Instructors

Tammy Gordon, Dojo Cho and Instructor

Tammy Gordon (Nidan)

Aikido is an art that has the power to bring people together, which is one of the reasons I love it. I came to Aikido in 2010, when my then 9-year-old asked to try a martial art. Inspired by Aikido’s philosophies, I too joined the dojo, benefiting greatly from the teachings of Richard Price Sensei at Kure Beach Aikido and John Lothes Sensei at UNCW Aikido Club. I try to learn as much Aikido as I can wherever I go, and I’ve been lucky to be able to train on three different continents. At Hemlock Bluffs Aikido, I am honored to serve as Dojo Cho, a role that allows me to facilitate high quality, affordable training for others. Our dojo is a welcoming, positive place, and I feel grateful to be training with all these folks who have enthusiasm for the art and great Aikido vibes.

Adam Gaweda, Lead Instructor

Adam Gaweda (Sandan)

I have been training Aikido for over a decade and currently hold the rank of Sandan. I started Aikido to get back into shape. In high school, I had been a fairly active teenager; however, due to an automobile accident, had reverted to a primarily sitting at the computer. While the computer would later become my degree and career, I knew I needed a way to get off the computer in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Visiting my school’s gym, I ran into a flyer for Aikido classes run by John Lothes. Under permission from Richard Price Sensei of Kure Beach Aikido, Lothes Sensei began teaching classes at UNC-Wilmington. It only took that one flyer for me to sign up! Over the next few months, my involvement with the classes began to increase and within a year I helped found and became President of the UNC Wilmington Aikido Club. Over time, it became a routine, then a hobby, and finally a lifestyle. I would grow from another student to an assistant instructor to both Lothes and Price Senseis.

In addition to Aikido, I actively train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, holding a Purple Belt under Renato “Charuto” Verissimo. Off the mats, I am a PhD Student at NC State University in Computer Science with a focus in Education. In fact, much of my research is motivated through the philosophies and practices I’ve experienced in Aikido. While Computer Science is a mental subject, the brain is a muscle and like anything else it has to be trained!

Favorite Techniques: Koshinage, Koshinage, Koshinage

Kevin Harvey, Instructor

Kevin Harvey (Shodan)

I began training in Aikido in 2011.  I was looking for an art that could mesh well with my karate training.  One of my friends introduced me to Price Sensei and Kure Beach Aikido as he also trained in striking arts.  As a matter of fact, quite a few people had mentioned Price Sensei to me since I began karate in the fall of 2000 but no one could find him.  I guess it was my destiny. I am a husband and father of two daughters.  As of this post my whole family are students of aikido.  I want nothing more than for my loved ones to feel confident that they can defend themselves if the need arises.  As for me, I am fascinated with the power and fragility that mankind possesses. I have only been in martial arts 17 years so I have a lot more experimentation and discovery ahead.

Dustin Miller, Assistant Instructor

Dustin Miller (Nikyu)

I started training 4 years ago at UNCW under the UNCW Aikido Club and Kure Beach Aikido. It was there that I was able to learn the basics under Joseph Nash Sensei and really find out if Aikido was for me. At first I started training as a means to become more involved in a community and make more friends, but after some time had passed I found I enjoyed the discipline and routine that Aikido brought to my life. I’m now training and beginning to teach at Hemlock Bluffs! I look forward to seeing you on the mats!