Dermot McDonald began his practice/study of Aikido in 1972 under the direction of Graham Burt Sensei, who had come from England, where he had been a student of Senseis Nakazono and Abe.
In 1977 Burt Sensei encouraged Dermot to open another dojo to help spread and develop Aikido. McDonald did so and it remains today the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland, where Dermot continues to train and to teach enthusiastically.
Sadly, in 1979 Burt Sensei passed away; it was revealed, however, that in his will he had left Dermot his sword. This was a great honour, of course, and was interpreted to mean. please continue.
Realizing that he still needed a teacher, shortly thereafter Dermot attached himself to Yamada Sensei of New York Aikikai. Over the years, McDonald says he has been very fortunate to have trained under many of O Sensei’s original students and foremost Aikido Masters.
Currently Dermot holds the rank of 6th Dan and is a certified Shihan – Master Instructor.
Neil has been practicing aikido for a long time.
Terry began his study of Aikido in 1982 at the age of 32.He studied exclusively under Sensei Dermot McDonald, whom he considers his mentor and friend.
Terry was fortunate enough to accompany Sensei on numerous Aikido seminars given by many of O Sensei’s Deshi. He took instruction from the Doshu, Saito, Tamara, Yamada, Kanai, and most of the technical committee among others.
He is presently the oldest, and longest practising student of Sensei Dermot McDonald Shihan.
Terry is presently retired and enjoys spending time with his family and grand children.
Paul began training in Aikido in 1989 under the direction of Derm McDonald Shihan.
He graded for shodan in 1998 (Y. Yamada Shihan), nidan in 2003 (C. Berthiaume Shihan) and sandan in 2007 (Y. Yamada Shihan).
Paul was promoted to the rank of Godan in 2019, and maintains his shidoin certification.
Paul has attended seminars with some of Aikido’s foremost master instructors (N. Tamura Sensei, M. Kanai Sensei, T. K. Chiba Sensei, and Y. Yamada Sensei).
He travels to seminars as often as possible.
Jim started Aikido with McDonald Sensei at Brother Rice High School in late 1987, joining Graham Burt Aikikai shortly thereafter; he is currently fifth dan, shidoin.
As well as practicing at the Aikido Institute, Jim and Paul Glavine started a children’s club, St. Matthew’s Aikikai, in 2006. This club continues to operate today.
Fred began his training in 2004 at the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland.
He received his Nidan in 2013 by Sensei Dermot McDonald 6th Dan Shihan.
He received his Shodan in 2010, grading conducted by Sensei Dermot McDonald 6th Dan Shihan and Claude Berthiaume 7th Dan Shihan.
Fred has received his current rank of Sandan in December 2018.
Fred continues to practice, train and enjoy Aikido under Sensei Dermot McDonald.
Charlie began his pratice in Sept. of 2000 under the supervision of Dermot McDonald Sensei, Aikido Institute of Newfoundland.
Over the years Charlie was fortunate enough to be uchi deshi at New York Aikikai under the direction of Yamada Sensei and Sugano Sensei, where he gained immeasurable and unforgettable exerience and insight into the art of Aikido.
In 2011 Charlie was tested and received his Shodan under the careful eye of Claude Berthiaume Sensei Shihan.
Today he continues to train and share his experience at the Aikido Institute.
Juan joined the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland in late 2005 and attained shodan from Claude Berthiaume Shihan, in 2012. In early 2016, he successfully tested for nidan under the supervision of Robert Zimmermann Shihan and Dermot McDonald Shihan.
Juan continues to practice diligently under the supervision of Dermot McDonald Shihan, Chief Instructor of the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland.
He has participated in seminars instructed by great aikido masters such as Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, the late Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Claude Berthiaume, Robert Zimmermann, Donovan Waite, Yumi Nakamura and others.
Juan likes to visit and practice in other aikido dojos when travelling.
Mark began practicing aikido at Graham Burt Aikikai under the direction of Derm McDonald Shihan. After a long absence, he returned to practice in 2008 under the direction of Kevin McDonald Sensei and Bill McDonald Sensei and was graded for shodan in 2012 by Donovan Waite Shihan.
Mark has attended seminars instructed by Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Donovan Waite Shihan, Claude Berthiaume Shihan, Yukio Kawahara Shihan, Massimo di Villadorata Sensei and Yumi Nakamura Sensei. He currently trains at the Aikido Institute of Newfoundland once again under the direction of Derm McDonald Shihan.
Photo Credits: Colette Phillips