The instructors of Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta are an all-volunteer team, dedicated to studying and sharing the art of Aikido. Every instructor is a teacher, generously donating their time and their knowledge of the art with those who wish to learn it. Every instructor is also a student with a life-long commitment to deepening their understanding of Aikido.
BLUE SPRUELL, CHIEF INSTRUCTOR
Shidoin, 6th Dan
Blue Spruell Sensei began his Aikido training under Masahiro Okada Shihan and Katsuya Nakamura Shihan in 1988 in Japan, where he lived and trained for five years before returning to Atlanta to co-found his first dojo, Dogwood Aikikai. He traveled extensively to train under Mitsunari Kanai Shihan and continues to train under Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. Spruell Sensei holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido awarded by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba and Shidoin instructor certification awarded by the United States Aikido Federation. Spruell Sensei also holds 5th degree black belts in Iaido and Kyudo. He serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Aikido Federation and the Kiyoikaze Iaido Federation and teaches nationally and internationally. Off the mat, Spruell Sensei is a trial lawyer and certified mediator, specializing in civil and domestic litigation (www.outlawfirm.com). He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children.
Peachtree Aikikai enjoys a wealth of instructors who share a long commitment to techniques and etiquette as transmitted from O-Sensei to present day. All Peachtree instructors hold a minimum rank of 1st degree black belt, with most ranked 2nd degree or higher. Each instructor brings his and her own unique understanding of Aikido, shaped by countless hours of practice at Peachtree and at dojos around the world.
DOJO (OUR FACILITY)
Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta is a traditional Japanese training hall, or dojo. The heart of the dojo is the tokonoma, the alcove dedicated to Aikido and its founder O Sensei Moreihei Ueshiba. Portraits of our community's most venerated practitioners and training weapons hang nearby. Showers are available in the men's and women's dressing rooms, and the student lounge features a library and community calendar of upcoming events.
Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta has a diverse, enthusiastic, and supportive student body. Students of all ages, countries, and professions practice Aikido together, each supporting the others on their path to personal refinement through Aikido. The focus is on training, rather than competition, and experts from around the country visit Peachtree Aikikai to teach and grow the aiki vocabulary. Such rigorous and collegial training results in new friendships - not only in Atlanta, but with fellow Aikido practitioners all around the world.
WHAT TO EXPECT AS A NEW STUDENT
Traditional Japanese uniforms, Japanese words and phrases, new body movements... this strange new environment can be disorienting! This is why new students receive special attention at Peachtree, with an early focus on ukemi, or rolls, and footwork and fundamental technique. Student who attend 2 to 3 days per week will see definite improvement and will qualify to take their first test after approximately 20 days of practice. Testing is noncompetitive and focuses instead on demonstrating incremental facility with Aikido technique as prescribed by the United States Aikido Federation and the International Aikido Federation.
Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation and the International Aikido Federation under Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei and, in memorium, Mitsunari Kanai Sensei. Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta is also affiliated with Kiyoikaze Iaido Federation under Claude Berthiaume Sensei and, in memorium, Mitsunari Kanai Sensei. Peachtree Aikikai enjoys a collegiate brotherhood with dojos around the country and the world.