Thursdays are an exciting day at ASNJ. We host a regular rotation of some highly ranked instructors from the New York Aikikai and our sister dojo, Aikido Park Slope.
1st Thursday of the month - Sharon Dominguez, 6th dan
Sharon is a 6th degree black belt. She joined the world of Aikido in 1984 when she became the student of Masahilo Nakazono Shihan. At the time, she was learning Nakazono's healing system, based on Eastern medicine and the Kototama Principle. Sharon has been in private practice ever since.
She joined the New York Aikikai in 1988 as an aikido student of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. Yamada Shihan, an 8th degree black belt and founder of the United States Aikido Federation is responsible for the development of Aikido in the US and all over the world. Seiichi Sugano Shihan, also 8th degree black belt who died in 2010, was one of the main instructors at the New York Aikikai was a prominent influence on Sharon's aikido study. She traveled with both senseis extensively as their otomo (attendant). Other teachers who informed her development are Hal Lehrman, Harvey Konigsberg and Donovan Waite. Today, Sharon both trains and teaches regularly in NYC and abroad. She serves as an officer of the New York Aikikai for close to 25 years.
Sharon sees the art of Aikido as the dynamic cultivation of our body, mind and spirit to realize our true selves in the universe. It is a study that is invigorating, illuminating, transformational and joyous, not to mention badass.
2nd Thursday of the month - Keith Rosello, 5th dan
3nd Thursday of the month - Gordon Wormser, 6th dan
Gordon began his study of martial arts in 1971, simultaneously studying Jiu-Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do. In 1978 he also embraced the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira. At long last, in 1980, he met Lehrman Sensei and began his study of Aikido. A 6th dan shidoin, he is Lehrman Shihan's most senior student and also holds the rank of 7th dan in Jiu-Jitsu and 4th dan in Tae Kwon Do.
In teaching, he is a firm believer in the "Ah ha!" principle; helping others discover for themselves how and why things work.
A life-long student and educator, Gordon earned an M.B.A. degree from NYU, obtained NYC and NY State teaching certification at Long Island University and NY State school district administrator's certification at Fordham University. He has been a public school teacher and administrator and currently works for the NYC Department of Education as a labor relations advisor.
4th Thursday of the month - Javier Burghi, 5th dan
I started my training in martial arts when I was a teenager in Uruguay with Shotokan karate and later on Kyokushin-Kai Karate. Although the training was fun and it gave me my first fundamental steps in the art of combat, I always felt that there was something missing.
In 1990 a friend of mine suggested that I try at a traditional form of martial art known as Aikido. I started training with Carlos Cela Sensei in March of 1990 and very soon I realized it was what I was looking for to complete my understanding of the martial arts world.
In 1994 I moved to New York and immediately continued my training at NY Aikikai, studying with great instructors like Yamada Sensei, Sugano Sensei, Harvey Koinsberg Sensei, Donovan Waite Sensei as well as many other instructors who taught at the NY Aikikai at the time.
In March 1997 I started going to Aikido of Park Slope as well as training in NY Aikikai. Hal Lehrman Sensei accepted me as a student of his and I have belonged to APS ever since.
I have trained in different cities, different states, and even different countries. I have participated in as many seminars as have been possible for me and always tried to exchange knowledge with other Aikidoka practitioners. It has always been a very fulfilling experience and something that I intend to continue doing for as long as I can.
5th Thursday of the month - Ruth Peyser, 6 Dan
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 exceptional dedication to aikido instruction is reflected in her clear and well-constructed classes, as well as the individual attention to student progress.
“For me aikido is not only about technique, it is about examining the use (or uselessness) of force, how to deal with conflict, control issues and fear.”
Fransisco "DV" Devalle
DV, as he is called as ASNJ, began studying Aikido in 1995. He chose Aikido because he was inspired by its approach and philosophy to self-defense of neutralizing your opponent without inflicting harm. DV finds Aikido to be minimalist in approach and emphasizes efficiency and practicality, blending movements and perfect timing to execute techniques.
DV practiced Karate-do as a pre-teen back in the Philippines and is currently studying Wing Chun Kung Fu. He is a physician specializing in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. His hobbies include long-distance running, basketball, mountain climbing, tennis, playing in a Contemporary Christian rock band and occasionally sleeping.
One insight DV realized when teaching is the practicality of the techniques he was taught, how the techniques apply to actual situations. DV would like to thank Sensei Joseph, Shihan Lehrman and his original sensei, the late Rick Stickles for giving him the opportunity to learn and teach in the ASNJ Dojo.
4th dan, Shidoin
Joseph Roy began his martial arts training with Shito Ryu Karate and Toyama Ryu Batto Jitsu under Sensei Charles Hobib in 1993. He has also trained in Traditional Chinese medicine and has worked as a massage therapist with a specialization in Japanese Shiatsu and Jin Shin Jitsu.
In 2001, he began his training in Aikido under Shihan Rick Stickles and Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido under the tutelage of Shihan Roger Wehrhahn. He served as uchi deshi at Aikido Schools of New Jersey from 2001 to 2006. During this time he studied Dzochen meditation and spiritual guru Dean Sluyter. Sensei Joseph Roy holds a sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido and has led the New Jersey Iaido Group for 14 years.
“Aikido relates to all things in life. It is more than just a martial art; it is a way of life for the peaceful human being.”