fe, NM) came to study and practice Hendricks Shihan's Iwama-style of Aikido.
She shared a variety of techniques, including weapons training in a nearby park, then linked the movements to open-hand arts back on the mat at One Dojo. The training was brought together, using the awareness of live weapons, culminating in a multiple uke randori-style training session.
We had a wonderful group of aikidoka attending from many different lineages. The energy over the weekend was warm and lively and we are deeply grateful to the organizers of the seminar and all the attendees!
Many Aikidoka Advanced in Rank in 2022
We had many aikidoka advance rank in 2022 across all our Aikido lineages and classes at One Dojo. Congratulations to the students listed below, who all exemplified true perseverance and dedication to their practice this past year.
Special congratulations to Gene Dilworth of Boulder Ki Aikido for achieving the rank of Shodan, Moises Ramos of Aikikai Tanshinjuku for receiving the rank of Shodan, and to Mike Detweiler of Aikikai with Evolene Sensei for achieving the rank of 3rd Kyu!
Adin Hunt - 5th Kyu Ki Aikido, Shokyu Ki Development
Alison Finnesy - 4th Kyu Ki Aikido
Devin Hughes - 5th Kyu Ki Aikido, Shokyu Ki Development
Gene Dilworth - 1st Dan Ki Aikido, Jokyu Ki Development
Irena Cantrall - 5th Kyu Ki Aikido, Shokyu Ki Development
Jasmine Dancy - 4th Kyu Ki Aikido
Sarah Quenon - 4th Kyu Ki Aikido
Abel Villacorta - Joden Ki rank
Addison Hamilton - 7B - Orange Belt w/4 Blue Stripes
Aisha Redzic - 8B - Orange Belt w/1 Blue Stripe
Aurora Illumanardi - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Beau Mazal-Rider - 8A - Orange Belt w/2 Blue Stripes
Cai Raimond - 6C - Blue Belt
Charlie Kieselhorst - 9C - Yellow Belt
Chiara Busch - 4A Kyu - Purple Belt w/2 Brown Stripes
Dayna Mari Lisi - 2nd Kyu - Brown Belt
Devin Hughes - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Ellen Rizzi - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Emersen Doyen - 8A - Orange Belt w/2 Blue Stripes
Gara Ball - 3A Kyu - Purple Belt w/5 Brown Stripes
Gideon Emery - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Greer Hunt - 7B - Orange Belt w/4 Blue Stripes
Gus Vanderkooy - 9C - Yellow Belt
Hamza Rucic - 8B - Orange Belt w/1 Blue Stripe
Henry Verne - 6C - Blue Belt
Huxley Truhn - 8C - Orange Belt
Jayden Hughes - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Kayla Hughes - 7A - Orange Belt w/5 Blue Stripes
Kensho Kato - 8C - Orange Belt
Leila Mehidic - 8A - Orange Belt w/2 Blue Stripes
Liam Ruby - 4A Kyu - Purple Belt w/2 Brown Stripes
Mikhail Skurla - 6C - Blue Belt
Monroe Moritz - 4A Kyu - Purple Belt w/2 Brown Stripes
Moses McDougall - 8C - Orange Belt
Nate Kostishack - 6A - Blue Belt w/2 Purple Stripes
Nathan Crowther - 8C - Orange Belt
Nicole Rizzi - 4C Kyu - Purple Belt
Oscar Wilder Muir - 5A Kyu - Blue Belt w/5 Purple Stripes
Ösel Nyinda - 2nd Kyu - Brown Belt
Paul Dearth - 10A - White w/2 Yellow Stripes
Raiden Cantrall - 8C - Orange Belt
Rigsang Nyinda - 9C - Yellow Belt
Rio Villacorta - 9A - Yellow Belt w/2 Orange Stripes
Sage Kessler - 10A - White w/2 Yellow Stripes
Saira Rucic - 9B - Yellow Belt w/1 Orange Stripe
Satya Villacorta - 4A Kyu - Purple Belt w/2 Brown Stripes
Scott Crowther - 7C - Orange Belt w/3 Blue Stripes
Skyler Cantrall - 8B - Orange Belt w/1 Blue Stripe
Will Dearth V - 9C - Yellow Belt
Highest Attendance Winners for 2022
In addition to the milestone for advancement that passing a test may serve, showing up consistently is another great way of measuring the progress one makes on the path of learning. Below are the winners for most attendances at One Dojo.
According to our attendance records, we'd like to extend special kudos to Sarah Quenon,Steven Hughes, and Bryce Widom, who motivated themselves and showed us all how to stay on track and keep up the dedication to one's personal practice.
The Aikido Summit returned after an unexpected 2-year hiatus and One Dojo was represented by two of our aikido instructors.
Accompanied by many One Dojo students and teachers, Kei Izawa Sensei (7th dan) and Abel Villacorta Sensei (4th dan) led an enthusiastic group of approximately 65 students at the largest Colorado aikido event to happen so far this decade!
It was a day full of wonderful energy, joyful community and passionate aikidoka. The 2022 Aikido Summit truly embodied a sense of unity and interconnectedness that One Dojo seeks to foster and promote, this year and for many years to come.