Global Online Panel Conversation

Join us for a free online global event:  Panel conversation with 7 leading teachers in the art of Aikido.  Our topic is the question, “What does Aikido offer the World in Crisis?”  In keeping with our collective situation, we are exploring what kind of message and perspective that the Art of Aikido offers our human society and culture  in today’s crisis.  


Our guest speakers:

Linda Holiday

Linda Holiday, 7th dan, is the chief instructor of Aikido of Santa Cruz. For over 40 years, she has devoted herself to teaching and developing Aikido in Santa Cruz. She is a senior teacher of Aikido in the West, and the author of the book Journey to the Heart of Aikido: The Teachings of Motomichi Anno Sensei.  In 1970, in the early years of Aikido in America, Linda began her study of Aikido as a first-year student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1973, she moved to Japan to receive instruction from the generation of Japanese Aikido teachers who had studied directly with the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. She was one of the first Westerners to live in the remote Kumano area of Japan, the birthplace of O-Sensei, and undertake rigorous physical and spiritual practice there. She trained in Japan for several years, studying Aikido and Japanese language, culture, and traditional practices. Those early years of shugyo (intensive training) in Japan inspired Linda Sensei to dedicate her life to the martial art, spiritual discipline, and profound path of peace that is Aikido.

Dan Messisco

Dan  holds the rank of rokudan (6th dan) and has been training in martial arts since 1964. His martial arts background includes extensive training in both Korea and Japan. He earned his Chodan in Tang Soo Do in Korea and studied under Hwang Kwan Jang Nim, son of Grand Master Hwang Kee. He also trained at Hombu dojo in Tokyo, Japan. Messisco Sensei studied under Mitsugi Saotome Shihan in Sarasota, Florida where he earned his shodan (ASU). He also studied under Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan in Boulder, Colorado where he received his nidan and sandan rank (ASU). He received his Aikikai yondan in Japan, godan while studying in Pennsylvania, and rokudan while in Michigan.

56 years ago I started my martial arts journey. On September 1, 1964, I began training in Tang Soo Do. A few months later, I started training in Aikido. My journey has taken me to Korea, Japan, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, England, and the Ukraine, as well as various dojos throughout the USA.

Richard Moon

Richard is the founder of the Art of Extraordinary Listening, which is dedicated to increasing the wealth of our society through the power of harmonious communication. He has authored several books and audio-programs on extraordinary performance including The Power of Extraordinary Listening, Aikido in Three Easy Lessons and The Aiki Mastery Audio CD. He has been a personal coach to CEOs in the business arena including such high tech start-ups as Cellular One, McCaw Cellular Communications, Nextel Communications and Internet Connect. In addition to personal performance coaching, he has guided strategy, leadership and team development, for executives and their teams.

A skilled mediator, he has provided consultation, coaching and training to leading edge

organizations including Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Chevron Research Laboratories, Apple Computer, Tandem Computer, Motorola, Intel Corp., McCaw Cellular Communications, Monsanto, Scandinavian Air Systems, NTT, Shoretel and Hyatt Hotels.He is also renowned as an innovative Aikido Instructor holding the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt with Hombu Dojo, Aikido World Headquarters.

Richard is a senior associate with The Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. He has been involved in international peace-building, having worked in Cyprus and Bosnia under the auspices of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, in association with the Fulbright Commission, the American Embassy in Cyprus, Conflict Management Group and the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Kimberly Richardson 

Kimberly began her Aikido training at Naropa Institute in 1978 and shortly after moved to Seattle to train with Mary Heiny Sensei. Determined athleticism, psychotherapy practices and energy awareness skills are key elements of her spirited teaching.

Kimberly has studied throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, most notably with Anno Shihan, Saotome and Ikeda Shihan, and Dobson and Read Senseis. She acted as chief instructor for The Apple Computer Aikido School in Cupertino, CA in 1989 and at Seattle School of Aikido from 1991 to 1995. In the fall of 1995, Kimberly founded Two Cranes Aikido, where she teaches the philosophy and practice of Aikido to people of all ages. As an adjunct faculty member at Antioch University for 10 years, she taught “Aikido as Martial Art and Spiritual Practice.” Kimberly Sensei was promoted to the rank of 6th Dan by Mary Heiny Sensei in 2007.

Richardson Sensei’s teaching style supports the individual growth of each student. In addition to teaching Aikido, she practices tai ji and ballroom dancing, and includes elements of these art forms in her curriculum at the dojo. Kimberly is a consultant and trainer, offering workshops in conflict resolution, effective management styles and self-defense to corporations and to educational groups. In 2008, Kimberly organized the nonprofit foundation Two Cranes Institute. Her goal is to advance the common good by integrating O Sensei’s practices of compassion and applied nonviolence into the larger Seattle community of children, teens and adults.

Our moderators:

Miles Kessler

Miles Kessler is a teacher of Aikido (6th Dan Aikikai), meditation, and Integral Practice. He is a dual-lineage holder in both the Iwama tradition of Aikido and the Burmese Mahasi tradition of Meditation.

He is the founder and director of the Integral Dojo in Tel Aviv, as well as the non-profit organization Aikido Without Borders in Israel/Palestine.

For over a decade he and his team have been producing several renowned international Aikido events. For over 20 years he has been invited to teach Aikido, meditation, and Integral practice in many international workshops and retreats in dojos, organizations, corporations and think tanks.

Miles’ mission is to support people who are committed to a higher Path of practice in the areas of Aikido, meditation, mindfulness, personal development, embodiment and Integral Practice. He does this by guiding them to grow and progress towards their greater potential, through practices engaging body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Bjorn Saw

Bjorn Saw, (born 1963) 5 dan Aikikai, began training traditional Iwama takemusu Aikido in Sweden for Takeji Tomita Shihan, 7 dan, in 1974. After receiving his Shodan black belt (1989) Bjorn taught as an assistant instructor in Aikido Dojo Stockholm.

He traveled to Japan to further his training under Morihiro Saito Shihan in Iwama and lived as uchi-deshi (live-in apprentice) in O Sensei’s Aikishurendojo and as soto-deshi for a period of two and a half years between 1987 and 1993. While in Japan Bjorn Sensei also practiced Kashima Shinryu sword under Minoru Inaba Sensei in the Shiseikandojo at the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo (1987-1993). He received his Nidan (1993) from Saito Sensei in Iwama and subsequently opened his first Aikido school in Värmdö, Sweden. 

Bjorn was a student of American spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen from 1991 to 2003. With much experience of meditation and spiritual contemplation Bjorn highlights the importance of the spiritual aspects of the art. His spiritual interest being a major influence on his Aikido teaching.

In September 2002 he founded Aikido Alive London where he teach his own development of Takemusu Aikido with a clear emphasis on incorporating spiritual understanding to the practice. Based on a correct understanding of kihon (basics) yet with intent and freedom to explore the living and dynamic relationship that Aikido is. 

Since Saito Senseis passing away in 2002 Ulf Evenås Shihan has awarded 3rd dan (2005), 4th dan (2009) and 5th dan January 2014 to Bjorn.

Patrick Cassidy

Patrick Cassidy, 6th dan Aikikai, chief instructor of Aikido Montreux and Director of the Evolutionary Aikido Community.   Cassidy Sensei has studied art of Aikido for over 35 years. He spent more than six and a half years living and training fulltime in Iwama, Japan with the late Morihiro Saito, 9th dan. Cassidy Sensei has also continued his study with other wonderful instructors such as Takeda Yoshinobu, 7th dan, Robert Nadeau, 7th dan, Richard Moon, 5th dan, Peter Ralston, (the founder of Cheng Hsin), and Vernon Kitabu Turner Roshi. Cassidy Sensei also has committed himself to the practice of Yoga. During his stay in Japan he studied with Junko Tomonaga (Founder of the Tomonaga Yoga Institute). He also spent periods at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh India. His study has taken him throughout Asia spending over three years travelling through India, Nepal and Tibet. The aspect of self-awakening and evolution are important themes of the work done at Aikido Montreux. The teachings of Mahamudra, Dzogchen, Advaita Vedanta, are all strong sources of support for Patrick’s work.   Along with his own experiences and insight Patrick offers a framework that gives students the chance to pursue the path of their own self transformation.  Patrick is also the founder of the Conscious Practice Institute, which offers conflict transformation programs.  He primarily offers programs to care givers in psychiatric facilities giving them tools to find systemic solutions to physical and emotional conflict in the therapeutic relationship. 


Free Global Online Panel Conversation, May 17th, 10 am - 12 noon, PST, 7 - 9 pm CET.

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