Instructors

By , April 17, 2011 8:03 pm

Brad Bergeron

Brad Bergeron began his training in Aikido almost 25 years ago at the University of Texas
in Austin. After moving to Duluth, Minnesota in the late 80’s he began “Northern Lights
Aikido,” at the suggestion of his teacher and the head of Seidokan Aikido, Rodrick Kobayashi
Sensei. Brad has been teaching Aikido for 20 years, and has taught many students who have
achieved black belt status and started their own dojos. He has trained in many styles of
Aikido and holds rank in three. He also worked and trained full-time in Japan for 18-months.
His current rank is Yondan, which he has held for more than a decade, since the death of his
teacher Kobayashi Sensei. Brad has conducted and hosted numerous seminars in the US. In
addition, he has participated and taught a number of International programs as well. One of
the more notable was his trip to Russia with Kobayashi Sensei just before the fall of the
Soviet Union. Other notable International seminars he has conducted include: Tokyo, Japan;
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel; and Thunder Bay, Canada. Brad continues to teach regular
classes in Duluth, Minnesota with help of a number of excellent instructors. Currently, Brad
is working with a group of independent dojo to form a new international coalition to support
Aikido in the 21st Century, called “100 Pillars: International Aikido Association.” The
effort is based on the idea that “ALL of us, are smarter than ANY of us” (one of Brad’s
favorite sayings).

Frank Guldbrandsen

Dr. Frank Guldbrandsen is the instructor of the University of Minnesota Duluth Aikido program,
a for credit physical education class. After achieving a P.H.D. in Educational Philosophy in
1972 Dr. Guldbrandsen continued his education and received his D.S.C. in Holistic Health and
Medicine. As a part of his D.S.C., Dr. Guldbrandsen trained for two years in White Crane Kung-Fu
at the Center for Natural Bio Holistic Health and Medicine. Dr. Guldbrandsen began his training
with Bergeron Sensei in Duluth Minnesota in the mid -80?s, as well as being fortunate to study
under Kobayashi Sensei. In the late 80’s, Dr. Guldbrandsen began teaching the Aikido course at
the U. M. D where he has introduced around 1000 students to Aikido. He is currently working in
the Education Department at U.M.D. and introducing Aikido to students.

David Greske

I started training in ’94 at the University of Minnesota Duluth and my current rank is Godan.  I’ve attended many seminars including seminars in Tokyo, Japan; St. Louis, Missouri; Long Beach, California; and LaCrosse, Wisconsin;  I have had the opportunity to practice with the late Bill Sosa Sensei, Brad Bergeron, Ross Robertson, and many others. Our dojo in Duluth is at the local YMCA where Sensei Bergeron is the Chief instructor.  Teaching helps me in my own learning and journey through Aikido by allowing me to observe, practice, and to share techniques which is one of the best ways to learn for yourself and help others along the way.  Learning to be balanced and Aiki, for me, is
a continuous process that changes through life. I’m also co-owner of a commercial masonry company based in Duluth and have been involved in real estate and development. I enjoy anything that involves stone or brick and enjoy spending time near Lake Superior.

Forrest E Williams, III

Began Aikido training in 1989 at Northern Lights Aikido Dojo in Duluth under the instruction
of Brad Bergeron Sensei. Received rank of Shodan from Seidokan Kancho R.T. Kobayashi in 1993.
Received rank of Nidan from 100 Pillars International Aikido Association in 2005 (signatories:
Brad Bergeron, Ross Robertson, and Eli Landau). End Bio, over. Favorite quote: “Ain’t got time
for the jibba-jabba!” – Mr. T

Jeff Agaton Howes  (Instructor Northern Lights Aikido-Fond du Lac Indian Reservation)

Jeff started his journey in Aikido in the summer of 2005 at the Duluth YMCA.  His first class was a seminar led by Ross Robertson Sensei from Still Point Aikido Austin ,Texas.  Jeff was equipped with only a gi and no obi to hold his gi together. Luckily, another life long Aikido practitioner offered their black belt for the day. Jeff did not know how tie the borrowed black belt, and sheepishly asked Forrest Williams (Nidan)to help him.

Fast forward to December 2011. Jeff whipped up the courage to test for Shodan. Yodansha (black belts) present for Jeff’s Shodan test included Brad Bergeron Sensei, Dave Greske Sensei, Forrest Williams Sensei, and Ryan Welles-Shodan.  A few months following the test, Bergeron Sensei presented his black belt to Jeff.  The black belt was the belt that Jeff borrowed during Ross Robertson Sensei seminar in the summer of 2005.

Currently, Jeff teaches Aikido on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation outside of Cloquet, MN. It was Jeff’s dream to bring the Spirit and Principles of Aiki to the Fond du Lac Reservation and community members in and surrounding the area.

Off the mat, Jeff is employed by the Fond du Lac Reservation as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He finds in his profession, Aikido is valuable in helping him understand human interaction and how to respond with openness and compassion to various situations. At work, Jeff finds that he utilizes Aiki principles such as settling down with controlled relaxation, keeping One-point, and extending Ki to help him stay balanced and connect with clients.

Jeff aspires to move through life with Aiki on and off the mat. He resides on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation with his beautiful and supportive wife and two wonderful children. Jeff continues to practice at the Northern Lights Aikido Dojo located at the Duluth YMCA.

 

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