In the Spring of 1975 I was attending the University of Windsor for the first time. On one of the
doors of St. Denis Hall (now called the Computer Centre) there was a small poster
which advertised an Aikido demonstration. It was led by a 7th degree black black by the name of
Takashi Kushida. Following that demonstration, he would be my teacher for the next 15 years.
The transition from student to instructor is a long slow process. It is also a journey made up of boundaries that often and necessarily overlap. This basically means that from the beginning you aim to become the best Aikidoist and instructor that you can be while always remaining a student of Aikido. Regardless of the level of black belt you may become, you must never assume that you've learned it all.
In terms of Aikido, my role as a teacher started early. As a brown belt, just 3rd kyu, I was placed in charge of the University of Windsor Aikido Club. Over 30 years has passed and the U of W club is still running under the guidance of one of my former students.
In 1992 I was part of the first Yoshinkan Aikido 5th degree black belt test to be held outside of Japan. Upon passing that, I was invited to be under of the direct supervision of the Yoshinkan Aikido Honbu dojo (the Headquarters).
Just a few years later I was promoted to 6th degree black belt and, with my wife, opened the Aiki Centre.
And in May of 2001, I was accompanied by five of my students to participate in a large Aikido Enbu (demonstration) in Uraysu, Japan. There were participants present from across Japan and from around the world. At the end of a very long day, we were awarded 1st place. I am now the proud owner of a 3 inch high trophy that says something like "Happy Day!" on it.
A very proud moment for me was when I learned that I was promoted to 7th degree black belt in December of 2006. I became the first person in Yoshinkan history to be promoted to 7th dan who had not done long term training in Japan.
Though the Aiki Centre is now closed, I continue my training and teach Aikido workshops in Canada and the U.S.