AANC Division I Becomes Takemusu Aikido Association

WittSensei.JPG (22957 bytes)PALO ALTO, Calif. (1-24-02) - William Witt Sensei, 7th Dan, director of AANC Division I, announced that the division has gained a new name and shifted to a new affiliation with Morihei Saito Sensei in Iwama and the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo.

In a letter to member dojos, Witt Sensei said the former AANC Division I has been "honored by being recognized as a national Aikido organization under the name of Takemusu Aikido Association."

He said the recognition was issued in a matter of days by Doshu.

"This surprisingly rapid approval indicated that both Doshu and Saito Shihan have full confidence in our experience and abilities," Witt said. "This also reflect the long-established relationships we have all developed with Saito Shihan.

The new association was recognized by Hombu Dojo on Dec 14, O-Sensei's birthday. Additionally, Witt was granted the title of Shihan by Hombu Dojo

Witt said the new direction of independence for the former AANC Division I was based on "consultation with Saito Shihan and his strong desire to see our 'Iwama Group' remain intact to continue to preserve and disseminate O-Sensei's Aikido along with him."

Witt said that he met with Frank Doran, head of AANC Division II, and Robert Nadeau, head of AANC Division III, and "amicably agreed to dissolve the Aikido Association of Northern California.

"As of 12:01 a.m., PST, January 24, 2002, the AANC has ceased to exist. It was my hope that we could have reached a compromise, but this was not to be."

There will be two surviving organizations: The Takemusu Aikido Association (TAA), now recognized by Hombu Dojo, and the California Aikido Association (CAA), which has recognition pending.

"It is important to understand that neither organization is a continuation of the AANC in any form," Witt said.

Saito Shihan has given his full support to the Takemusu Aikido Association. He has been Witt's teacher since the late 1960's, when Witt first began training in Tokyo, and then Iwama. Witt is credited with making the original contact with Saito Sensei that has led to innumerable visits of Americans to Iwama over the years, including many senior instructors in both TAA and CAA.

"Everyone has a sensei," Witt said, "and the primary sensei of the Takemusu Aikido Association is Saito Shihan. Personally, he is my Sensei. Over the years he has overseen my Aikido development, we have developed a close relationship, and I expect this to continue through this Association."

Witt said the purpose of the TAA is to promote the Aikido of the Founder through the training and teaching methods of Saito Shihan.

"Saito Shihan has worked hard throughout his life to continue the Founder's memory through careful preservation of the Founder's techniques," Witt said. "He has been very generous in passing on his knowledge to those who have been fortunate to train with him either here or in Iwama. It is the aim of the Takemusu Aikido Association to continue his work with the same spirit he has shown us. The Association also plans to work cooperatively with other organizations."

Witt noted that some former AANC Division I members have expressed an interest in maintaining membership in both organizations.

"In discussion with Senseis Doran and Nadeau they indicated that they will not allow dual memberships in the CAA," Witt said. "The Takemusu Aikido Association has no such restriction."

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Takemusu Aikido Association

Sr. Instructor:  Bill Witt, Shihan
3809 Carlson Circle
Palo Alto, CA 94306
wwittsensei@mindspring.com

Secretary:  Hans Goto
1345 Via Sessi
San Rafael, CA 94901
goto@baymarinaikido.com

Treasurer:  Aviv Goldsmith
6147 Hickory Ridge Rd
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
PrecursorS@aol.com

Click here to see the complete roster.

For website, go to http://www.takemusu.org/taa_dojo.html.

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