News and Views

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August 28 - September 1, 2015 Jack Bieler

The 4th US Jodo Gasshuku will be held in Racine WI, hosted by Rich Friman and the Godaiko Jodokai.

Dan Pearson (Menkyo), Rich Friman (Gomokuroku) and Jack Bieler (Shomokuroku) will instruct.

Dan and Rich at Kashima Shinbuden 2008

Summer 2015 Jack Bieler
Welcome back to the Word-Wide Web! This web site has been on hiatus for a while. Updates will begin being uploaded forthwith!

Click here for the 2011 Events Calendar.

23 July 2011 - J.W. Bode seminar at Windsong Dojo Jack Bieler
Things we brought back from JW Bode sensei and his Lawton cops (sounds like a song-and-dance group):
  • Always start with kuzushi, and maintain it at all times.
  • Releases mainly involve moving to a safe position to the side or behind the attacker.
  • Releases can be defensive or offensive, whatever is necessary to take control of the situation.
  • For throws, use the spine-lock and throw in an arc (not a horizontal line), following uke's kuzushi.
  • Press inward when doing locks, so there is no space for recovery.
  • Always follow the throw to the ground, especially as police to maintain control (cuffing position).
  • Hold the lock with feet very close, toes under uke, and use your legs to turn him over and pin.
  • Maintaining kuzushi and control throughout the movement means you can do it slow and there's never a chance for uke to resist.
  • Your primary job is to come home at night.
Nothing new, just new ways to look at what we do. This makes the techniques feel very secure and "alive". Not changing everything, just infusing some new blood into the corpse of stale and unrealistic kata.
7 May 2011 - Promotions Jack Bieler
Daniel Simoneau performed a fine demonstration for Shodan, and Jerry Bray presented for Nikyu. Excellent work from both gentlemen.
24 January 2011 - Promotions Jack Bieler
Congratulations to Roxanne Haddock, our second Shodan promoted under the Kaze Uta Budokai. She worked very hard and got Amanda some real air time. Other recent promotions include Aikido Ikkyu for Rob Bowns and Daniel Simoneau; Jodo Ikkyu for Daniel, Rob, and his sons Alex and Jackson Bowns; Aikido Yonkyu for Jerry Bray, and Aikido Gokyu for MariPen Yeatts and Kelly Shiflet. Gambatte to all.


I wanted to ask what follows in black. I definitely need to work on what I am supposed to know but do I get to continue? I really would like that. Roxanne

What's important is awareness and center and flow - detaching from power and attaching to movement. Focus on randori for a while, just make sure you keep the physical principles (arms straight, watch eyes, move center, no strength) and mental technique (give way, don't be fearful, don't be greedy, don't fight, keep focus, keep detachment). You don't have to prove yourself to anyone but yourself.

That's what will build confidence. Being a black belt means you represent me, The Dojo, the Budokai (Windsong/Nick Lowry), and our teachers Miyake and Tomiki. You are responsible to practice seriously, ensure the safety and focus of others in class, and to protect the class from within and without. So if someone comes in and disrupts class or threatens people, ask them to leave. Be firm. Do not let someone take advantage of you. If someone attacks you, you must defend yourself.

The way to approach training is to consider every technique, every moment, to be a real life and death situation. And then to take it in stride and handle it with Aiki (as described above). Relaxing into your center is difficult and will only happen if you practice relaxing under stress for a long time.

Along with that, there are all those other classical techniques, but those aren't what it is all about. They are just a tool and a way to demonstrate what you are integrating from all this.

Being a black belt means you are also teaching. But teach by example, by working on doing the inner technique, yourself, at all times. Don't worry about lists of kata and order and names. Make it so that when someone attacks they are powerless as soon as they lay hands on you, or sooner. Always avoid strength and move to weakness. Don't fight, win.

- Jack Bieler, 1/26/2011

Windsong Kangeiko 2010 Jack Bieler
Major areas of study included the Five Elements in Aikido. Ueshiba Morihei spoke about Earth, Fire and Water. Nick Lowry expanded on these, adding Air and Void (after Musashi), and integrated stylistic variations from Shodokan Aikido, Daito-ryu and "Hombu-style". Some practitioners and systems seem to get stuck on one mode or another, but all the techniques can be done in any of them (although some lend themselves to one or another). Here are the Five Metaphors:
  • Earth - use a flat pushing hand, with energy solidly behind or on top
  • Fire - use the edge of the hand, waza tend to be sharp and quick and focused
  • Water - wrap or entangle, curling the wrist or arms or body to follow uke's weak points
  • Air - touch lightly to create responses, moving to each new opening like a cloud of lightning strikes
  • Void - throw without touching; use body position "inconveniently" to take away uke's posture
These are somewhat arbitrary divisions, characterizations used by us humans to describe undivided reality. Wonderful too if we don't get too attached to the label and forget what's going on outside our heads. I find myself changing from one to another during a technique or randori, as the flow changes.

I was invited to lead the Jodo class on Monday, and we discussed the use of the hips and timing of movement in kihon, using Tachiotoshi as an example. We reviewed the Kenjutsu 8 odachi, then added the 4 kodachi waza.

Click here for the 2010 Events Calendar.

October 29 - 31, 2010 (Hallowe'en - come play "dress up") Jack Bieler

Pumpkin carved by Corwin Glasser 2008 Koryu Jodo Workshop at The Dojo in Denton TX, in conjunction with Windsong Dojo. We will work on the Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo kata not included in Seitei, as well as Kenjutsu, Tanjojutsu and maybe Kusarigama.

Friday 29 Oct:Early bird session 7 pm - 9 pm (pizza night)
Saturday 30 Oct:12311 am - 2 pm and 3 pm - 6 pm (potluck dinner)
Sunday 31 Oct:Die hard session 9 am - 12 pm (optional)

Seminar fee is $30 (or $10 Fri, $15 Sat, $10 Sun).

August 2010 Jack Bieler

Nihon Jodokai Gasshuku in Kashima, Japan, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden.
Hector and Nidia and I were able to attend six days of training. I have about 30 new kata to practice, between kusarigama and jutte and samidare and okuden, and completing my kenjutsu and tanjo and kage. I was able to train extensively with Kaminoda-sensei and Abe-sensei, along with Lasse-sensei and Lena-sensei from Sweden. Hector and Nidia got some valuable time with Yamaguchi-sensei, and I will be picking their brains for months.

July 23-27, 2010 Jack Bieler

The Second Annual US Jodo Gasshuku held in Washington DC, hosted by Dan Pearson of Nihon Jodokai.

Dan, Rich Friman and Corey Comstock (all Shomokuroku, Shindo Muso Ryu) instructed.

Gasshuku covered Seitei up to Ranai, Kusarigama for seniors and Tanjo for juniors. Corey-san was very generous to extend training to Tuesday afternoon, with more Kusarigama before the regular evening class on Kihon, Seitei and Chuden.


Windsong Shochugeiko 2010 Jack Bieler
Nick Lowry led sessions of Koryu Dai Ni, with input from new Budokai member Mark Hayes-Watkins of Deal, Kent, UK. Mark has studied several styles of Tomiki aikido, plus Daito-ryu, so he was able to enrich our practice and shed light on origins and variations. Ni kata deals with conditions of limited space and late response (go no sen). Working with J.W. Bode sensei (who influenced both of my original teachers, Jerry Scott and Tim Larson), we found that problems in the techniques always seemed to stem from needing better execution of the initial release movement. Go figure!

I was invited to lead the Jodo class on Saturday, and we explored SHISEI (posture) and SEME (attacking) in the kihon and Seitei kata. I also led the Iaido group, which included Guzik-sensei and Leo-chan from Tulsa. I am grateful to Kepsel-sensei and his students (including the exuberant Furukawa-san, gambatte!), who all demonstrated their hard work and dedication.

Explorations of note:

  • Unbendable arm is only needed when pushing - you can also curl or relax as needed.
  • Use the pairs of opposites - yin/yang, in/out, up/down, right/left, hard/soft. Yes, strength has a place.
  • Use the eyes to capture the rhythm of your opponent, achieve saya no uchi de katsu (victory while the sword is still in its scabbard).
  • When do you need to step? When necessary, and where necessary.
  • Bend your knees. A little flex will give you control of your center.
  • Cut with the grip, strike with the grip, throw with the grip. Relax everything the rest of the time.
Thoughts for Spring 2010 Jack Bieler
My friend Watanabe Takehiko told me a theory concerning power "in the bones". I think I understand. It is unbendable arm. It is extending ki. It is holding frame. Relax, and press out into the edge of the hand. This is tegatana, shaping the arm and hand like a sword. You will feel your shoulders sink into the joints. The elbow will pull inward, connecting to the center. The arm is shaped into an arch, the hand is an arch. The waki (side or armpit) closes. As Watanabe-san said, it changes you from muscular strength to a deep internal power. Your power runs past the joints, rather than into them or by means of them. You stretch into straight lines along the extrema, isolating the essential muscles and allowing you to relax the rest. Paradoxically, extending a straight line on the outside edge creates an arc. Curling completely is the same.

When you pull in your chin for ukemi, your back shapes into an arch, each leg is an arch, both legs form an arch, the feet are arched. Upside down, unbendable arm is the position for a forward roll. Turned out, it is the slap position. The slap of falling is not intended to strike the ground, absorbing impact into the hands -- it is a way to shape the body into powerful and stable architectural structures. The arms must be arched outwards to avoid hyperextending the elbow. The hands have fingers together, creating a cup. Starting the fall with palms inward, like foetal position, makes this action automatic. When you arch your back in a backfall, you roll backwards, exposing the minimum area at any moment, distributing impact and preventing you from getting the wind knocked out like when you fall flat.

In Iaido, you roll and straighten the base of the thumb, so it creates a straight line with the wrist and forearm. This is unbendable arm, along the inside edge of the hand. It is "kiri-te", cutting hand, swordsman's wrist. It is the magic of and reason for yoko-chiburi. It is the te-no-uchi that forces the base of your thumb to cover the back of the tsuka, so the cut stops where you want. It prevents hyperextension, aka "shini-te" dead hand, especially in o-chiburi, and avoids "tome-te" stopped hand. Power goes into the thumb in a direct line to the target.

With the jo, use this framework to keep the arms extended, to move the stick efficiently and powerfully, to extend power into the jo-saki. Holding something, the pinky is curled, so the frame tends to the inside, projecting edge rather than the outside curving edge in taijutsu. This brings the wrist on top of the weapon in forward grip. Gyakute including gyakutezuki will use the outside curving edge.

Even in poetry, Japanese language tends to be rather literal (in at least one omote sense). Te-gatana means "hand sword", which sounds strange and possibly mystical or magical. Taken literally though it means to make your hand into the shape of a sword, with sori.

Try this shaping of the body. Relax and extend ki, and relax, and move, with these light scythes swinging on the ball joints of your shoulders, drawing your body into movement. Turn palm upwards for gyakugamae throws, keeping the stretch along the pinky edge of the hand. Turn palm outwards for circular irimi throws. Think of "te-age" not as lifting the hand but as sinking the wrist, stretching into the edge of the hand, the "ha", rotating at the point of contact if restricted. The power will come underneath and into the center, then flow away from opposition, connected but leading/following/responding.

This idea was sparked by the common expression "kotsu o tsukamu" meaning "to grasp in the bones", e.g. to master something deeply.
24-25 April 2010 Jack Bieler
Fort Worth Japanese Garden
The Dojo demonstrated Iaido and Jodo for the Spring Festival at the Fort Worth Japanese Garden. Our group demonstrated the first 6 kihon together, then Hector & Nidia performed Omote, switching weapons in the middle. Hector and I concluded with the first 3 Chudan. Many thanks to Robert, Alex, Jackson, Daniel and Sinclair for their participation. And shout out to Lauren Heathcock, whom chance demanded be there with us!
6 March 2010 Jack Bieler
Hector Perez and I presented a demonstration for the World Affairs Council of Dallas & Fort Worth, at the Ursuline Academy. They organizers specifically requested Iaido and Jodo. Hector performed all of Omote, then we switched weapons and concluded with Midaredome. Both embu were very well received.
Ursuline Academy, 3/6/2010

23 and 30 December 2009 - Promotions and Year-end Party Jack Bieler
Congratulations to Amanda Nordstrom (photo unavailable), our first Shodan promoted under the Kaze Uta Budokai. We are terribly proud of her effort and dedication. Also earning rank were Roxanne Haddock (nikyu) and Lauren Heathcock (sankyu Aikido and Jodo). Well done all.

The following week, we had a dojo party to celebrate, and also to bid farewell and best wishes to Lauren. She will be studying veterinary science in the West Indies. I hope we have the opportunity to visit!

Lauren - Wisconsin gasshuku 2009
Winter 2009 Jack Bieler

Thoughts after 9th Annual US Iaido Embukai (theme KOKUSAI, "international"):

October 30 - November 1, 2009 (Hallowe'en - come play "dress up") Jack Bieler

Pumpkin carved by Corwin Glasser 2008 Koryu Jodo Workshop at The Dojo in Denton TX, in conjunction with Windsong Dojo. This workshop will highlight classical Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo kata as taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori sensei in the Nihon Jodokai, with focus on riai (explanation of techniques) and application of kihon (fundamentals) and kamae (posture).

Friday 30 Oct:Early bird session 7 pm - 9 pm (pizza night)
Saturday 31 Oct:12311 am - 2 pm and 4 pm - 7 pm (sushi dinner extra)
Sunday 1 Nov:Die hard session 9 am - 12 pm (optional)

Seminar fee is $30, covering facilities, refreshments and Friday dinner.

My good friend and sempai Corey Comstock and his wife Hitomi will be joining us. Corey lived in Japan for 7 years, studying under Kaminoda-sensei and Osato-sensei. Corey has Shomokuroku in Shindo Muso Ryu, and is a really nice (albeit scary) guy to train with. We are all thrilled and looking forward to a great weekend. Corey at Kashima Shinbuden 2005

We covered: Everyone got lots of hard work. Many thanks to our students who helped make the event possible, our visiting friends who shared long hours and strong practice, and especially Corey and Hitomi for their enthusiasm and generosity.

Jodo Workshop Halloween 2009

October 10, 2009 Ray Williams

Judo seminar "Understanding Combinations - On the Ground and Standing" with Randy Leatherwood (6d USJA, 8d USMAA Judo) at Friendswood Judo, League City Texas.

September 12-14, 2009 Jack Bieler

Nihon Jodokai Gasshuku in Kashima, Japan, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden. We send our support.

June 22-27, 2009 Jack Bieler

Windsong Dojo Play Days, Oklahoma City OK

Three of us attended the Aikido sessions on Saturday for several hours of randori and kata. I explored "three points of contact" with Nick. He showed how that applied to Aikido, using just a little brushing contact, or laying the forearm across the deltoid, to create reactions and fulcrums.

During Sunday Jodo, I worked with Kitty and Brian and Nick, exploring questions about posture and timing, working mainly on Tsukizue, Sakan and Tachiotoshi. Then holding uchitachi with jo saki in Midaredome while preparing a quick transfer and strike. We also did Tsubawari and Taisha, and played a bit with Ranai.

August 2009 Jack Bieler

The Denton Aikido Club is now supporting our friends in the American Tomiki Aikido Association, current president Tim Cleghorn 7d, with shihans Harry Wright 8d, Mike Haygood 8d, Ray Richards 8d.

July 24-26, 2009 Jack Bieler

The First Annual US Jodo Gasshuku will be held in Milwaukee WI, hosted by Rich Friman and Dan Pearson of Nihon Jodokai.

Dan and Rich are both Shomokuroku (first scroll) in Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo. This is the first gathering of the separate groups associated with Nihon Jodokai in the US and is intended to develop skills, create bonds and found a tradition. Please consider participating if it is at all possible (inquire regarding invitation).

Dan and Rich at Kashima Shinbuden 2008

Gasshuku included two sessions at Fudoshin Dojo and two sessions at the Siloah Lutheran gymnasium. We covered Tanjojutsu 1-5, Kihon 1-10 and Omote 1-9, then Midaredome and Tanjo 6-9.

June 22-27, 2009 Jack Bieler

Windsong Dojo Shochugeiko (Summer Intensive), Oklahoma City OK

Six days of on-going Aikido instruction with Nick Lowry, supplemented with several good daily doses of Aikido, Judo, and Jyodo instruction by the Windsong Dojo Budo Kai instructors throughout the week. Aikido students of all levels are invited to come and train!

See Windsong for details.

Koryu Jodo on Jun 26-27

Nick-sensei has invited me to lead the Jodo classes on Friday and Saturday of the Shochugeiko. As many of you know, I have been studying classical Shindo Muso Ryu with the Nihon Jodokai, led by Kaminoda Tsunemori-sensei. These sessions will be an introduction to the classical style for those who are interested.

Assuming most participants have medium to advanced Jodo skill, we will focus on differences starting with kihon. Some of these seem slight but have a big impact on riai of the kata.

We should be able to go through all of the Omote kata during the seminar. Six of the kata will be familiar from Seitei, once again with differences that change the feeling and logic. The remainder may be new to you, and some will be a challenge, introducing closer body contact and kneeling positions. Please come with an empty cup and full spirit.

Bring your Jo and Bokken, or Windsong may have a few available. Let me know if there is special interest in anything in particular (e.g. kenjutsu), and we can put in extra time between sessions. I look forward to seeing everyone.

April 2009 Jack Bieler

I am sorry to see this, but we wish SAM TIPTON the best of fortune in his recent move to San Antonio. Sam was one of the original students from the Gold Horse Dojo at the Kundalini Yoga Ashram. He came with a black belt in karate and a wholehearted love of budo. Sam started doing Judo with the Denton Junior Optimist Judo Club, and subsequently founded the Dojo's Judo study group. He developed a love for "soft touch" judo, and became a favorite amongst the DJOJC kids. Possessing consistent grace and proactive friendliness, he was the goodwill ambassador for the Dojo, the "glue" that held us together, and our resident medical advisor.

Sam became my primary partner for Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, and insisted on practicing the Kenjutsu at every opportunity. When my daughter came to live with me, Sam took over the Monday night Aikido class, and taught there every week for the last several years. Sam leaves as my second Aikido rokudan, awarded in February by Karl Geis (Junikaze Budokai). Congratulations, sensei!

Sam gifted us with his gentle nature, loyalty, and unfailing wonder and enthusiasm. He made an excellent traveling companion on several trips to Japan where we practiced Shindo Muso Ryu in Kashima, and he surprised everyone with his genuine love of natto. Menudo, stand aside! I am sure we will see more of him, as he visits from time to time. We will always have a warm bed, a hot meal and a soft mat waiting.

Sam, I speak for the whole dojo in wishing you... Happy Trails!

December 2008 Jack Bieler

The Denton Aikido Club joined its friends in the KazeUta Budokai, under the stewardship of Nick Lowry shihan.

Upcoming (or Past) Events:

  • Mar 20-22, Oklahoma City OK - Windsong Dojo Budo Play Days
  • Apr 11, Lawton OK - Aikido/Judo Open Mat Session hosted by J.W. Bode
  • Apr 17-18, Round Rock TX - Aikido Seminar hosted by Eric Pearson, with Nick Lowry & Glenn Billings
  • May 15-16, Houston TX - Aikibudokan seminar hosted by L.F. Wilkinson
  • Jun 22-27, Oklahoma City OK - Windsong Dojo Summer Intensive (Koryu Jodo on Jun 26-27)
  • Jul 24-25, McCalla AL - ATAA Seminar
  • Aug 22, Lawton OK - Aikido/Judo Open Mat Session hosted by J.W. Bode
  • Sep 4-6, Oklahoma City OK - Windsong Dojo Budo Play Days (Fri Judo, Sat Aikido, Sun Jodo)
  • Sep 18, Oklahoma City OK - Rener Gracie (Gracie Combatives) at Windsong Dojo 6-8 PM
  • Dec 28-31, Oklahoma City OK - Windsong Dojo Winter Intensive

Winter 2008 Jack Bieler

Take-aways from my trip to Japan and visit to the Capitol Area Budokai in December:

November 1-5, 2008 Jack Bieler

Nihon Jodokai Gasshuku in Kashima, Japan, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden. This is his 30th anniversary of his leadership of the Nihon Jodokai. Sam, Hector, Nidia and I will attend, and the latter three of us will stay for the following weekend in Japan for Iaido training.

Congratulations to Hector and Nidia, for earning awards at the Taikai for best in the Kihon group.

Kaminoda sensei told me: "Jack-san, you have small techniques. If you do big techniques, you can have a big spirit." He demonstrated Tsukizue (my observations):

  • Upon evading the sword, position the jo to point directly toward uchitachi's centerline. He should be able to feel that you control his center and can spear him at any time if he attacks. This makes him freeze momentarily.
  • When striking the wrist, the tip goes exactly vertical and drops across the eyes. He should know you could have finished him. Arms stay straight, the jo goes to your center first, then up, then square the center on uchitachi and come down.
  • When drawing the jo, raise the front hand to aim at the eyes. He should know he must step back.
  • When striking, the jo moves quickly forward at the start of the movement, so you do not step without the jo in front.
  • Of course: keep proper posture (SHISEI), make big natural movements, step with hips (KOSHI), always attack (SEMERU).
Shimizu sensei told Kaminoda sensei: "There are not 70 waza in Jodo, there is only 1. If you do Tsukizue correctly, you have learned everything."

October 24-25, 2008 Sam Tipton

Judo and Aikido clinic in Oklahoma City taught by Karl Geis shihan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.

Amanda Nordstrom attended, along with Walter Lee of Wichita KS, sans introduction. On Saturday, the camel's back broke.

Fall 2008 Jack Bieler

Autumn Cogitanda:

Summer 2008 Jack Bieler

Aikido ideas for Summer:

With the sword and stick:

Feb 29 - Mar 2, 2008 Jack Bieler

Tanida sensei and Jack Bieler at Denton Koshukai 2008 Seitokai Iaido seminar and shodan-shiken with Tanida Hiroshi sensei. This is just an excuse to show off this really neat photo taken by John Lautermilch, copyright 2008.

Winter 2007 Jack Bieler

Happy Winter. We have been working on these themes in Aikido:

October 5-6, 2007 Sam Tipton

Judo and Aikido clinic in Oklahoma City taught by Karl Geis shihan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.

Karl discussed using the cycle step (small backward movement followed by forward step).

August 12-15, 2007 Jack Bieler

Capitol Areas/Great Lakes Jodokai Gasshuku in Washington, DC, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden, and Nihon Jodokai. Training continued in Wisconsin, USA, on Aug 17-19.

We worked on Kihon, Seitei Jodo, Kenjutsu 1-3, Omote and Chudan 1-10 kata. Also had a session of Seitei Iaido. Take-away ideas:

June 15-17 and 22-24, 2007 Jack Bieler

Special Fugakukai Aikido clinic in Houston taught by Miyake Tsunako shihan and Karl Geis shihan. Miyake sensei will be teaching Kodokan Goshinjutsu.

As of 24 June 2007, I am no longer a member of the Fugakukai International Aikido Association. I am grateful to Karl Geis for the many years of instruction, to Miyake sensei for the brief but delightful and enlightening moments over the years, and to all the friends I have known and trained with. May their paths prosper. 二十二年間住む蝙蝠

Congratulations to Sam Tipton on his promotions to Godan in Aikido and Jodo, and to David Gibson for achieving his Shodan in Aikido.

May 5, 2007 Jack Bieler
The Dojo is back in operation. Last Friday and Saturday, a few of us from the Aikido, Iaido and Karate groups removed all the mats, spread them outside, cleaned them with disinfectants and bleach, and let them bake in the sun. We had to put them back in the dojo, but we stood up the rolls and have been running a dehumidifier since then.

They are dry and we reassembled the floor on Friday night. My especial thanks go to Corwin Glasser and Stephen Eaton, who scrubbed mats on Saturday, and to Sam and Toby who helped with the dehumidifier project.

April 28, 2007 Sam Tipton
Dan Martin & Crow Mountain Dojo will be hosting a Judo Playday in Russellville, Arkansas on Saturday, April 28. Start time is around 10am, ending when we're all tired. For more information contact Dan Martin at (479) 890-0033.

April 24, 2007 Jack Bieler
The Dojo was flooded by torrential rains on Tuesday night, April 24, 2007. The mats have been cleaned with disinfectant, but it is too early to tell if the open-cell foam is salvageable. More to follow as the story develops.

April 21, 2007 Jack Bieler
A new sushi bar has opened in a little building just north of The Dojo. The owner is a very nice guy named Keiichi Nagano, hailing from Kagoshima, Japan. The menu is set each day based on what ingredients are best and what entrees he is making. The entrees range from roasted fish to Rack of Lamb. The sushi and sashimi are among the freshest I have had in this country, and he selects hard-to-find items like uni (urchin roe), toro (fatty tuna) and kanpachi (baby yellowtail). He grinds real wasabi from the root fresh to order -- what more need I say. The quality and ambience are outstanding, and I hope we can help make his efforts a success. Price is moderate to expensive. Beer, wine and liquor are available. Restaurant has seating for about twelve.

Keiichi restaurant is located at 500 N Elm St in Denton TX. Tel 940-230-3410. From The Dojo, take Bolivar north to Parkway, turn right and go 1 block to the corner of Elm. Keiichi is on the northeast corner.

March 9-10, 2007 Jack Bieler

Judo and Aikido clinic in Oklahoma City taught by Karl Geis shihan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.

Congratulations to Stephen Eaton on his promotion to Nidan.

November 1-5, 2006 Jack Bieler

Nihon Jodokai Gasshuku in Kashima, Japan, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden. Sam Tipton and I will be in Japan from Mon 30 Oct to Tue 7 Nov.

Charlotte Siegel, Stephen Eaton and David Gibson will run classes on Monday 30 Oct, Wednesday 1 Nov, Saturday 4 Nov, and Monday 6 Nov.

We worked on Kenjutsu, Tanjojutsu and classical Jodo kata and kihon. Take-away ideas:

October 20-21, 2006 Jack Bieler

Judo and Aikido clinic in Oklahoma City taught by Karl Geis shihan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.
Contact Sam Tipton to carpool on Friday, or Stephen Eaton if you want to go early Saturday morning.

Karl Geis also held a Jodo session on Friday afternoon. Take-away ideas:

September 9, 2006 Jack Bieler

This is a special day - the 10 Year Anniversary of John Ray's "The Dojo". It is also the 10 Year Anniversary of Jack Bieler teaching Tomiki Aikido in Denton. We will have an Open House with hotdogs, sodas, demos and Q&A for the public from 2-4 pm, in conjunction with the Antique Fair in the Downtown Square. Afterwards, we will have a celebration dinner at Prairie House restaurant. All Dojo members are invited.

June 9-11, 2006 Jack Bieler

Fugakukai Aikido Summer Clinic in Houston, taught by Karl Geis shihan. Congratulations to Mark Morgan of the Dallas club on his promotion to Rokudan.

This was a major Randori clinic. Here is some of what we covered:

May 19-21, 2006 Jack Bieler

Jodo Intensive with Corey Comstock and Dan Pearson of Nihon Jodokai. We will be work on Jodo kihon, seitei and classical kata. We will have all-day training on Saturday 20th starting at 11:00AM, and afterwards at 7:00PM there will be a potluck dinner at my house.

This photo is from the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival in April.

Dan and Corey at DC Sakura Matsuri 2006

Take-away ideas:

April 2006 Jack Bieler

We are sorry to see the back of him, but we must wish WALTER LEE and his wife Lyn the best of luck in their new home in Wichita, Kansas. Walter was my first student in Denton, Texas. We were both waiting for our cars at Discount Tires when he noticed my Aikido t-shirt. He and the Bobbie Vash started training in Aikido at my home in rural Denton county in 1996. The following year I started Aikido of Denton at Ra Baker's Kundalini Yoga Ashram on Locust Street, and Walter has been training with us ever since.

Walter is hard-headed, insightful, loyal, responsible, nice, and one of the best friends I have ever had. Without him, Denton Aikido might not even exist, and surely would not be the juggernaut it is today. I certainly wouldn't know the taste of an 18-yr-old Macallan single malt. We can't wait to visit the new Dojo he will be starting up in Wichita as soon as he can. He knows he doesn't have a choice! Fortunately, he is just a short drive from Oklahoma City, where we will see him at the Spring and Fall clinics.

Here are some memorable Walter-isms:

We also wish the best to Stephen Eaton - black belt, computer entrepreneur, bon vivant and wielder of psychic powers (but only for good). He is moving to Sedona, Arizona. Ashram survivor and brand-new black belt David "Graymalkin" Gibson is entertaining a great job opportunity elsewhere in the sunny state of AZ. And starting next year, Nicholas Ross will be attending beautiful UC-Santa Cruz.

We wish they could all stay, but barring that we wish them good fortune, good health, happiness and successful branch dojos!

May 6, 2006 Sam Tipton
Judo Play Day at Windsong Dojo, all day Saturday. Sam has to work, but all Fugakukai judo people are invited.

March 10-11, 2006 Jack Bieler

Judo and Aikido clinic in Oklahoma City taught by Karl Geis shihan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.
Budo-mobile leaves the Dojo at 6 AM Saturday morning for Aikido - be there, or contact Sam Tipton to carpool for Judo on Friday afternoon.

Take-away ideas:

November 3-6, 2005 Jack Bieler

Nihon Jodokai Gasshuku in Kashima, Japan, taught by Kaminoda Tsunemori, Shindo Muso Ryu Menkyo Kaiden. Wish I could go.

October 7-8, 2005 Jack Bieler

Judo and Aikido Clinic in Oklahoma City, OK, taught by Karl Geis, Judo 8 dan, Aikido 10 dan. Friday night Judo 6-9 PM, Saturday Aikido 9 AM - 6 PM.

Congratulations to Hector Perez, Aikido Nidan, for his successful test at the clinic.

October 1, 2005 Webmaster

This is an experimental web page copied in whole cloth from John Ray's new "The Dojo" page. My apologies for any malfunction or misrepresentation.

I plan to include lineage charts for Aikido and Jodo, and biographies of our teachers:

As well as articles, essays and links.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please email me at