Fort Lauderdale Welcomes Aikido Legends, US Aikido Federation Annual Winter Seminar

Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 24, 2011 --( Florida Aikikai will host the Florida Winter Seminar, November 11th-13th, 2011, in Fort Lauderdale, at the Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort, 4060 Galt Ocean Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33308. The seminar will feature some of the greatest names in the martial art of Aikido, including Yamada Sensei, 8th dan and Shibata Sensei, 7th dan. Shihan (master teachers) of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) Technical Committee will teach additional classes.

Yoshimitsu Yamada is a direct student of the legendary founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. He studied under “O Sensei” for more than ten years, is an 8th degree black belt and is the chief instructor at the New York Aikikai. Currently, he is Chairman of the USAF and the Latin America Aikido Federation. He is the author of Aikido Complete and has made multiple aikido training tapes. Yamada Sensei is well known for his clear and strong basic technique. He teaches seminars all over the world where thousands of students attend his classes.

Shibata Sensei is a 7th degree black belt, and chief instructor of Berkeley AIkikai. Born in 1950, Shibata Sensei began practicing Aikido at the age of 16 and became an Aikikai uchi deshi in the early 1970's. He instructed at Hombu Dojo and at various universities prior to moving to California in 1989 to become chief instructor of Berkeley Aikikai. He has held many key technical positions in the United States Aikido Federation. He regularly conducts seminars around the United States and internationally.

O Sensei passed away in 1969 and most of his direct students have passed away as well. The Aikido Winter Seminar represents one of the last opportunities to study under, not only one but two, of O Sensei’s most renowned disciples.

Continuous classes are held all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. The public is welcome to observe without charge. Inside tech­nique classes are in the recently renovated 5000 sq. ft. ballroom. Weapons classes are on the spacious pool deck overlooking the ocean. Dan testing is Saturday afternoon followed by a Testing Q&A with the Technical Committee. There will also be a discussion on “Dojo Etiquette” led by board member Larry Bieri, who lived in Japan and practiced at hombu dojo for many years.

The Winter Seminar is also the location for the annual end of year meetings of the USAF Board of Governors and Technical Committee. Our seminar dinner party and dance with a live DJ will be held Saturday evening. Well over 300 students from all over North America, Europe, Central and South America are expected to attend.

The roots of Aikido reach back into the fighting styles of feudal Japan, but present day Aikido is the creation of a remarkable man, Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido's philosophy of harmoniously dealing with conflict can also be used as a means of overcoming the stress and conflicts we face in our everyday lives. The principles of Aikido teach you how to avoid confrontations and to stay calm and centered in the midst of adversity.

The seminar is hosted by Florida Aikikai, a local USAF affiliated dojo located at 730 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33304. The chief instructor of the dojo is Peter Bernath Sensei a 7th degree black belt and Master Teacher. Bernath Sensei also holds a Shodan in Iaido and is a member of the Technical Committee of the USAF. The dojo is open seven days a week and welcomes visitors and observers. For more information about Florida Aikikai or the Aikido Winter Seminar visit or call (954) 562-1093, or (954) 828-3636.

Florida Aikikai
Helen Reynolds