Dojo Cho (chief instructor) Sensei Reitan
Sensei Reitan began marital arts training in 1980, in Okinawa, Japan while serving in the USAF. At that time, he chose to immerse himself in a multitude of martial arts styles. However, he was drawn to the Japanese arts because of their complexity, structure and discipline. From 1980 to 2004, he trained extensively in nine different styles of martial arts, but eventually found himself drawn to Aikido, the Way of Harmony. Between 1982 and 1998 he also participated in endurance athletics such as cycling, speed skating, X-C skiing and Biathlon (skiing and marksmanship).
Sensei Reitan understood that discipline, diligence and hard work was required in everything he did. By the mid-1990s, he had competed in and won several national titles and tried out for two Olympic teams. During that time he also earned Yodansha (black belt ranks) in Aikido, two styles of Aiki JuJutsu, and classic Japanese Jujutsu. Every challenge and success he experienced has made him who he is. In 1999, he opened his first Aikido dojo. Through Aikido, he found a way to impart the wisdom and experience he’d gained from all other martial art styles, as well as his athletic adventures in a non-competitive way. The practice of Aikido requires great discipline and dedication; it assists us in understanding the value in everything. Through Aikido, we learn to understand the value of obstacles in our path, even an aggressor who may mean us harm. Aikido teaches us compassion and the ability to seek beauty and good in everything and everyone.
As a Licensed Massage Therapist, a Sound Healing practitioner and a practitioner of Aikido, Gaia has always honored the importance of flow and harmony within all systems of the body.
Gaia had an introduction at the age of 4 to Karate through training with her father. As a young adult, she missed martial arts in her life and went on the search for the art that would assist her in being a better and more complete person. Gaia trained in Karate, Jujutsu and then landed the precious art of Aikido. She fell in love with Aikido and the teacher, (haha) and now dedicates herself to the art and study of Aikido.
It’s her practice and has been her practice for the past 4 years. Aikido touches every aspect of her life and through this study, she feels so much gratitude for all that it brings to her in her relationship with all things. Gaia feels she has grown as a human being through this study with Sensei Reitan and she wishes to share this growth with all that are willing. Aikido has forever changed Gaia’s life, she feels so fortunate to have such a masterful instructor. Gaia finds that just being in Sensei Reitan’s presence and under his leadership has motivated her to be the best possible example of compassion, kindness, and truth. It has also increased her ability to work with all that cross her path through harmony.
Gaia looks forward to seeing you on the mat, for it is the great inner journey!