Aikido of Thermopolis, WY
 
About me
Name: Reginald (Reggie) Reid
Age: 66
Years practicing Aikido: 21 
Style practiced: Aikikai/Iwama 
Rank: Yon Dan (4th degree black belt)
Physical challenge:  Paralyzed right arm
Affiliations: Aikido of Reno; California Aikido Association (Division 1)
Favorite technique: Kotegaeshi
Favorite O’Sensei quote:  “Always practice the Art of Peace [Aikido] in a vibrant and joyful manner.”
 

My first encounter with Aikido was in an evening adult class at American River Community College, Sacramento, CA.  I was single at the time, needed something physical and constructive to do after work, and wanted some discipline in my life.  In addition, I was interested in learning a martial art I could practice with the use of only one arm.  My right arm was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident when I was 23 years old.  It turned out Aikido fit the bill and I was hooked.  At the end of the semester’s last class I asked the instructor (an older gentleman like I am now) where his dojo was and if I could sign up on a regular basis.  He said he didn’t have his own dojo, but practiced at one in town run by Tri Thong Dang.  Tri, now deceased, greatly expanded my introduction to the art over a summer before I took another job on the east coast. 


But, it wasn’t until I moved back out west, to Nevada, that I really developed my techniques at the Aikido of Reno dojo, where I started training in 1993.  I studied Aikido in Reno for over 16 years.


In 2007, I traveled around Japan with Salvatore Sensei and other members of Aikido of Reno training at different dojos, including Hitohiro Saito Shihan’s (shihan means “master instructor”) dojo in Iwama and at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo (see picture above with the Doshu (hereditary head of Aikikai and grandson of O’Sensei, Moriteru Ueshiba) in Tokyo.  


On February 21, 2015, I gave a demonstration for Yon Dan ranking at the California Aikido Association, Division 1, semi-annual seminar at Aikido of San Leandro, CA, where Pat Hendricks (CAA, Div. 1 Lead) was notified of her elevation from “Sensei” (Instructor) to “Shihan” (Expert or Master Instructor).  

My Background

About Aikido of Reno

Aikido of Reno is a member dojo (school) of Division 1 of the California Aikido Association.  Its chief instructor is Vince Salvatore Sensei, who studied under Morihiro Saito Shihan and trained with Hitohiro Saito Shihan in Iwama for over 10 years as an ushi deshi (live-in student) and later as a soto deshi (student living outside the dojo), before moving to Reno, NV, in 1999.


Aikido of Reno practices the Iwama training style of Aikikai Aikido, which stresses the basics (of hand [tai jutsu], sword [bokken], and staff [jo] techniques) as remembered by Morihiro Saito Shihan.  Morihiro Saito Shihan was one of O’Sensei’s primary students for over 23 years, former chief instructor at the Iwama Dojo and guardian of the Aiki-shrine, Iwama, Japan, for many years after O’Sensei’s death in 1969.  There are many books and DVDs available on-line showing O’Senseai’s and Morihiro Saito Shihan’s teachings (for example, check these out at AikidoJournal.com, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Borders).  When Morihiro Saito Shihan passed away in 2002, his son, Hitohiro Saito Shihan, built his own dojo in Iwama to carry on his father’s teaching mission.


One of the great things about the Reno dojo is that it is a world class dojo and has direct ties to Iwama, Japan.   On several occasions Aikido of Reno sponsored weekend seminars featuring Morihiro Saito Shihan and, later, his son, Hitohiro Saito Shihan.  These seminars were attended by aikidoists from all over the country, and several from outside the US.  Also, Salvatore Sensei has been able to attract high ranking guest instructors to Reno from around the US, including Robert Nadeau (Mountain View, CA), Rick Stikles (New Jersey), Donald Moriyama (Hawaii), Haruo Matsuoka (Culver City, CA), and Pat Hendricks (San Leandro, CA).   All of these seminars were invaluable experiences for all of us in attendance.


Photos of Vince Salvatore Sensei teaching Aikido at a workshop held at Aikido of New Jersey in October 2008 (top: demonstrating Irimi Nage; bottom: demonstrating Kokyu Nage).