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.

Sensei Jay Tall

Chief Instructor

2nd Dan

Sensei Jay Tall started his practice of Aikido in the 1980s studying under Lehrman Shihan at Aikido of Park Slope. This was preceded by a lifetime of deep and serious martial arts study and practice. At age 12 Mr. Tall was practicing Tae Kwando along with varsity gymnastics. He received his first Shodan at that early age. During high school and college, Jay studied Karate, Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Judo! In 1983, Jay began studying Tai Chi Chuan with Eric Schneider. Eric was a student, from age six, of both Aikido and Taichi under Lou Kleinsmith, one of the founding members of New York Aikikai and a direct student of Yamada Sensei, Koichi Tohei and the famous Tai Chi Chaun master Chen Man Ching. 

In 1999 Jay moved to New Jersey. After Stickles Shihan's death, considering the close connection between Lehrman Shihan and Rick (Lehrman Sensei introduced Stickles Sensei to Aikido) Lehrman Shihan reached out to Mr. Tall to join in taking over the responsibility to help ASNJ flourish, to honor his memory and to continue the growth of Stickles Sensei's life work.

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.”

Danny Nunez

2nd Dan


Danny began his Aikido journey in 2008 under Shihan Rick Stickles at ASNJ after seeing the movie – Above the Law.  “I have never seen anything like that before, so I did some research and the rest is history”.  When Danny was much younger, he trained in Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do and good old fashioned boxing. After watching Shihan Stickles, Danny began his path Aikido and the Art of Peace.

Danny enjoys time in the gym and riding his motorcycle when not on the mat.  He teaches the Friday class to all levels.  The reason. “I teach is because I love teaching as much as I love training. The feeling I get from teaching surpasses any I get from training. I just love helping others accomplish their goals in the Art”.  His goal in teaching is that every student walks out with having learned something, that every student can walk out the door with a sense of accomplishment.

ASNJ is the oldest 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 and Sensei Jay Tall is the Chief Instructor.

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

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon