Lia Suzuki began training aikido in 1982. Through her first teacher, the renowned William Gleason Sensei, 6th dan, she was introduced to the distinctive aikido of the late Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan, 9th dan and one of his most accomplished students,Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan, 8th dan. At present she is 6th dan aikidoka and the Executive Director for an Aikido Nonprofit: Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara. She is a really charismatic personality with a lot of experience to share. I think this interview is really inspiring to listen to. This is the list of question that I used as guideline for the interview:
First of all the name betrays that you have a Japanese husband. Is that right?
When did you start aikido and why?
Tell us about your time in Japan. Did you go through any cultural shock?
Tell us about the dojo in Santa Barbara.
Does non-profit mean that the aikidoka do not pay any fees?
What is aikido for you?
What is the benefit of aikido?
How can the non-aikido public be educated?
How could one make people understand that we are not just slaming each other?
Help aikido throughout the world, tell us more about this vision.
And it goes on with Part 2
And the final Part 3
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*Technical tip for those who want to record a similar interview
I recorded it with a VodBurner trial which created huge files. A one hour conversation occupied in raw 25 giga (this side and other side). The converted media file version is 14 giga, which I later had to compress and edit with AVS Video Editor because I did not like the VodBurner editing features.