Andy Small

4th dan

Andy has been practicing Aikido since 1988. He started in Connecticut, spending time in both Stamford and New Haven with Sensei’s R. Farinato, E. DeMarco, and J. Nour.  A few months later, when work as attorney brought him to NYC, he trained at the New York Aikikai under  Shihans Y. Yamada, S. Sugano, D. Waite,  H. Koenigsberg, S. Pimsler, H. Lerman.


At the NYA, Andy was a devotee of morning class, at 6:45 a.m.  This taught him the value of Aikido as a daily priority; at least until kids came along.   After moving to NJ in 2006, Andy began training under Shihan Rick Stickles, whose depth of knowledge and deep insight into the technical movement inspired Andy to teach.  Andy focuses on clean, basic movements as his in his martial advancement. Andy’s classes are rigorous and you will find him a “player-coach” never missing an opportunity to train.

Ruth Peyser

6th Dan, Shidoin


In the late 1970s, Ruth left her native Australia for New York City, an inspiring place for an artist and budding filmmaker. She began training at The New York Aikikai in 1980 and started teaching in 1987.


Ruth’s dedication to aikido instruction is reflected in her clear and well-constructed classes, as well as the individual attention to student progress.


“The wonderful thing about aikido is that each person can approach it in a way that suits them. Some people are more interested in the physical form and others use the philosophical aspects to explore the practice and themselves. Yamada Sensei encourages this individual approach at New York Aikikai, and it is a major factor that contributes to the love I have for the art. I feel that having a good understanding of technique is imperative for a solid foundation but that the physical form is a vehicle to study the underlying principles. For me aikido is about exploring the power of harmony and cooperation, and through that observe ways to deal with conflict, control and fear.”

ASNJ is the oldest traditional aikido dojo in NJ. Founded in 1977 by Rick Stickles, Shihan. 25+ classes per week. 

Now under the guidance of Sensei Hal Lehrman, 7th dan Shihan.

©2017 Aikido Schools of New Jersey.  Member of the United States Aikido Federation.

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