Excellent Instruction, great students, best Aikido!
I have been a practitioner of Aikido for about 6 years, on and off. I have also trained in Krav-maga and I was a wrestler during my junior high and high school years.
I am currently working as a House Arrest officer for Miami Dade County. I do this job 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. This job requires me to keep tabs on offenders ordered to house arrest, by judges in Dade County (their charges can range from 1st degree murder to driving while license suspended). When an offender cuts their monitoring bracelet or leaves their home, I also go looking for them?..In my off time, I am a Defensive Tactics Instructor for the Miami Dade College School of Justice (law enforcement academy). I have trained hundreds of police and correctional officers in self defense. Additionally, one weekend a month and two weeks a year(normally), I serve the United States Air Force Reserve as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician(If you have seen the movie Hurt Locker, you know what I?m talking about). I have deployed twice to Iraq, as a team leader and I would go back as many times as I have to. I say all this so you will understand what type of environment I operate in and what dangers I am exposed to.
From November of 2008 to present I have trained at Aikido of South Florida, under the guidance of Stephanie Yap sensei. I have found Yap sensei to be a competent and thoughtful teacher. She is consistently detail oriented and instills this behavior in all of her students. Her methodology is contemporary, yet she maintains all the traditional aspects of Aikido teachings. She not only makes our classes physically and mentally challenging, but she makes them relevant and enjoyable. Her dedication to her student?s growth is beyond reproach.
My work environment can be very chaotic; I find relief in Aikido. Stress is the cause of many health and personal problems for people in my line of work. Aikido is a great tool to manage and relieve tension. Whether it?s the yoga we do for warm up, the weapons or empty hand training, you have to recruit a great majority of the muscles in your body. At the end of class, you would be hard pressed to find a group of muscles that haven?t been loosened up?During class you have to maintain focus; and discipline is a must. I operate in an environment, where lack of focus and discipline can be life threatening. Aikido has helped me to maintain my composure in tense and unpredictable situations.
Being someone who has a hand in training new law enforcement officers, I find Aikido to be a perfect fit. I would recommend it to anyone of my colleagues. The focus on body movement, balance displacement and joint manipulation are all aspects of defensive tactics for law enforcement officers. Aikido would be a compliment to any style of martial arts practiced and it would greatly enhance your vision and responsiveness.
Lastly, Aikido of South Florida is not just a place to learn, it?s a place to grow. When you join this dojo, you become part of a family; you are not just another face in the crowd.