I’m speaking with Michael Grande, 5th Kyu
Weiner Sensei: Michael-san, What led you to Aikido?
Michael-san: Back when I was studying Criminal Justice in college, an acquaintance introduced me to Aikido through a club on campus. Compared to “hard style” martial arts I previous practiced, I quickly found extraordinary benefit in how Aikido practically applied to my duties in law enforcement.
Weiner Sensei: How would you describe class at our dojo?
Michael-san: Classes are punctual, productive, efficient, and encouraging. Additionally, great effort is made to allow each student to participate, learn and grow at their level in a cooperative environment. In other words, the instructors make the most of the time, and everybody helps each other gain something from each class.
Weiner Sensei: What are your short term goals as a student?
Michael-san: I quickly learned that good ukemi (falling and rolling) is the key to not only training safely, but also training with the more advanced senior students. So it is my goal to add things like break falls to my ukemi “repertoire” by the end of 2017.
Weiner Sensei: What are your long term goals as a student?
Michael-san: I hope to be at or near Shodan level when I retire from the police department in ten years so that I can begin to teach others this great martial art.
Weiner Sensei: What does it take to be a committed student?
Michael-san: Regular class participation is critical. But for those who can’t attend every class scheduled at the dojo, I think a committed student gives 100% of themselves in every class they do attend, while spending time away from class striving to better understand Aikido and what they have been taught.
For more Student Spotlights like “I’m speaking with Michael Grande, 5th Kyu” check back to our blog regularly.