Additional Instructors

aikido-23Bill Misson – 5th Dan Bill began his Aikido training in the late 60s under Robert Nadeau Shihan in Mountain View, California.  In his early years he worked a lot with energy awareness, Ki flow, harmony of mind and body, and correct falling practice.  In the late 70s, Bill moved to Boise, Idaho and founded Aikido of Boise, where he was the head instructor until he left Idaho to come back to Sonoma County, California.  He has trained and taught at Aikido of Petaluma ever since.In his words, “I found for me, that I could learn the technique better from the uki’s point of view. That is, if it felt good to me, that’s what I wanted my partner to feel. As my training went on, I discovered that there was more than the physical. I began to like myself. I also found that I could like other people, and not be afraid of strangers.”

aikido-2Charlie Stapp – 4th Dan
Charlie has been training in Aikido for 26 years, starting his training in 1987 under Bob Noha Sensei. His current rank is yondan (4th degree blackbelt) with his shodan (1st degree awarded to him in 1994). When asked what he likes to emphasize most in his classes, he says, “I like to express a good quality of basics that expand into good flowing movement … and good sweaty classes. “Charlie’s classes are always fun and although his classes are fast paced, he readily accommodates all levels of training and maintains that students train at a level comfortable to them.

aikido-1Sasun Torikian – 3rd Dan
I started training over 23 years ago and has attained the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt).  I have been at the Aikido of Petaluma school since his first day of training and can still remember my first lessons with Bob Noha.I have, over the years attended many workshops and seminars including a trip to Hombu Dojo.  As I like to travel I have also had the chance to train in Australia, England and Germany as well as attended classes in other Dojos in the area and in other states.I have been teaching since I first got my Shodan (1st degree black belt) and have been teaching the fundamental classes for over 2 years.Aikido, for me, is an art of personal transformation which is practiced within the medium of a martial art.  The martial art is secondary to the embodiment of Aikido principals in class and in our everyday life.
aldoAldo Quezada – 2nd Dan In 2004 I joined Petaluma Aikido. I was an avid soccer player at the time and took the class to stay limber until the next season started. I had studied Judo earlier in life and always wanted to resume training but, at that point in my life I wasn’t sure I could physically stand the rigor. A friend told me about Aikido so I visited Aikido of Petaluma. The class I visited had a wide age range with a mixture of experience levels. I thought, “Maybe I could do this” and signed up.

After over a decade of training, I found myself naturally drawn to the technical side of the art; the open hand techniques and the various weapons training systems. However, the spiritual and philosophical components turned out to be just as intriguing and make training a continuous learning experience

Aikido is great for ones health and a lot of fun. If you enjoy physical activity and are interested in examining aspects of your body, mind and spirit come on by and give it a try.
Robin Palmer – 3rd Dan I have been training in Aikido for about 30 years, starting in 1985 under Bob Noha Sensei. My current rank is sandan (3rd degree black belt). Sensei recently asked me if I would like to be the new student instructor. I am finding this a good role for me. When I started, I had little awareness of my own body, had not been physically active, and found Aikido quite challenging in so many ways. Just getting up and down from the mat was difficult. However, the one thing I did have was perseverance. It took me ten years to get my shodan (1st degree black belt), not because I was lazy, or didn’t train consistently, but because I had so many challenges to overcome in my own personal development and growth. Thanks to Sensei’s faith in me, never giving up on me, treating me like every other student, not overwhelming me with criticism, but just enough to grow, I grew and gained confidence. Now I want to return the faith and dedication to our new students. One important principle I learned from Sensei in working with beginners, is to not overwhelm them with feedback, criticism, words, talk, but let them learn from training, by being as good a training partner as possible. Another principle is to give positive feedback, and one suggestion to work on. I like working with new students. It refreshes my spirit, and motivates me to improve myself. After all, they are the lifeblood of the dojo.