Aikido Center of Jacksonville
Dojo Newsletter October 2008

Recent Promotions
Congratulations to Ryan Szesny for passing his 5th kyu examination.  Sensei was very pleased, as were your sempai in the school.  News of your accomplishment was delivered to New York by carrier pigeon, along with a candle, which was lit in your honor.  (Just kidding, Ryan.  We are all thrilled with your progress!)  

An Autumn Wedding
Dee and I want to thank everyone for their encouragement, friendship and positive energy these past few months.  For those who may not know, we got hitched on September 27th.  For the record, I believe I experienced the first honest to goodness "no touch" ukemi when I saw Sensei walk down the aisle. 

On a more conspiratorial note, I want to express my gratitude for the enterrement de vie de garcon devised by a few of my fellows.  I enjoyed the ballet, and the picnic following was lovely.  (As agreed, the surviving member of our little tontine will be entitled to the various sundries and tokens of that evening, to be disposed of, discreetly, in the traditional manner.)

I understand Sensei also attended the ballet with her bridesmaids, in Orlando.  I really don't want to know about it.


Student Spotlight: Tonya Mochocki
Editors Note: From time to time we feature students in our dojo newsletter.  This Spotlight is bittersweet for us, since Tonya has left our school to become a full time student of Yamada Sensei, Seabolt Sensei's instructor.  Fortunately, we can still hear about her New York City exploits in her online training blog.

Tonya during a seminar at Florida AikikaiHi, my name is Tonya Mochocki and I have been training in Aikido for four years.  I started here at the Aikido Center of Jacksonville in 2004.  I joined as an activity to keep in shape, but after one year of training and learning the philosophy behind the art, I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  It was not so long after this first year of training that Dee introduced me to Yamada Sensei during a special trip to New York Aikikai.  I saw the amazing skill of the uchi-deshi (live in students) and I was sure this was my path.  From Dee Sensei’s colorful description of New York Aikikai and the uchi-deshi, I knew, even before going, that this was something I wanted to do.  After visiting there several times and training, I know I made the right choice.

Outside of Aikido I recently graduated from Keiser University and attained my license as aTonya taking time to relax from her busy schedule registered nurse.  It was a long difficult road and I am glad it is over with. I plan on working weekends at a hospital in NYC.  My main areas of interest in nursing are psychiatric, hospice, and medical surgical, though it is possible I will end up somewhere entirely different.  Next down the list of my interests is ballroom dancing.  I’d have to say at this point my favorite dance is samba, but I enjoy them all.  I also in my spare time, create artwork, bake, sew, read and write.

Tonya cuddling with a cute pigIn conclusion I have spent four awesome years here in Jacksonville and I am eternally grateful to everyone here for their wisdom and encouragement.  Without the influence of such an enthusiastic group of Aikidoists I would never have thought to go farther.  Who knows, I may even end up back in Florida one day!

Upcoming Seminars
From November 7-9, Yamada Shihan, Sugano Shihan and Shihan of the USAF Technical Committee will be teaching at Winter Camp in Fort Lauderdale, hosted by Florida Aikikai. The cost to train is $90 for one day, $120 for two days, and $140 for three days.  From November 21-22, Aikido of Tampa Bay will be celebrating their one year anniversary featuring Jerry Zimmerman Shidoin.  The seminar fee is $40.00.  Lastly, on December 13th, Grady Lane Shidoin of Brevard Aikikai is hosting a Christmas friendship seminar.  The cost is $30.  Featured instructors will be Alan Drysdale of Enmei Dojo, Randy Beck of Sand Drift Aikido, Paul Cobo of Aikido of Tampa Bay, and our very own Dee Seabolt.  I'm sure Sensei is expecting a big turnout, so let's not disappoint her.