Sensei Carol Eshleman
When I began my Aikido practice, Kokikai Aikido was still new to the San Francisco Bay Area. At that time my first instructor was Nick Walker Sensei. His assistant, was Barbara Litt Sensei who left the area soon after her Shodan test. She is now a fifth degree blackbelt with a dojo in Pittsburgh PA. Soon after this event I continued my practice although this time with the Aikikai school of Aikido. Changing styles was difficult, but I pushed on eventually obtaining my shodan within Aikikai.
Eventually, I would get to train in the Kokikai style as my son’s friend and fellow practitioner, Robert Choy Sensei, had recently moved back to the San Francisco region. I participated in Kokikai seminars and attended summer camps in Philadelphia where my Aikido benefited greatly from Maruyama Sensei’s direct involvement.
It was a very special time for me. With Kokikai, I felt at home. This was the path I wanted to follow and later that year it my Shodan was officially recognized by Kokikai.
Kokikai Aikido has expanded significantly in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Robert Choy Sensei’s students, Cyane Anaya Sensei and Jason Eshleman Sensei, my son, have created East Bay Kokikai which provides another Kokikai community and another place where I can practice.
A major addition to the Bay Area Kokikai landscape came when Dennis Embert Sensei, seventh Dan, and His wife Amy Embert Sensei moved from New Jersey to Silicon Valley. Dennis Embert Sensei maintained a well established dojo in New Jersey for years. Though I continue to visit many dojos in the Bay Area I am now a student of Embert Sensei who is helping my current growth in Kokikai at his thriving Sunnyvale dojo. In November 2015 I tested for Nidan and am now a Nidan or Second Degree Black Belt.
My goal is now to establish an active Kokikai group in Sonoma County. I have taught in a few locations.
I invite anyone interested to become part of the of Kokikai Aikido Community.