Sensei Larry Castleberry – Go-Dan (5th Degree)
Larry began his aikido training in 1988 at the University of Detroit under Herman Hurst Sensei. In 1996 during a clinic in Chicago hosted by Gilbert James Sensei (RIP) Larry had the immense pleasure of being introduced to Amos Parker Sensei (9th Dan). The rest as they say is history. Larry received both his ni-dan and san-dan from Parker Sensei and is a certified/registered Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation instructor. He is a survivor of the “good old crazy days” in which students were required to to perform 300 zenpo kaiten (forward rolls) without a break during class….only to have the subsequent class having students perform continuous throws (and being thrown) for an hour +. As he likes to say, “we were young, energetic, and to proud to give up!!” Now, an older, rounder, and gentler Larry concentrates on teaching students the basics of aikido WITHOUT the cardiac stress.
Sensei Kevin Fowler – Go-Dan (5th Degree)
Kevin began his Aikido training in 1984 under Herman Hurst Sensei at the old Dexter and Davison location in Detroit. He is a graduate of the Kenshu (intensive training) course taught by Kushida Sensei. During his 20+ years of training Kevin has also survived the “good old crazy days”. Kevin received his San-dan and Yon-dan from Parker Sensei and is also a certified/registered Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation Instructor. He received his Go-dan from Sensei Ashley Hennessy June of 2014.
Sensei Stuart Harvin – San Dan (3rd Degree)
Stuart began his Aikido training under Sensei Hurst. He led Sensei Hurst Boll’s Family YMCA class in Downtown Detroit. Stuart’s diligence and commitment to Aikido is exemplified in his continuing to study on his own and with fellow aikidoist when family commitments forced Sensei Hurst to relocate out of state. In June of 2014 Stuart received his San-Dan from Sensei Hennessy. He is a certified/registered Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation Instructor.
William Weis – Ni Dan (2nd Degree)
William Weis began his Aikido training under Sensei Hurst in 1986 and is also a survivor of the “good old” days. Bill brings to his study several years of practical application based on his years as a bouncer. Also, as he likes to say, he had his share of brawls in his youth!! That said, you would be hard press to find a kinder more gentler individual. Bill received his Ni-dan from Castleberry Sensei in December of 2013.
Tommy Nuggent – Ni Dan (2nd Degree)
Mr. Nuggent began his Aikido training under Sensei Hurst. Like Stuart he also was paramount in conducting classes at the Boll’s Family YMCA. He too has shown incredible determination and commitment to Aikido as he was also forced to continue training without the benefit of a Sensei when Sensei Hurst had to leave town do to family commitments. Tommy received his Ni-Dan (second degree black belt) under Castleberry Sensei in December of 2013.
Justin Parker – Sho Dan (1st Degree)
Justin Parker began his Aikido training at the age of 10 under Sensei Castleberry. He is the first student of Sensei Castleberry to go from youth class beginner to black-belt!! Due to his extreme flexibility Justin has the reputation of being very difficult to pin. Justin Ukemi is becoming legendary as he flies through the air with extreme grace. That said the soft spoken young man is a very hard worker both on and off the mat and currently is instrumental in teaching the youth class. Justin will be testing for his Ni-dan in December of 2014.