These are statements by the two candidates for President of the California Aikido Association. All yudansha in the CAA are eligible to vote. Ballots will be posted by June 1st, 2018 and must be received by August 23, 2018. Voting will also occur at the CAA friendship training Sunday August 26, 2018.
I am honored to be nominated by Danielle Smith (7th dan, Aikido of Monterey) to be the next CAA president. As an active member of the CAA community of the greater Bay Area, I greatly value the many training sessions I have shared over the years with old black belt friends and new white belt students from the CAA at Aikido West, Aikido of San Jose, Aikido of Santa Cruz, Aikido of Monterey and many other dojos. Since 1999, I have been training under Robert Nadeau (8th dan, CAA Division 3 Head), first in Mountain View and then at City Aikido of San Francisco (where I have been one of the senior instructors since 2005). Before living in California, I trained extensively in Japan at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and at the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, as well as at the Bond Street Dojo in New York City. It has been nearly 47 years since I first started Aikido as a university student. I continue to actively train several days a week and am currently ranked 6th dan. A fuller description of my personal Aikido lineage can be found online in the CAA’s “Spotlight On” archives from 2008: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5744a782d210b89c3e14ad35/t/5816b17db3db2b40 01f5313b/1477882238201/Lherr.pdf
My background and experience could prove very useful to the CAA and our diverse community of affiliated teachers and dojos during the next few years, especially if the CAA were to host teaching visits by senior instructors from Japan. I have worked extensively between Japan and America most of my professional career and speak Japanese. (I served as the interpreter for Ueshiba Moriteru Doshu when he came from Hombu Dojo to teach in Oakland in 2004, and for Hikitsuchi Michio (10th dan, Kumano Juku Dojo) when he traveled across America teaching in 1978.) Outside the dojo, I have served in senior management roles at four medium-sized Silicon Valley technology companies (1992-2004), and am the founder and president of Pacific Interface Inc., an independent consulting company based in Oakland. I also serve on the board of directors of CineGrid, a non-profit international community of media and technology researchers.
As CAA president, I believe my Aikido and business backgrounds, as well as my fluency in Japanese, can help support the forward movement of the CAA. If elected, I look forward to assisting the Division Heads accomplish their goals for the future of the organization and to serving them and all members of the three Divisions honorably. I ask for your vote.
Laurin Herr, 6th Dan
To the CAA Membership
The CAA, and its predecessor, have supported my Aikido training and the evolution of Aikido Northwest dojo for decades. For this I am deeply grateful.
I believe that the CAA is a unique organization in the Aikido world with its heart centered approach to training, teaching, and organizational structure. For that I am proud to be a member, and feel “at home” and amongst family with you all.
Aikido has become a world art, and in that I believe the CAA has an important contribution to make to the arts evolution. For that I feel a desire to be involved and humbly do my part in that process.
Aikido is of central importance in my life. I am indebted to the founders and leaders of the CAA for the work they have done in our behalf, and desire to make my contribution in an attempt to demonstrate my thanks.
If you choose me to be your President, these will be the things that will direct my actions.
Craig Fife, 6th Dan