The teaching team of Fudoshin are all black belt instructors accredited by the International Aikido Foundation who have many years of teaching experience. They are adept at teaching kids, youth and adults, from beginners to advanced students. They have also received LGBTQ awareness training.
Mike Clair is the Head Teacher of Fudoshin Aikikai. He has been practicing Aikido since 1981. He acquired his shodan (1st degree black belt) in 1990, his nidan (2nd degree) in 2004, his sandan (3rd degree) in 2008, his yondan (4th degree) in 2012 and his Godan (5th degree) in 2018. Mike has been part of the Fudoshin family since 2008.
In his teaching, Mike attempts to maintain a balance between the “martial” and the “art” of Aikido. He focuses on the precise execution of movement, as it is from this precision that power arises, while also encouraging the improvisation required to deal with unexpected situations. He fuses the five elements of physical fitness (strength, flexibility, balance, aerobics and coordination) into his teaching of Aikido.
O Sensei’s genius was to discover a way to defend oneself effectively against all types of attacks (strikes, holds, knife, sword, multiple attackers, etc.), without causing serious harm to one’s opponents. Mike emphasizes how to neutralize attacks safely, for both attacker and defender.
Mike is now retired after a nearly 40 year career as a senior manager in government and university. He is married to Mary Win and has two grown sons, André and Luc, as well as two grandchildren.
Shahram Moradi is a 4th-degree black belt originally from Iran who moved to St. John’s in January 2019. He has been teaching at Fudoshin since April of that year. His interest in the martial arts dates to his childhood, but he only began practicing seriously when he attended university at the age of 18 where he took up Kung Fu. For over ten years, he competed professionally and won championships at the provincial and national levels in Iran. Unfortunately, he suffered a number of physical injuries along the way, such as fractures to the hands, scapula, feet and nose. So, he decided to look for a martial art that was not only effective but also less likely to produce injuries. In 2004, after six months of research, he discovered Aikido. After 8 years of continuous training without interruption, he was awarded a 3rd Dan in 2012. In 2016, he had the opportunity to train at the international home of Aikido, the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, where he was awarded his 4th Dan.
He received his coaching degree from the Iranian Martial Arts Federation in 2008 and began teaching Aikido in Tehran that same year. In Teheran, he had over a hundred students, over 30 of whom have received a black belt from Hombu Dojo. He was appointed a Shidoin (regularly scheduled teacher) at his dojo in Teheran in 2018.
In Iran, he was the head of the Aikido Aikikai coaching committee and the demonstrative committee for many years.
Born in St. John’s NL in October 1958, Tony Cumby shares his life with his wife of 25 years, Diane and their daughter Penny.
In September 1971, at age 12, Tony had been the victim of a beating by three boys in Bowering Park in St. John’s. He was highly motivated to prevent this happening again and joined the YM-YWCA then located on Kenna’s Hill. A very soft-spoken and kind English gentleman by the name of Graham Burt was the instructor for both Judo and Aikido and so began Tony’s lifelong study of Aikido. Within a few months, at the age of thirteen he was recruited to 510 Lions Air Cadet Squadron only to find that Sensei Burt also volunteered to teach both Judo and Aikido with this organization. He continued with both arts for 6 years, at which time he dropped Judo to follow Sensei Burt’s aikido teaching exclusively. In 1976 he graduated from the cadet program but stayed on as a civilian instructor teaching Aikido. This continued on and off over the years and he still remains with the Corps in this role. After the untimely death of Sensei Burt on August 4th 1979, he continued to train with Derm McDonald Sensei, who honoured the teachings of Sensei Burt.
In 1999 Tony recruited a small group of coworkers at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital to practice Aikido, this was named Bunch of Guys (BOG) Aikido by one of the members who shortly after, proposed a name change to Fudoshin Aikido. This fledgling group evolved with the addition and leadership of Tom Alteen Sensei to become Fudoshin Aikikai, an officially recognized member of the United States Aikido Federation.
Tony has found Aikido to be invaluable in coping with daily stress and has always found peace and support during practice. As founder and president of Fudoshin, he is driven to protect the ideal of a not-for-profit, membership owned and directed club with a focus on making Aikido fun and available to everyone.
In his long and diverse journey through Aikido, Tony has been influenced by many different teachers including Graham Burt Sensei, Derm McDonald Shihan, Tom Alteen Fukoshidoin, Kevin McDonald Shidoin, Bill McDonald Shidoin, and Mike Clair Sensei. He has also been fortunate to attend classes and seminars by Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Yukio Kawahara Shihan, Donovan Waite Shihan, Claude Berthiaume Shihan, Robert Zimmerman Shihan, Yumi Nakamura Sensei, Isshu Ishiyama Shihan.
Dave Hill was born in St. John’s, NL, in 1972 and never took much interest in the martial arts until his mid-30’s. At that time a friend recommended trying out Aikido and he’s been with Fudoshin Aikikai ever since. He achieved his Shodan (1st degree black belt) in 2018 from Donovan Waite at Fudoshin’s yearly seminar.
His teaching style tends to emphasize using the least amount of energy possible when doing a technique. Focusing on body movement instead of strength is the key to ensuring success in Aikido. Smooth movement and a relaxed posture is paramount.
When he’s not doing Aikido he’s spending his time running, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and various other outdoor activities. Dave is an Aerospace Engineer by trade and has been working in aviation since 1996.