Iwama Style Aikido
New York "Still Mind" Aiki Shuren Dojo is a affiliated with Iwama Takemusu Aikikai, a member of Aikikai World Headquarters in Japan. Our lineage meticulously preserves the founder's teaching methods and style as it comes through Morihiro Saito Sensei, one of his two top students with the rare honor to take over the founder's dojo. We are currently supervised by Mark Larson Sensei, who received the highest honors from Saito Sensei. By following the most advanced teachers, our dojo accesses Aikido training at the highest levels.
Steve Kanney is the chief instructor of the New York "Still Mind" Aiki Shuren Dojo located in Westchester NY. He began wrestling in 1972, Aikido in 1978 and Tai Chi in 1999. He had the rare opportunity of attending 30 days of seminars with Morihiro Saito Sensei, the founder's longest live in student (23 years) and one of only two students of the founder to take over his two dojos upon his passing. Steve simultaneously spent 20 years studying day to day with Seiichi Sugano, a direct student (6 years) of the founder in Tokyo before being dispatched to Australia and eventually to the US. Our dojo has the honor of being overseen by Mark Larson Sensei who received the highest certificate in weapons from Saito Sensei. Saito Sensei gave him the name Takuto, meaning preeminent leader of a tradition. Saito Sensei also named Larson Sensei's dojo Aiki Shuren (“austere training of Aiki”). We are honored to have that name bestowed upon our dojo by Larson Sensei.
Unable to move to Japan in the 1990's to become a direct student of Saito Sensei, Steve Kanney 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)
Nathalis Wamba, training in 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.
In memoriam, Gregory Temkin, training in Aikido 2005-2023
Gregory Temkin started martial arts in Russia at the age of 16 and trained for 7 years in Sambo and Combat Sambo. He joined Still Mind Aikido in 2005 and since then has been learning the art at this dojo. He attended many seminars by Aikido masters such as Sensei's Sugano, Shiohira, Ikeda, Imaizumi, Saotome and Chiba. More recently he has focused on Takemusu Aikido attending seminars with Mark Larson Sensei, Wolfgang Baumgartner and Hoa Newens Sensei. Currently, Gregory holds the rank of Sandan. Gregory moved to Florida in mid 2018 and opened the Florida "INYO" Aiki Shuren Dojo under Mark Larson Sensei in 2022.
Prior to moving to the USA, Gregory was actively involved in peace and ecological movements in Russia. In the Perestroika years he organized many major American-Russian grassroots events, such as several peace walks in Russia and USA, a transatlantic sail “We Are All in the Same Boat”, ecological expeditions in the Polar regions etc. Gregory has extensively traveled the world, wrote several science fiction novels, many short stories, and many ethnographic articles. He is currently writing another novel, supposedly a political thriller. Gregory is an entrepreneur and lived with his family in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York until moving to North Port, Florida in 2018.
Joseph Dejesus, training in Aikido since 2010
Joseph DeJesus started his martial arts training at the age of 16 through 21 and after an extended period decided to try Aikido (at the age of 50). He was immediately drawn to Aikido and decided to commit his focus and training to Aikido’s harmony, movements and budo sprit. Over these years, he participated in multiple Aikido seminars thought out the US and Japan (2019). He has also participated and represented USA Aikido with Mark Larson Shihan at the 2019 57th All Japan (Nippon Budokan in Tokyo). In addition to his training, he is an I.T. professional within the Financial Industry.
Rick Rivera, training in 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, training in Aikido since 2006
Kim began her practice of Aikido in 2006 and began assisting in the children’s program shortly thereafter. 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. She is currently also studying tai chi and her past training includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Shaolin Kung Fu. Kim has been interested in mind-body practices for several decades and teaches yoga. She has taken seminar classes with M. Saotome, H. Shiohira, S. Sugano, M. Larson and H. Newens. Kim has an MS in Psychology.