We at the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland are proud to post some information from a school located in Pahala Hawaii.
Here is a message provided to our club from Alan Moores of the Pahala Aikido Dojo. Thank you Alan.
“My name is Alan Moores. I am a former long term member of the (formerly) Graham Burt Aikikai now the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland. Sensei Dermot Mcdonald was my teacher from white belt to Ni-Dan. Therefore it is with great pleasure that I offer up this information on the Pahala Aikido Dojo. The Aikido we practice here in Pahala, a small remote town of 1230 people, is very much managed along the lines of Sensei Mcdonald’s teachings in Newfoundland. I teach the way I was taught and hold the same high expectations of my students. In total I have been practicing Aikido for over 30 years and I have learned that its greatest reward extends far beyond the mat.
The town of Pahala is 21 miles from an active volcano and 6 miles from the Black Sand Beach of Punuulu. The nearest city/town of any significance is Hilo, some 52 miles away.
The town of Pahala is an old sugar plantation town and is mostly made up of Japanese families. In this small town we have a judo school, karate group and our Aikido. The Aikido is the newest comer under 3 years. The dojo you see in the pics as well as the mats were all provided free of charge by a local non-profit community based group. We have 800 sq. ft of mat space and a small washroom. There is still some work to de done on the interior but we are looking forward to a chance to gain some new members with the new space.
The biggest challenge is keeping students beyond 1st Kyu as most head of to college or move to the mainland and other islands. I often tell my students stories about Sensei Mcdonald and the things he made me do as I prepared for my Sho-Dan grading. We also look on facebook and I show them the pics. Explaining who’s who! It is wonderful to see the dojo in Newfoundland still active and strong this many years later.
I know that what I learned in Newfoundland is now helping young people here in Hawaii appreciate and share in the amazing world of Aikido.
Mahalo (Thank You in Hawaiian) to Sensei Mcdonald and all the members back home in Newfoundland,