“In today’s world, many people are looking for instant gratification whether via online data or social media interactions so it is inspiring to see individuals that dedicate decades to something”, says Aviv Goldsmith, Chief Instructor of Aikido in Fredericksburg. The group runs a non-profit martial arts school, called a “dojo”.
Goldsmith continues “You can imagine after years and years of doing something, you do it well and you can be inspirational to others”.
On Saturday, February 29, three septagenarians will demonstrate Aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art that focuses on effective conflict resolution. Each of them has been training Aikido for more than 40 years so their demo will reveal more than a century of experience!
Oliver Johnson, age 70, began studying Aikido in Syracuse, New York, where he eventually led his own group before he retired to Stafford. In addition to training at the dojo he assists with the weekly Aikido class at the University of Mary Washington.
Dwight Petersen, age 75, was the founder of the Fredericksburg Aikido Club in 1993. For years he led classes at various locations around Fredericksburg, until Goldsmith founded the new dojo in 2002. Petersen began Aikido in San Francisco because he knew that as an IT administrator he needed to keep active outside of his desk job career. He now assists with classes in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Robert Kravetz, a retired physician, also 75, began his Aikido training in 1975 and practiced with Petersen whenever local classes were able to be held. He currently assists with instruction of the weekly Aikido class at the Stafford Courthouse Community Center.
All of them have recently been practicing at the Aikido in Fredericksburg headquarters studio in Spotsylvania. They will give their demonstrations on Saturday, February 29 at 11:30, 6155 Hickory Ridge Road. More information is online at https://www.aikidoinfredericksburg.org/event/senior-demos/