Bob Noa 6th Dan

How did I get started practicing Aikido and when? I got started after practicing Kenpo Karate and Boxing when I saw an ad in a martial arts magazine for a book on Aikido by Koichi Tohei Sensei in 1966. The magazine had a list of schools on its back page and that directed me to a nearby dojo. I started right away, it felt like home, and I have been training ever since. How did you get to know Classical Aikido and why did you stay? I got to know Classical Aikido through seminars by John Stevens Shihan once or twice a year at Hans Goto Sensei’s dojo in San Rafael California. I was immediately attracted to Stevens Sensei’s approach because it stressed the deep spirituality of O Sensei. That deep spirituality has sustained my commitment to Classical Aikido. Where do you teach and what do you find important for your students to grasp? I teach at Aikido of Petaluma in Petaluma California, which is about 45 miles north of San Francisco. The most valuable area to grasp is O Sensei’s deep spiritual approach to training. There are very few classes where we don’t quote from either The Secret Teachings of Aikido or The Heart of Aikido, both translated by John Stevens Shihan into beautiful and understandable English. I believe O Sensei accomplished three great things. First, he understood at a very deep level how the universe works. Second, he embodied that understanding in a full and functional manner. Third, he left us a system of training to try and follow in his foot