Penny Sablove Sensei, Chief Instructor
Osensei, the founder of Aikido, said that Aikido is inherent in nature, that Aikido is the movement of nature. I'm sure this is the reason I was drawn to Aikido at my very first class, just as I am drawn to the mountains and the ocean. I love the flowing spiral movements, the feeling of ki coursing through my body, and the sense of creative discovery of the changing forms of nature.
I believe that Aikido is one of the wonderful practices helping to ensure the survival of ourselves and this beautiful planet. My trust in the value of Aikido training, and the joy of the artistic opportunities it offers, has kept me training for 25 years.
My training, as well as my teaching and general dojo leadership style, is strongly influenced by my teacher, Linda Holiday Sensei, chief instructor of North Bay Aikido in Santa Cruz. Studying with Holiday Sensei has kept me focused on the spiritual nature of Aikido, as she has a very special ability to convey the spiritual meaning of the physical movements.
I began my training in 1980 at the San Francisco Women's School of Aikido. Although this dojo no longer exists, at that time it provided a rare opportunity for women to be taken seriously in the art. My own dojo has both women and men members, and one reason I teach is that I want to create a space that fosters mutual respect between the sexes and which supports women in their training. I am very pleased with the training atmosphere my students maintain at Heart of San Francisco.
I believe in practice. Growth is inevitable with regular practice. Practice situates us where we can experience and ride change in ever increasing directions.
I also believe in the value of lineage. Linda Holiday Sensei studies with Anno Sensei from Shingu, Japan, and Anno Sensei studied with the Founder, Osensei. I see my training and my teaching as part of the continuing life of the art. At our dojo, we delight in seeing new students take root in the art and join us, and those who have come before, on the path of Aikido.
Penny also runs a program for older adults to help them maintain mobility. See www.maintainingmobility.org for more information.