Big Sky Aikido members had a fine seminar with M. Saotome Shihan this past weekend (Oct. 13-15). The Missoula, MT dojo did a grand job hosting approximately seventy aikidoists from our High Plains Aikido Region. The following photos are being shared by Cheryl Moore-Gough, I.K. Westbrook, and Gregory Olson. Please enjoy these seminar photographs. And, there will be more as the next few days unfold.

Sensei strides toward the mat’s center giving himself three strides distance.

Saotome Sensei adjusts ma-ai (combative-engagement distance) with his deshi.

Saotome Sensei demonstrates perfect kamai (stance) as he enters shikaku (uke‘s weakest angle).

Sensei observes his students.

Big Sky Aikido members Diana Schepens, Sensei Cheryl Moore-Gough, Tom Giebink and Christopher Gonzales  (behind Cheryl Sensei) intently watch Saotome Sensei.

Three aikidoists enjoying each others company during a break in the action. (From left to right, Bradley Kaser, Warren Little, and Gregory Olson.)

Warren Little enjoying afternoon aikido at this fabulous seminar.

Warren says, “Pardon, what was that?”

Saotome Sensei enjoys warming his hands in front of the fire at the evening dinner hosted by the Aikido of Missoula.

A contemplative time . . .

Members of Big Sky Aikido with M. Saotome Shihan as the weekend seminar comes to a close.


The following fourteen photographs, by Mr. Tom Giebink during our  quarterly aikido examinations held at Big Sky Aikido on September 30th. Thank you Tom!

Sept. 30, 2017: Just after opening the ceremonies and a short warm-up, the examinations are ready to begin at the Bozeman dojo with representatives from the Billings, MT and Livingston MT dojo in attendance.

Examining for Rokyu, Yung-Jai Pomeroy displays a flawless securing hold on his examination partner Oliver Wilderson.

Diana Schepens applies ikkyo (omote) to Russel Kaufman-Pace.

Russel sent to the tatami with kaitennage technique.

Diana enters strongly to secure the tanto from her training partner.

Kotegaishi is used to down Diana’s uke.

Jiuwaza is happening in the background while Nicole prepares for another “go at it.”

Nicole stands and readies herself for a second engagement with the Shodan candidate.

Diana and Jeff demonstrating the Saotome / ASU  Kumi-Jo for the examination committee.

Diana prepares to swing the jo toward Jeff as he prepares to correctly receive the technique’s energy.

Bokken kata demonstrated by Diana as zanshin- is displayed and while “holding-off” Jeff.

In this wonderful photo Diana adroitly handles multiple attackers with confidence.

Russell feels and receives the energy from Kaiten-Nage, handles it well, and then prepares himself for another technique.

The finishing circle after a “job-well-done” — quarterly examinations are concluded.

Saturday morning training at Big Sky Aikido.

Brenda performs Kokyu-Nage on Russell during an evening training session.
Two brand spanking new black belts.
Perfect finish with Kote-Gaishi.
Chaos with the MSU aikido class.
Timing and distance are right on!
Indeed, a pleasant person.




Stenzel Sensei feels the pressure!
William and Diana fixed on training.