Congratulations to Liz McKinlay for her nearly 40 years of contribution to Aikido!

Liz McKinlay
5th dan

We wish to acknowledge and celebrate Liz McKinlay Sensei, 5-dan, for her nearly 40 years of contribution and dedication to our dojo and the Aikido community in British Columbia and Canada. An exemplary Aikido practitioner and instructor, she leads on the mats as well as off the mats, with her executive abilities for the benefit of the Vancouver West Aikikai and as a former director of the BC Aikido Federation. Liz has been running the VWA children's programme, promoting friendship and community building with her friendly and caring style, hosting numerous social events at her house, playing the role of a master of ceremonies at major Aikido events, providing wise counsel to all members of the Vancouver West Aikikai, and mentoring junior Aikido instructors as well as new students. These are just a few examples of her invaluable ways of supporting the dojo and Ishiyama Shihan's instructional leadership.

We hope that Liz will continue to support our dojo's growth, and inspire everyone with her kindness and deep dedication to Aikido.

Thank you, and congratulations, Liz!

Bruce Riddick, 5-dan Valentine Kabanets, 3-dan
President of the BCAF, Coordinator of the VWA Instructional Committee
President of the VWA

"Thank you! I am very flattered by this honour." - Liz McKinlay, 5-dan

 

2018 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members who have been promoted this year:

4th dan David Bursey (promotion by recommendation, Jan 2018)

2017 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members who passed tests this year:

3rd dan Valentine Kabanets
1st dan Miguel Rengifo
1st dan Mariko Nishida (promoted in Japan)
2nd kyu Laurence Leung
3rd kyu Megan Kimiyo Sekiya
3rd kyu Nathaniel Hurvitz
4th kyu Yinlue Wang
4th kyu Will Welch
5th kyu Marga Boteros
5th kyu Karen Byskov

2016 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members who passed tests this year:

3rd dan Boris Mandlis
2nd dan Nadine Seepaul
2nd dan Claude Blanc
2nd dan Tse-Lynn Loh
1st kyu Andrew Dyadin
1st kyu Gudrun Dreher
1st kyu Nick Heron
5th kyu Will Welch
5th kyu Selfatia Prakristy
5th kyu Yinlue Wang

2015 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members who passed tests this year:

2nd kyu Cameron Wolber
2nd kyu Mariko Nishida
3rd kyu Sean Ryan
4th kyu Alexey Iskrov
5th kyu Megan Kimiyo Sekiya
5th kyu Andrew Stoenescu
5th kyu Kanae Watanabe
5th kyu Joshua Bennick

2016 Kagami Biraki address by President of the BCAF at VWA

This speech was given by Bruce Riddick, president of BCAF, at the Kagami Biraki celebration on January 16, 2016.

Ishiyama Sensei, Groot Sensei, fellow practitioners and guests:

Happy New Year and best wishes for good health for Doshu and his family, Ishiyama Sensei and Maasa and everyone here and their families, as well as for those who were unable to join us today.

We have had a good and fruitful year of practice, learning, and mutual help. Improvement is intermittent and imperceptible and is only enhanced with regular practice.

The BCAF encourages everyone to practice regularly by incorporating regular practice into their daily routines. Just coming to the dojo become automatic even when we might be tired from a long day. Practice wakes us up and invigorates mind and body. It is a practical refresher, to start or end a day. What’s the catch phrase? “Just do it!”

The result is threefold. As individuals we improve, we are instrumental in making it possible for others to improve, and in our own measure we contribute to society by infusing it with the values of Aikido. This was one of the themes of Doshu’s comments at the Hombu Kagami Biraki ceremony last year.

Thirty years ago, Ishiyama Sensei came to Vancouver, after his stopovers in Montreal and Victoria. He began in Vancouver assisting Kawahara Sensei and sustained his support and efforts when Vancouver West Aikikai was organized a little later in another part of the city.

We thank Ishiyama Sensei for all of his efforts and dedication to Aikido. His leadership and instruction have been major contributors to Aikido’s success in BC and the future is bright. For that we are truly thankful.

Each year this time, Hombu publishes promotions at their Kagami Biraki ceremony and posts the list on their website. This year the BCAF is very happy to highlight the promotion of Mike Smorhay to 5th dan. Congratulations Mike.

In addition Ramin Arvin’s promotion to 5th dan has been approved/recommended through Birankai Canada and Arvin is with us today. Congratulations Arvin.

As a source of personal inspiration, I will quote T.S. Eliot:

“Old men ought to be explorers

Here or there does not matter.”

With the spirit of optimism, renewal, and a rededication to regular practice, let us toast a New Year of health, happiness and peace.

Kampai !

Bruce Riddick
President
BCAF

2015 Embukai

On May 2, 2015, Vancouver West Aikikai and Ishiyama Shihan hosted a seminar. This included Embukai (public demonstrations) by instructors from many BC dojos. Photos and bios of the demo participants can be found here. A video of the highlights of the Embukai is available here.

2015 Kagami Biraki President's Address

This speech was given by Bruce Riddick, president of Vancouver West Aikikai, at the Kagami Biraki celebration on January 17, 2015.

Ishiyama Sensei, Paris Sensei, fellow practitioners and guests:

Happy New Year and best wishes for good health for Doshu and his family, Ishiyama Sensei and Maasa and everyone here and their families, as well as for those who were unable to join us today.

We have had a good and fruitful year of practice, learning, mutual help and improvement at Vancouver West Aikikai. We’ve held several seminars with Ishiyama Sensei and wonderful guest instructors. The CAF SC2014 in Vancouver was a great success and relied on the hard work of people from 4 different dojos who we would very much like to thank again.

Among the dojo members I’d like to mention Liz in particular for her untiring efforts in administration and the children’s classes. Valentine, Kim, Anna, and Sean for their instruction in the Beginners’ classes, Pat Smith for our website, members of the Board of Directors, and those others who are always ready to pitch in and help, every day.

People pitched in and did a great job cleaning the dojo in the past few weeks. It’s not easy to get the dust off the pipes and ducts. And there is one item I came in early today to look after myself. Polishing the mirrors.

The mirrors reflect back on us our own thoughts and at the New Year in particular, we see what needs renewal. So we clean the mirrors to clarify our thoughts, keep our mind and resolve clear.

I look in the mirror and what do I see? I see work in progress, opportunities for improvement and renewal. Let’s all look deeply into the mirrors; we’ll all see these same aspects.

For the dojo it will be the same, we are a work in progress, 2015 will bring us opportunities for improvement and renewal. Some are actually in the works. And we can always count on Sensei to bring forward more innovations, unexpected ones.

With the spirit of optimism, renewal, and good luck, let us toast a New Year of health, happiness and peace.

Kampai !

Bruce Riddick
President
Vancouver West Aikikai

2014 CAF Summer Camp with Osawa Shihan: Wrap-up

The 2014 Canadian Aikido Federation Summer Camp was held June 21 through June 26 2014, in Vancouver BC. Here are links to pictures from the event and notes from the evening forums.

photos forum notes
courtesy of Maksim Bentsianov Aikido and Teaching Children
courtesy of John Karmazinuk Aikido and Older Students
courtesy of Perry Plewes Growing Your Dojo

NOTE: The photographers have graciously given permission for participants to download the pictures for personal use and for use in Aikido related events on the condition the photo is attributed to the photographer.

2014 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members who passed tests this year:

February 4th kyu Mariko Nishida
May 5th kyu Fritz Cayabyab
June 4th dan Sharon Bader
November  2nd dan Bill Burns
1st dan Pavel Pavlov
2nd kyu Cathy Burton
2nd kyu Junko Izumi
2nd kyu Andrew Dyadin
3rd kyu Mariko Nishida
4th kyu Sean Ryan
5th kyu Alexey Iskrov
5th kyu Denis Krasnogolov
5th kyu Alec Jessen
December  5th kyu Erica Jessen
5th kyu Raymond McConville

2013 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members promoted this year:

June 1st kyu Kim Kersco
2nd kyu Dave Voduc
3rd kyu Hansel Ling
3rd kyu Cameron Wolber
4th kyu Nathaniel Hurvitz
5th kyu Corey Bennett
5th kyu Sean Ryan
August 4th dan Kim Riddick
3rd dan Robert Wolber
2nd dan Valentine Kabanets
1st dan Antonina Kolokolova
September   3rd kyu Andrew Dyadin
November 1st kyu Patrick Smith

2012 Promotions

Congratulations to the dojo members promoted this year:

January 5th dan  Liz McKinlay
5th dan Bruce Riddick
April 2nd kyu Nick Heron
2nd kyu Patrick Smith
3rd kyu Dave Voduc
4th kyu Andrew Dyadin
5th kyu Ryan Chou
5th kyu Nathaniel Hurvitz
5th kyu Ladislav Sulc
May 1st kyu Sakiko Kurashina
September   2nd kyu Gudrun Dreher
2nd kyu William Kou
3rd kyu Junko Izumi

Calgary Floods - June 22, 2013

Vancouver West Aikikai expresses its concern and solidarity with friends and dojos affected by the floods in Calgary. We wish them a quick recovery.

JCCC Aikikai — 40th Anniversary - August 31, 2012

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of JCCC Aikikai, Ishiyama Shihan would like to extend his congratulations to Obata Shihan and JCCC Aikikai. Please read the full text of Ishiyama Sensei's message here.