Dojo History

Back in September 2008, I wrote in our newsletter:

By all accounts, Rosiek Sensei had a relationship with Tom “Doc” Walker Sensei, the much loved founder of Sand Drift Aikido in Cocoa, Florida. (Walker Sensei was instrumental in establishing the United States Aikido Federation in its early days). [A]ccording to Buck Pittman, our dojo in those days was called Sand Drift Aikido, presumably after Walker Sensei’s school.

And in October 2009 I wrote:

You may be surprised to learn that the founder of our school, Curtis Rosiek, was a student of Tom “Doc” Walker Sensei, the much loved founder of Sand Drift Aikido. In fact, Walker Sensei tested our earliest students.

As it happens, I recently came across a 5th kyu certificate from 1993, from one of our earliest students. The certificate, issued by the United States Aikido Federation, confirms what I previously wrote.

Rosiek Sensei was in fact a student of “Doc” Walker Sensei, to the extent that the certificate identifies the school as Sand Drift Aikikai. (And therefore obviously connected to Walker Sensei’s school.) And although the certificate was signed by Rosiek Sensei, the test took place in Titusville, Florida, under Walker Sensei.

(Of course, at that time Walker Sensei was affiliated with the Federation.)

4 thoughts on “Dojo History

  1. Herve has reappeared after an absence from the mat of more than 10 years. Tall, strong, and French, he was a dedicated student that predates me in our dojo by a long way. He has returned with a son, Luc, whom we agree was the reason he left–to help raise a new family.

    We had a long talk on Saturday after class about the old days and confirmed that our original affiliation was with Doc Walker’s dojo. I think that’s why when Chris Rozette took over, we retained a strong relationship with Grady Lane sensei who had also been one of Doc Walker’s students. I know that Chris Rozette kept our affiliation with USAF and changed the name from Sand Drift to our current name. This happened shortly after I started in May 1995. Chris was into marketing and felt the name should better reflect our place. Plus, he had come from Aikido Center of Atlanta and clearly borrowed the name scheme. The idea to change the name may also have come about the same time Doc Walker withdrew from the Federation. That is conjecture that needs confirmation.

    Herve’s return is a joyous occassion. Not only is it great to see an old comrade on the mat again, but it is even better to witness how deeply ingrained Aikido becomes through diligent practice. It is amazing to see how he seems to have just picked up where he left off. Welcome back, Herve!

  2. Pingback: Learning To Be Silent » Blog Archive » Yamada Sensei in Jacksonville

Comments are closed.