Our Approach to Teaching Aikido
Our Aikido Instructors
Godan (5th dan) - Co-Head Instructor
Richard Moore Sensei has studied Aikido since 1992. He is one of the original founders of the North Florida School of Aikido and the Sho Dojo. Richard started Aikido after 16 years of studying and teaching other styles of martial art including the Japanese karate styles of Shotokan, Yoshukia and the Korean style of martial art Tang Soo Do Mudukan. Richard holds black belts in Yoshukia and Tang Soo Do Mudukan. Richard switched to practicing Aikido out of curiosity and stayed with Aikido because of its philosophy and dynamic use of the opponent’s energy in resolving conflict. Richard has been significantly influenced by Dennis Hooker Sensei, Ikeda Shihan and Saotome Shihan. Richard uses the principles and philosophy of Aikido in his daily life to resolve conflicts at work and other venues in his life.
Yondan (4th dan) - Senior Instructor
Dan Evans Sensei started his training in Aikido as a student at the University of West Florida in Pensacola in the summer of 1980 under Dennis Hooker Sensei. After moving to Tallahassee in 1984, Dan started commuting to Gainesville to train with Oshima Sensei of the Ki Society until Oshima Sensei returned to Japan in the late 1980s. Dan taught Aikido at the Florida State Aikido Club from 1986 until 2022. His teachings focus on the importance of breathing, martial awareness, and the incorporation of Aikido principles in daily life.
Sandan (3rd dan) - Instructor
Jean-Marc Wise Sensei's Aikido journey began in 2005, complementing his martial arts experience in Judo and Wing Tsun. As a Mudansha (kyu rank student) Development lead, Jean-Marc is dedicated to nurturing beginners, helping them lay strong foundations in Aikido. With his background in other martial arts, he likes adding a self-defense component to his classes. In addition to teaching, Jean-Marc wears a few additional hats around the dojo, such as taking care of membership-related matters, updating the website, and handling seminar registrations.
Quote: "Aikido is everything all at once in harmonious movement."
Yondan (4th dan) - Co-Head Instructor
Tracy Wujcik Sensei began training in Aikido in 1992, is one of the founding members of NFA, and the Dojo Cho. Tracy is drawn to Aikido as an art he can practice for the rest of his life. Tracy has devoted himself to studying and sharing Aikido with the many friends he has made while practicing this art. He has trained with countless world-class Aikido instructors, all of whom have influenced him in a positive way. Tracy strives in his aikido to simply be a good student and help everyone he can on or off the mat.
Sandan (3rd dan) - Instructor
Johnny Richardson Sensei has been training in the martial arts since 1997, receiving black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Aikido. Johnny started his Aikido training in 2001 and joined NFA in 2013. Aikido means many things to Johnny. "Aikido is about self-cultivation. Aikido is about how to defend life, either your own or the people you care about. It’s about how to stay centered as you go through life, physically and mentally. Aikido is about moving off the line of physical or emotional conflict, to dissipate the forces that you encounter or to use the force’s momentum against their creator. Aikido teaches patience. It teaches you to be patient with your sensei, your students, your family and friends, and your coworkers. It teaches you discipline because to become truly proficient in any martial art it takes hundreds and thousands of hours of continuous and dedicated practice. Aikido teaches you to not be afraid. It allows you to learn how to handle adversity. It allows you to be calm. It allows you to forgive. Ultimately, Aikido is about bettering my life and bettering the lives of those around me."
Nidan (2nd dan) - Assistant Instructor
Sage LaGrave has been training in Aikido since 2005. He has previous martial arts experience in Tae-Kwon-Do. He is responsible for coordinating dojo maintenance.
About Our School
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn - Resolving Conflict One Throw at a Time
AI - Harmony, unity; to be in accord with or to join
KI - Spirit; life force of universal creative energy
DO - The way or path
Established in 1993, North Florida School of Aikido (NFA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit group that offers Aikido classes that enhance physical prowess and provide an opportunity for personal transformation.
Regular Aikido practice involves physical conditioning, fostering martial arts skills, and increasing personal awareness. Aikido ("the way of harmonizing energy") teaches a means of resolving external conflicts through a combination of self-defense tactics and internal strength. North Florida School of Aikido contributes to the larger Tallahassee community by teaching a path that replaces the downward spiral of violence with a spirit of harmony and cooperation.
Aikido is especially popular among women - and many senior teachers indeed are women. Because Aikido relies on subtlety and finesse rather than size or physical strength, it is an ideal martial art for average people who want to be able to defend themselves against bullies and predators. Aikido’s philosophy of dealing with conflict without fighting is appealing, and the culture of Aikido is inclusive and welcoming.
Aikido Schools of Ueshiba
North Florida School of Aikido is affiliated with the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) which is formally recognized by International Aikikai Federation at the Aikido World Headquarters at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. All of the Aikido instructors at the North Florida School of Aikido have their promotions registered and issued through the Aikido World Headquarters.