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Aikido Instructors

Steve Kanney

Dojo Cho, Aikido Since 1978

Steve Kanney Interview

Steve Kanney is the chief instructor of the Aikido Westchester Dojo. He began wrestling in 1972, Aikido in 1978 and Tai Chi in 1999. He first met Morihiro Saito Sensei, one of the top students of the Aikido founder, at a 10 day seminar in 1979. He did continue to follow his seminars in the U. S. afterwards. He moved to New York in 1983, practicing at the NY Aikikai, and began training under Seiichi Sugano in 1989. With the passing of Sugano Sensei in 2010, he was encouraged to reconnect with the lineage of Morihiro Saito.

Unable to move to Japan to become a direct student of Saito Sensei, he instead supplemented his practice with the study of Chinese Zen in 1996 with one of the more advanced teachers in the world. Zen and martial arts training maintain a long history of close association: “Zen discipline is simple, direct, self-reliant, self-denying…A good fighter is generally an ascetic or stoic, which means he has an iron will. This, when needed, Zen can supply.” - DT Suzuki Zen and Japanese Culture (pg 62)

He also spent over 20 years as a financial professional and currently works to help individuals learn how to manage their finances in a manner consistent with the principles of Aikido.

Nathalis Wamba

Aikido Since 1982

Nathalis G. Wamba started martial arts training at the age of six. He practiced Judo for over 15 years and switched to Aikido. He joined the New York Aikikai in 1982 where he trained under the tutelage of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei and Seiichi Sugano Sensei. Over these years, he participated in multiple Aikido seminars in the US and abroad, focusing on instruction from Sugano Sensei and Tamura Sensei. His concentration on the training methods of Tamura and Sugano Sensei offers another perspective. Additionally, his training with Tamura Sensei, the senior most practitioner of Aikido in the western hemisphere, is particularly beneficial. Along with Aikido, he has practiced Kendo and Kyudo.

Rick Rivera

Aikido Since 2005

Ric Rivera has been training in Aikido with Steve Kanney Sensei since 2005. He began Aikido to help him to find peace in the midst of conflict and violence. He has taught the children’s program for the Mount Vernon satellite dojo for several years. Ric has been an MTA police officer for 22 years. He has served his country in the military reserve since 1997, including the U.S. Navy Reserve (Operation Noble Eagle/Iraqi Freedom), the Fleet Marine Force, Dignitary Protection for Chaplains, the 4th Marine Division 6th Communication Battalion, protection for the Navy Force Surgical Group, and Crew Chief Naval Boat Police in San Diego, California. Ric is currently in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, McGuire Air Force Base as an Air Transportation Specialist. He has a comprehensive knowledge of security, having served on security details for former First Lady Clinton, President Obama’s Inaugural address, and other government officials in New York State. Along with Aikido, Ric has trained in Jeet Kun Do for six years, and Shotokan Karate for two years. He has attended seminars with the following Sensei's: Sugano, Hatayama, Shiohira, Saotome, Newens, Sato, Chiba, Utada, Goldsmith. In his spare time, he can be found scuba diving. Ric lives with his family in Yonkers.

Kim Gold

Aikido Since 2006

Kim Gold began her study of Aikido as an outgrowth of her Zen mediation practice. She began by assisting in the children’s program since early 2006. She was instrumental in creating the Special Needs program, as well as the Early Childhood program. Having a long-time interest in martial arts, Kim likes to cross-train in other disciplines alongside Aikido. Her past training includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Shaolin Kung Fu. Kim has been interested in mind-body practices for several decades. She is teaching yoga, as well as trained in various methods of meditation. She has taken seminar classes with M. Saotome, H. Shiohira, S. Sugano, M. Larson and H. Newens. Kim lives in Scarsdale with her two daughters. She has an MS Marriage and Family Therapy.


Years in Martial Arts


Years in Westchester: Adults


Years in Westchester: Kids


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