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Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Ryurei Aikido, Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo Ki Aikido
“Aikido, Her’s and His”
Dan Leclair

The weekend of October 26th to 28th several members of Ryurei Aikido Ottawa accompanied Bussell Sensei to Kitchener, Ontario where Ryurei Aikido, Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo Ki Aikido jointly hosted a seminar. The Instructors were Peter Bussell Sensei and Cheryl Matrasko Sensei of the Northwestern University Aikido Dojo.

There were many highlights over the three days so I will try to recount some of the events in random order.

Peter Bussell above instructing Shinkido
© 2002, Ryurei Aikido. All rights reserved

First off, it was great meeting Matrasko Sensei. Her method of teaching is as wonderful as her aikido. Cheryl Sensei is serious yet smiling, deadly yet relaxed, she makes you feel safe yet you get to “push your envelope.” Everyone had a great time and felt they had improved their aikido. The sure sign of a successful seminar.

Bussell Sensei introduced many to the study of Shinkido and gave instruction on some of the finer points of commonly practiced techniques.

We got to play with some old friends from Kitchener, Cambridge, Kingston, Chatham and Toronto.

It was good to see Fran Turner Sensei in top form. The last time we met, her knee was fresh from surgery.

This was a mixed seminar aikido style wise. Peter Bussell Sensei has had great success in organizing several such mixed affiliation seminars before, he says we all have the same “grandfather.”

Cheryl Matrasko instructing ryote mochi.
© 2002, Ryurei Aikido. All rights reserved

Cheryl Sensei commented on how difficult it is to get the different organizations to work together.

The easy rapport between Senseis Bussell and Matrasko of two totally different organizations makes me wonder why some dojos are so reluctant to mix.

This seminar was different with both instructors teaching classes simultaneously on the two separate but adjacent  tatamis.

We had the pleasure of practicing Aikido with people from Aikikai, Yoshinkai, Tomiki and Ki Society dojos as well as our own independent Ryurei Aikido. The long distance award goes to Matthew a former student of Matrasko Sensei who flew in from Houston to join us.

 On a more serious note. On the Saturday evening we all attended the customary dinner. However some time was set aside to announce the Annual “George and Norma Simcox Pink Hakama Awards.”

These are awards made to a member of each of the Ryurei Aikido, Kingston Ki Society and Virginia Ki Society dojos in honour and memory of George and Norma Simcox. George was the Chief Instructor of the Virginia Ki Society and a great friend of both the other dojos.

Ryurei Aikido set up the awards to be presented to a member of each dojo who has made great strides in their personal journey of Ki and Aikido over the previous year. Hopefully it will help to keep George and Norma’s memories and spirits with us..

The recipients for this year were Peter Zorzella of Ryurei Aikido and Margaret Barraclough of Kingston Ki Society. The recipient for Virginia will be announced at their seminar dinner the first week of December.

This seminar must have been a great success because I have just learned that Peter and Cheryl Senseis are going to put on another joint seminar in Ottawa next May 17th - 19th.

© 2002, Ryurei Aikido. All rights reserved

I hope many more aikidoka from many other dojos will join us. May is a beautiful time of the year in Ottawa and the Tulip Festival will be on at that time.

Thanks to Cheryl and Peter Senseis for the great Kitchener Seminar, I’m looking forward to May and I hope we have a good turnout for you with the flags of many dojos being waved enthusiastically.

Dan Leclair
Ryurei Aikido, Ottawa.

Our thank you to our friends Ryurei Aikido, Colin Li of Kitchener-Waterloo Ki Aikido dojos, and  the Ray Murphy of Cambridge Aikido for being such wonderful hosts and bringing together the spirit of Aikido!

Thank you Dan for the great article!



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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
© 1978 C. Matrasko

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