I have enjoyed a long and successful association with Aikido.
I began Aikido in 1976 in Onehunga with Sensei Hugh Miller.
Sensei Ron Russel came to our club from England in 1978 and began teaching us later that same year.
I graded to Shodan in 1982 under his expert tutelage and went on to become a teacher at a club my husband Paul and I set up in Rotorua. The club has been very successful and has been going now for over 30 years.
When our Sensei Ron died, we chose to affiliate with Shihan Robert Nadeau through the California Aikido Association in San Francisco. His inspirational teachings of O’Sensei’s Aikido has been instrumental in my growth beyond just ‘doing technique’, and I attribute my growth in aikido to his deep understanding of Aikido, and his ability to impart this in a way that I understand. One of his students, Sensei Denise Barry has also been influential in enhancing my growth in Aikido as a student. I have attained Go Dan and am richly rewarded by the support of all the students in my school, who show their dedication to Aikido by their own growth.
There are 6 clubs in my school called Tatsu Gi Kai Aikido, or ‘Evolution through Form’. Our style is unique in that it teaches students techniques from 16 forms of attack that build on each other until at shodan level they are capable of performing approximately 375 techniques with skill and confidence.
I lead a busy life as a Judicial Justice of the Peace and a Marriage Celebrant, as well as being a Grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren, two of whom train in Aikido as well. Both my sons are Aikidoka and one has his own club, and is developing a group of students with the same dedication to Aikido I have. I also attend gasshukus as I can, and meet and enjoy the company and training with other like-minded students of Aikido.
I have been a member of the Aikido Association of New Zealand since its inception, and am keen to see it grow and support like-minded aikido organisations to achieve their potentials in the art of Aikido I love so much.