Dojo History


Vermont Aikido was co-founded in 1972 by Terry Dobson Sensei and Ken Nisson Sensei. It is here that we practice in the memory and spirit of Terry who believed that Aikido was the art of protection and love. Our dojo is a place for all of us to share with and learn from everyone with whom we practice. Our doors are open to all who wish to learn.

Our dojo is a a member of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), under the direction of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan who, like Terry, was a direct student of Morihei Ueshiba (O Sensei). The ASU is affiliated with The World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.


Terry Dobson Sensei

An early American practitioner who lived among the "uchideshi" (i.e. personal students of the dojo Sensei, or "Inside Students") at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo for several years in the early 1960s. Dobson returned to the U.S. in the early 1970s and resided initially in the San Francisco area where he gave frequent seminars. He later moved to the East Coast and settled in Vermont.

Terry Dobson

Dobson appears in a rare 1962 film taking "ukemi" (attacking and being thrown by O Sensei) for Morihei Ueshiba. He also co-authored a book; "Giving in To Get Your Way" in which aikido philosophy figures prominently.


Ken Nisson Sensei

Ken Nisson

Ken Nisson Sensei began Judo practice in 1958. While serving in the Air Force Reserve, he assisted in training the Strategic Air Command Judo Team.

He began Aikido with Koichi Tohei Sensei and Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) in the 1960s. He later aligned his practice with Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, founder of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). With Terry Dobson Sensei, Nisson Sensei co-founded both Vermont Aikido of Burlington (in 1972) and Bond Street Dojo of New York City (in 1973). For many years Nisson Sensei served as Chief Instructor of Vermont Aikido. In 2001, he stepped down to move to the west coast, where he continues to teach.

Aikido Kanji

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