Kaicho, Bruce Bookman’s career in aikido began in 1970 as a 12 year old at the New York Aikikai, under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. Bookman became the youngest aikido blackbelt in America at the age of 15. Upon receiving his black belt, he became a member of the New York Aikikai teaching staff. At age 16, Bookman was dispatched to Mexico City to teach for two months as temporary chief instructor until a permanent teacher arrived from Japan. He moved to Tokyo to apprentice at the International World Headquarters at age 19. There he studied intensively with Kazuo Chiba Shihan and other prominent masters of aikido at the Headquarters dojo, including Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the son of the founder. He studied for two years and was promoted to 3rd degree blackbelt.
Bookman moved to Seattle in 1981 and established Aikido Northwest. At that time he became a senior member of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF Western Region) Teaching Committee under the direction of Chiba Shihan, with whom he worked closely for another 14 years. In 1998 Bookman was promoted to 6th degree blackbelt, a master’s rank. In 2000, he respectfully withdrew from the USAF to start his own organization, Tenzan Aikido, where he continues to teach full time. He also teaches by invitation, seminars around the country.
In addition to extensive cross training in boxing, tae kwon do, judo, iai-do, Bookman is a black belt professor of Brazilian jiu-jitsu with over 20 years experience. He continues his study of Japanese classical swordsmanship and weaponry with Araki-ryu Shihan, Ellis Amdur.
Bookman has studied yoga, on-and-off since childhood. He co-owns the dojo with his wife, Colette Crawford. Both he and Colette follow the teachings of their beloved guru, Mata Amritanandamayi from whom they derive the most inspiration for their work in aikido, yoga and meditation.
For those needing accommodations, the dojo is sleeping bag friendly and has shower facilities. Guests may also find space with local dojo members with some advanced planning. Portland or Freeport would be good hotel options!
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