John Stone and Robin Cooper
Robin Cooper and John Stone started Aikido of Madison in 1984 with the approval of Saotome Sensei, with whom they have studied since 1978. They began their study of Aikido in 1974. Both John and Robin hold the rank of rokudan (6th degree black belt), which they received in January, 2006 from Saotome Sensei. John and Robin lead most of the adult classes and are supported by a staff of experienced black belts.
John has also studied tai chi, boxing and Cheng Hsin Tui Shou with Master Peter Ralston since 1990 and is the co-author, with Ron Meyer, of Aikido in America. He regularly conducts weekend aikido workshops and seminars in the dojo. In addition, he leads spiritual retreats called enlightenment intensives. More information can be found about the intensives at: www.heartland-ei.com.
Jeff is the senior student in the dojo and has been studying at the school since 1987. In 2007 he was awarded the rank of yondan by Saotome Sensei. He is also a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do and the head of East Madison Karate, which holds classes at Aikido of Madison. In addition, he is an instructor of Katori Shinto Ryu, which is also taught at our school. He teaches the Thursday evening Aikido classes and is the head of our children’s program.
Barb has studied at the school since 1984, transferring to us from another dojo. She teaches the early morning classes along with Chris Patterson and was promoted to fourth-degree black belt in 2009.
Cathy teaches the Tuesday noon class and often substitutes for us when we are unable to make our classes. She joined us in 1985 holds the rank of third-degree black belt.
Kerry began studying aikido at Aikido of Madison in 1994 and was awarded the rank of sandan in 2007. He leads the Friday night classes.
Karen has studied at the school since 1994, transferring to us from another dojo and earned her shodan in 2003. She teaches in our children’s program.
Chris joined us in 2001 after training with Penny Sablove Sensei in San Francisco and earned his nidan in 2012. He took over co-teaching duties in our morning classes in 2007.