FHSU Aikido Club spring seminar a success


Fort Hays’ Aikido Club hosted its spring seminar last Friday through Sunday. 

President and Chief Instructor of the Aikido Association of America, Stephen Toyoda Sensei,  taught at the event. 

“In the past, we’ve had instructors from Utah, multiple different states, and it’s always really great to see different people from all over the country,” Webmaster Historian for the Fort Hays Aikido Club Riley Sanford said. 

Seeing how different instructors teach skills can be beneficial for participants. 

“It’s always nice having a teacher who is from out of town, who may teach things a little differently than what you’re used to,” member of the Northwest Kansas Dojo Claire Nickerson said. “I’ve been to several different seminars and I always take a lot of notes.”

This event brings people from all across the nation including some from other Aikido associations.

“There are several different Aikido associations and they may do skills a little differently and seeing those variations on techniques is fun,” Nickerson said.

Additionally, the variety of body types and skill levels help participants improve. 

“When you practice with people from other dojos, they have different bodies in general,” Sanford said. “Some people are more or less flexible, some people are more or less stiff, different limb proportions – it’s very different person to person.” 

Over 40 participants attended the seminar with over half of those participants being from out of town or out of state.

“As long as I’ve been a club officer, this has been the biggest seminar we’ve had due to COVID and other reasons,” Vice President of the FHSU Aikido Club Kaiden O’Dell said. “It’s great to see all the people here.”

These semester seminars are completely free to attend and no experience is required. 

“Seminars like this can cost upward of 250 dollars and our club puts it on completely free thanks to generous funding from the university,” Sanford said. “It’s a great way to jump in and is very fun.”

Trying Aikido can also be a way to supplement a regular workout or gym session.

“I don’t like doing a lot of cardio,” O’Dell said. “Aikido helped with getting that physical activity in, but you’re doing something with a purpose and applying your body in unique ways as opposed to just running on a treadmill or lifting weights.”

The next seminar will be held in September and marks 20 years for the Fort Hays Aikido Club and 10 years for the Aikido of Northwest Kansas. More information will be released closer to the event. 

Sound Off!