Dale started his Aikido Training in 1992 while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He has trained in multiple federations and holds the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt) with the World Aikikai Headquarters in Japan via the United States Aikido Federation. Additionally, Dale has rankings in a number of other martial arts including another Aikido federation, Nihon Goshin Aikido. He enjoys traveling and training with numerous instructors throughout the US.
While his background is very broad Gina Boccolucci Sensei has been a primary influence not just on Dale’s Aikido style, she is absolutely the example followed for how Dale believes a dojo should feel and operate in a community. Dale seeks to bring that same atmosphere of a family to Aikido of Hernando County.
Gina Sensei completely made over Dale’s Ukemi-waza and really opened up the larger world of Aikido to Dale through her thoughtful teaching style. Under Gina Sensei’s teaching he learned more than ever prior about how to use technique, fluidity of motion, and precision to execute technique without the use of muscle. She has truly shown that power is not about strength of muscle but rather strength of execution of movements done from proper practice. Dale is extremely grateful for her humble approach to influence not just in her own ability but by encouraging Dale to train and travel to see specific other Sensei’s that she knew would help specific aspects of his Aikido.
One of those that Dale has had the privilege of studying for years under Gus (Gasu) Rodriguez Sensei from the Capital Aikikai Federation. This gift of Gus Sensei’s teaching in Gina Sensei’s dojo has had a tremendous impact on Dale’s weapon work and focus on center in his Aikido.
For Dale’s early Nihon Goshin Aikido roots he attributes a significant foundation to Steven Weber Sensei who had an incredibly effective teaching style in the practical uses of Aikido movements and was Dale’s tanto (knife) take away work primary model. Studying for years under Weber Sensei, prior to his moving to Arizona, and then traveling to Weber Sensei’s dojo on occasion, Dale greatly enjoyed and is deeply thankful for the time he was able to spend on the tatami with such a great martial practitioner. Later influences for Dale’s NGA roots included Tony Saldano Sensei, Mike Stabile Sensei, and Bill Eagle Sensei all of whom have added something to the Aikido Dale now practices.
Tony is a dedicated practitioner of Aikido and has spent years in study under Bill Eagle Sensei. Tony has a passion for all aspects and styles of aikido. He has traveled throughout the Southeast to attend Nihon Goshin Aikido Seminars training with Mike Stabile, Sensei, Robert MacEwen Jr, Sensei and the late Jim Giorgi, Sensei. Tony has been the Sensei of the Kids Aikido Program in Hernando County since 2010 and has transitioned that program into the Aikido of Hernando County Dojo. An inquisitive student he at one time carried the nickname “Scoop” in the dojo as he would interview/interrogate anyone displaying something new or different and would record the information in one of his famous little notebooks.