When I began my Aikido practice, Kokikai1 Aikido was still new to the San Francisco Bay Area. At that time my first instructor and his assistant, Barbara Litt Sensei, herself a Shodan2 soon left Kokikai while I was just a third Kyu3 student.
Soon after this event though I continued my practice although this time with the Aikikai4 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. Soon thereafter 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 showed as my Shodan was officially recognized by Kokikai.
Since that time Kokikai Aikido has expanded significantly in the San Francisco Bay Area.