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Holiday Message from the USAF Technical Committee



Dear USAF Instructors and Members,

During this special holiday season, most of us will take some time to not only reflect on the events of the past year, but also on the year to come. We, the members of the USAF Technical Committee, would like to share our thoughts about this momentous year and what our intentions are moving forward.

In years past, this holiday greeting would be coming from Yamada Sensei. But as 2023 began, we suffered the loss of his passing. His life, teaching and spirit touched us all whether we knew him personally, professionally, as participants in his classes or just by reputation. Without his leadership, inspiration and dedication to spreading the teaching of aikido, our experiences on and off the mat and connections we’ve made with one another would not be possible.


We were fortunate to have three of our main national events take place this year. The USAF Summer Camp (the first in 4 years and in Yamada Sensei’s memory), Florida Aikikai’s Winter Camp, and New York Aikikai's Christmas Seminar were amazing aikido seminars, going above and beyond all expectations. Training was superb and the totality of our collective spirits were sky high. The USAF and its extended aikido family have come together in a way that would have made Yamada Sensei smile. This was his dream and you all made it come true, whether you were there in person, or in spirit.

Also noteworthy, twelve dojos have joined the USAF this past year. Many old friends have returned and we are delighted to have them back. We are also thrilled to see so many new faces on the mat. It means we carry on our rich traditions while forging a bright, exuberant future.

Please know, the Technical Committee has been meeting regularly, discussing a variety of issues. At this time, no changes have been made to the Technical Committee Policy, but we will continue our discussions for how to best ensure a strong path for the future. We are also committing ourselves to reaching out and communicating with instructors and members more frequently and making ourselves available for advice, teaching assistance and for suggestions as well.


We also want to give special thanks to the USAF Board of Directors and to the USAF administrators, Laura Pavlick and Karen De Paola, for the tremendous work they have done to keep the USAF going full speed ahead the past year and into the year to come.



We wish you, your families, friends and loved ones a safe, joyous holiday season and much health and happiness for 2024.

The USAF Technical Committee



Harvey Konigsberg

Peter Bernath

Claude Berthiaume

Andy Demko

Steve Pimsler

Penny Bernath




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