Thomas Hackmann, Chief Instructor, 5th Dan
Thomas took up Aikido at the age of sixteen. From age 18 to 24 he undertook intensive training at Asai Sensei’s dojo in Düsseldorf, Germany and was awarded the rank of Shodan in 1981. While in Germany he attended a number of seminars and summer camps and had the opportunity to meet other well known Japanese teachers (Noro Sensei, Kobayashi Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei to name a few). In 1985 he moved to Vancouver, BC and trained under Kawahara Sensei from 1985 - 1990. He arrived in Halifax in 1991 and assumed the role of Chief Instructor of Halifax Aikikai in 1998. He regards the study of aikido a lifelong path keeping in mind Ueshiba Sensei’s parting words to one of his students: "'Intellectual training, physical training, virtue training, ki training - these produce practical wisdom.' He added that it wouldn’t do for even one of these to be missing, that lacking any one of them would render everything for naught and inevitably slow one’s overall development. One must, he told me, always maintain a harmonious balance among these. (Interview with Mariye Takahashi, Aikido Journal #120)".
David Humphreys, Instructor, 5th Dan
Peter McAuley, Instructor, 2nd Dan
Peter started Aikido at the age of forty-three, in 2001, at Halifax Aikikai. With continuous and constant practice he was awarded his Shodan 7 years later, and obtained his Nidan three years after that, proving that it is never too late to start your aikido training. In addition to great teachers locally, Peter has been lucky enough to train under Kawahara Sensei and Osawa Sensei, as well as other superb teachers from across the continent.
Katharina Kieser, Instructor, 2nd Dan
Katharina was drawn to Aikido as a martial art because of its nature of blending with an attacker's energy. She started aikido in 1999 at Halifax Aikikai and has also trained in Toronto under Yumi Nakamura Sensei. Aikido has provided an art with continuous learning about people and their energy and how to blend together as uke with nage without clashing. To Katharina, these principles translate to life outside the dojo. She enjoys teaching, and learning from all the aikidosa she encounters.
Craig Rogers, Instructor, 3rd Dan
Edward Edelstein, Instructor, 2nd Dan
Edward began studying Aikido with Robert Nadeau in 1972 while attending the University of California at Berkeley. He has continued to practice mainly in Toronto and Halifax. He has been a guest practitioner in dojos across Canada and the US, and as far away as Oahu, Hawaii and Novosibirsk, Siberia. Edward has a master’s degree and years of experience in Waldorf Education. As a teacher, he enjoys focusing on teaching good fundamentals of this art.