Grady Lane Sensei of Brevard Aikikai is a dear friend personally, and with Peter Bernath Sensei, one of our seniors in Florida with whom the dojo has established an ongoing relationship. For our newer students, I thought I’d take a moment to make a brief introduction.
Lane Sensei was first introduced to the martial arts in 1972, when he began studying Karate. (He would subsequently earn a black belt.) He came to Aikido in 1975 after watching a class. At the time, Lane Sensei was unimpressed — he saw what he later described as an old man appearing to dance around a bit on the mat. Taking note, the Aikido instructor invited him to participate. With the bravado of youth, and confidence in his Karate skills, Lane Sensei accepted, and prepared for a quick match.
Within seconds, he found himself painfully pinned in a wrist lock. Lane Sensei immediately joined the class, thereby beginning an Aikido journey that would last more than thirty years.
Lane Sensei is currently ranked 6th dan, and is an Aikikai shidoin, or senior certified instructor. His black belt ranks were awarded by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, 8th dan shihan and President of the United States Aikido Federation. He began his Aikido career under Dr. Tom Walker Sensei, 5th dan, and pioneer of Aikido in the United States.
Over the years, Lane Sensei has been a featured instructor at several dojos, including Sand Drift Aikido, Palm Beach Aikikai, and Aikido of Tampa Bay. We’ve been lucky to host Sensei on five occasions, most recently in July of last year. He also regularly appears to support our seminars, and is a familiar and welcome face at Aikido seminars in central and south Florida.
Dee encourages her students to seek out senior instructors in our Federation, to take advantage of the experience they offer. Lane Sensei has that experience in spades.