About Us

Like all Yoshokai-style Aikido dojos, we follow the teachings of Takashi Kushida-sensei, 8th degree Head Instructor and founder of Aikido Yoshokai at the Genyokan Dojo in Ann Arbor.  Aikido techniques are rooted in the movements and philosophy of the Japanese Samurai.  Aikido is not a martial art, but rather a form of Budo.

It is very difficult to explain what Aikido really is without being able to show it also.  In short, it is the study of two sides of a relationship.  Shite (sh-tay), named after the lead actor in a Japanese Noh play, leads the technique, guides the partner clearly and safely, and ends by either throwing or pinning the partner. Uke (oo-kay) follows Shite's lead, trying to fit as fully as possible without any thought to resisting or fighting back, and ends up either falling away from Shite or being pinned (effectively but safely).  While it may look like fighting from the outside, both partners are trying to make the same technique happen from different perspectives.  These two roles, Shite and Uke, are studied evenly throughout classes so that both partners learn both parts.  

     Wade Davis-sensei acting as Uke for Aikido 

 Yoshokai Head Instructor, Akira Kushida-sensei 

      at Genyokan Dojo in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Etiquette is also a large part of our study.  Because our ultimate goal is to care for another person, we work to make the best relationship possible.  This starts with a clean body, clean clothing, and neatly trimmed fingernails.  It extends through our study of bowing and other formal movements that convey respect for ourselves and our surroundings.  And it culminates in how we interact with and treat our partners.

Wade Davis-sensei teaching class at the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Dojo.

Aikido Yoshokai Vermont (AYV) was founded in the summer of 2013 by Wade Davis-sensei.  Wade-sensei is a 3rd degree blackbelt who has studied under Takashi Kushida-sensei and his son, Akira Kushida-sensei, since 1999 in Ann Arbor.  Wade-sensei started studying Aikido at Carleton College in Minnesota in the fall of 1991.  He has also been a regular member of the Kobukan Dojo in Minneapolis as well as the Enbukan Dojo in Mountain View, California, at different times over the years.

Wade first spent time in Vermont in the summer of 1993, working at Farm & Wilderness Summer Camps.  After several more summers at F&W, he attempted to become a Vermont resident in 1998, living in Burlington for a year.  However, his dedication to Kushida-sensei's Aikido made his path clear.  He moved to Ann Arbor and trained at Genyokan Dojo (the headquarters dojo of AYANA) for the next 14 years (1999-2013).  During that time, Wade-sensei completed three Kenshu courses (20 month intensive instructor training courses) and one Jokyu Kenshu course (Senior Kenshu).  

Wade-sensei also passed three blackbelt tests during his time in Ann Arbor -- Shodan in 1999 (first degree blackbelt), Nidan in 2000 (second degree blackbelt), and Sandan in 2004 (third degree blackbelt).  He is part of the Shidobu group of senior AYANA instructors, and, as such, is a certified Shidoin (instructor), able to conduct tests for students through Shodan.

Wade-sensei started teaching Yoshokai-style Aikido in April of 2000.  He took the position of head instructor at the Ann Arbor Rec Dojo in April of 2002.  In 2004, Wade-sensei started the A2 Rec Youth Class.  In the early summer of 2013, with his top four students at Ann Arbor Rec all being Kenshu graduates, Wade-sensei passed the club along to Jon Dukerley-sensei (now Jun Sandan), and returned to Vermont.

Wade-sensei now teaches Aikido at a Dojo in Brandon, VT, where he lives with his family.