Free Community Call: LGBTQ+ In Aikido, 2.0
December 5 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
LGBTQ+ In Aikido, 2.0
• Cath Davies, 6th dan Aikikai
• Greg Angus, 6th dan Aikikai
• Jamie Leno Zimron, 6th dan AWMAI
• Kayla Feder, 6th dan Aikikai
Panel Discussion and Q&A session
December 5, 2020
10:00 PST | 13:00 EST | 18:00 BST | 19:00 CEST
LGBTQ+ In Aikido, 2.0 Free Community Call is a follow-up to our last LGBTQ+ In Aikido Community Call.
While the last event introduced a panel comprised of young and mostly lower-ranked LGBTQ+ Aikido-ka, in this event, we’re honored to have LGBTQ+ Aikido-ka who started their training earlier – people who started training back in the 70’s and 80’s and are now instructors.
This could make for some interesting comparisons and contrasts.
Once again, our intention is to create a safe space for discussion about LGBTQ+ in Aikido – safe for dojo-cho who want to make their dojo more inclusive and safe for LGBTQ+ participants to share their insights and experiences.
We also warmly invite LGBTQ+ folks who have not yet tried Aikido but are considering it.
Panelists & Moderator
Cath Davies Sensei, 6th dan, Aikikai
Photo: Klaus Messlinger
Cath Davies Sensei began Aikido in the UK in 1981 at the age of 13 under the instruction of David Bushell Sensei. When Bushell Sensei retired in 1987, she continued to study under Peter Brady Shihan who remained her main technical until his death in 2018.
As well as training in the UK, she has travelled to Japan, America, Finland and Italy and has trained with the Third Doshu and many Shihan of note, including Morihiro Saito, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Kazuo Chiba, Seiichi Sugano, Seishiro Endo, Yukimitsu Kobayashi and Shigeru Sugawara.
Since 1999, Cath’s aikido practice and development has been strongly influenced both by Endo Sensei directly as well as some of the European students who follow him; in particular Roberto Martucci Sensei (Rome, Italy) and Dirk Müller Sensei (Hamburg, Germany). Building on the strong technical foundation she was fortunate to receive from Brady Shihan, it is these influences that are most evident in her aikido today. Cath embraces a soft, dynamic style of aikido whilst retaining a martial vigour and reality to her practice.
Now living and training in Dublin, Ireland, Cath retains links with the United Kingdom Aikikai, and is a Shidoin of that organisation. Cath was promoted to 6th dan Aikikai in 2014.
Greg Angus Sensei, 6th dan, Aikikai
Greg Angus Sensei began his study of aikido in 1986 at Hombu Dojo’s in Tokyo, Japan.
Coming from a karate background, he was immediately captivated by the fluidity, grace, and power of Aikido. In the beginning years since he studied under many of the Hombu Shihan including Miyamoto Sensei, Okumura Sensei, Yasuno Sensei, Osawa Sensei, and others.
However it was Endo Sensei who became his primary teacher and major influence. This relationship continues to this day.
In 1999 Greg returned to Toronto and continued his training, opening Naka Ima Aikikai in 2004. Since that time he has been very active in the Aikido community, hosting a number of seminars each year. Guest Sensei include Endo Shihan, Matti Joensuu Sensei, Dirk Müller Sensei, Lisa Tomoleoni Sensei, and Heidi Grot Sensei. Naka Ima also organizes an annual Friendship Seminar at which younger teachers are invited to teach and share their knowledge and experience.
Greg is also active as an international teacher, giving seminars in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Spain.
Jamie Leno Zimron Sensei, 6th Dan, AWMAI
Jamie Leno Zimron Sensei has been training for 45 years, and is also an LPGA Golf Pro, Somatic Psychologist, Corporate Speaker and Citizen’s Diplomat. She began Aikido with her girlfriend as undergrads at Stanford University, in the early years of the Women’s, Gay and Black Liberation movements as well as Aikido in the US. She founded the first-ever Women’s Aikido Dojo in San Francisco; helped introduce Aikido into the ex-Soviet Union 1987-1991; is co-founder of the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors and Middle East Aikido Project; and has worked closely with Training Across Borders, PeaceCamp Initiative, Budo For Peace and Aikido Ethiopia since their inception.
Jamie Sensei is the creator of The Centered Way LLC and KiAi Golf, and a longtime Board Member of Aiki Extensions. She is a lifelong champion for women’s empowerment and equity for all people, and travels widely speaking and teaching. Since COVID began, Jamie Sensei co-founded the innovative Aikido Solstice Seminars project, speaks and guest instructs on Zoom, and offers a variety of virtual Centered Way trainings. Her passion is bringing Aikido’s principles and practices beyond the dojo to improve lives and transform the world through The Art of Peace.
Kayla Feder Sensei, 6th dan, Aikikai
Kayla Feder Sensei, 6th dan, is the Dojo Cho at Aikido of Berkeley. She fell in love with Aikido in 1973 at the age of 9 and has been dedicated to training continuously for 47 years. As a beginning student, Kayla Sensei was greatly inspired by training with Morihiro Saito Shihan, an apprentice to and one of the longest training students of O’Sensei. In 1980 Kayla Sensei traveled to Iwama, Japan to train with Saito Shihan as an uchi deshi. In subsequent trips to Japan Kayla Sensei trained with a number of other Shihan who trained under the founder. Kayla Sensei has also trained with and been strongly influenced by Doran Shihan, Nadeau Shihan, Saotome Shihan, and Ikeda Shihan.
Kayla Sensei has taught seminars throughout the US, Europe, and Israel. In addition to her Aikido accomplishments, she received a Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from JFK University in 1998. She received the rank of 6th dan in 2004.
Kayla Sensei recognizes that we all have different bodies, histories, ages, and learning styles. She is dedicated to making Aikido accessible for anyone who wants to train at Aikido of Berkeley and her teaching style supports the individual growth of each student. She has created a warm and welcoming community at Aikido of Berkeley. Kayla Sensei also includes yoga and meditation practices as part of the training at Aikido of Berkeley. She views Aikido as a holistic art and maintains the strong conviction that through the practice of Aikido, there is no end to the growth and learning we can do on and off the mat.
Chris Coats - Moderator
Shodan, Aikido Kenkyukai Los Angeles
Chris Coats (He/Him) is a Shodan from Los Angeles and has been training Aikido for 15 years. He identifies as Queer. He’s fascinated by the underlying philosophy of Aikido and the way it connects to all areas of life. It’s also a great workout!
Registration is free, but donations are appreciated and gratefully accepted.
AKI USA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible and support the panelists and ongoing programs such as Community Calls and AKI USA’s Youth Scholarship Program.