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The Chief Instructor

Sioux Hall (rokudan, shidoin, Chief Instructor), a student of the late Mitsunari Kanai-shihan for 28 years, is the Chief Instructor at Harvard Aikikai. Since 2003, she has been regular instructor at Harvard. In addition, Hall-sensei has served as Chief Instructor at Wheaton College and Milton Academy, as Visiting Instructor at Martha’s Vineyard Aikido Club, as well as teaching classes at Boston University’s School of Theater Arts, the Charles River Creative Arts Camp, and with the MIT Aikido Club. In 1984, Hall-sensei founded and directed the Childrens Program and taught there for 20 years, under the guidance of Kanai-shihan. She has taught seminars in Ottawa, Albany, New York Aikikai, and at several East Coast Aikido camps. In keeping with the tradition of the Harvard Aikikai, Hall-sensei is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation. Hall-sensei brings a strong commitment to setting a high standard of Aikido in the artistic and martial tradition of her own Sensei, to creating a welcoming atmosphere of mutual respect, and encouraging everyone to discover their full potential.

The Instructors

Dolita Dannêt Cathcart (yondan, fukushidoin, Testing Instructor), '81, is an assistant professor of history at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Cathcart-sensei began her study of Aikido in 1985 with Mitsunari Kanai-shihan, an uchi-deshi or disciple of Morihei Ueshiba or O-sensei, the founder of Aikido. Cathcart-sensei is an experienced Aikido instructor who has taught Aikido at Harvard University, Boston University, Milton Academy, Wheaton College, and New England Aikikai. Cathcart-sensei participates in the annual Arts First demonstration by the Harvard Aikikai. Cathcart-sensei brings a spirited sensibility to the study and practice of Aikido.

Amy Kipp (yondan, fukushidoin) was a student of Mitsunari Kanai-shihan at New England Aikikai from 1989-2004. Kipp Sensei is an experienced instructor who regularly taught in the Childrens Program for many years under the direction of Kanai-shihan and has participated in and run demonstrations in the Boston area. Kipp-sensei continues to teach children classes and remains dedicated to the positive benefits Aikido provides to young people. She brings the skills she's learned from working with children to adult classes, such as a focus on the individual student, respect for personal learning styles and the joy in learning Aikido.

Andre Brown (sandan, fukushidoin) started his Aikido training in 1991 at New England Aikikai and also holds the rank of shodan in Kenpo Karate. Brown-sensei has studied a variety of martial arts since 1988 and has participated in numerous Aikido demonstrations, including Harvard Aikikai's annual demonstrations at the campus-wide Arts First festival. He has also been an instructor of both beginners and advanced students and children, has conducted self-defense courses, and participated in a martial arts instructional video at Emerson Film College. Brown-sensei brings dedication to study of Misogi (Heart of Aikido practice), in which Misogi will "reveal your true self."

Daryl Muranaka (sandan) began his formal Aikido training in Fukui Prefecture, Japan at the Fukui Aikikai under the direction of Michio Hayashi-shihan and Testuo Kasashima-sensei, and was promoted to shodan prior to leaving Fukui Prefecture. After leaving Japan, he trained at Wago Enten Aikido in Honolulu under Peter McNally-sensei, Art May-sensei, and Dave Johnson-sensei before moving to the East Coast and joining the Harvard Aikikai. In addition to Harvard, he also practices with the MIT Aikido Club under the direction of Dick Stroud-sensei. Muranaka-sensei, in keeping with traditions of his early training, is committed to fundamentals training as well as to exploring personal expression through technique.

Dya Kaur Levitt (sandan) has been practicing Aikido since 1996 at the MIT Aikido Club under Dick Stroud-sensei. She enjoys the continual exploration of the art of Aikido and the lifelong study it presents. She has been teaching Aikido at Harvard Aikikai since 2008.

Past Instructors

Bonita Veysey (rokudan, shidoin) began her Aikido career in 1980 in Albany, New York. She led Albany Aikido for several of its formative years. Clearly within the lineage of Yamada Sensei (New York Aikikai and head of the United States Aikido Federation), Veysey Sensei was senior student of Irvin Faust (shidoin and dojo cho of Albany Aikikai) for nearly 20 years. Veysey Sensei briefly led Albany Aikikai from 2000 through 2002, and is currently the Head Instructor of Helderberg Aikido Club. She is a certified instructor in the United States Aikido Federation. Veysey Sensei serves as a Harvard Aikikai instructor based upon a long and strong relationship with senior students of Kanai Sensei and a belief in the need to keep Kanai Sensei's vision of Aikido alive for future generations.

Christof Gebhardt

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