Steve Erickson began his Aikido training in 1985 at Calgary Aikikai under the direction of Y. Inaba sensei. He immediately fell in love with Aikido rarely missing a class.
In 1988, as a young brown belt, Steve was introduced to the children's program and soon became an assistant instructor. Before long he was running the program as the main instructor and teaching Aikido to kids was becoming a passion.
Steve earned shodan (1st degree black belt) in 1990 and was now a regular instructor in the adult program as well. Looking for more intensive training he ventured to Japan for an extended stay in 1992. There he spent 5 months training several times daily. Steve was promoted to nidan (2nd degree black belt) soon after his return to Canada.
In 1998, after earning sandan (3rd degree back belt), Steve decided it was time to open his own Aikido dojo. Classes at BigRock Aikikai began in the spring of 1998 as Steve was accepted as a student of Y. Kawahara Shihan, technical director of the Canadian Aikido Federation. Training was held initially in Okotoks, Alberta and later relocated into Calgary in 2002. In 2004 Steve was promoted to yondan (4th degree black belt) and began to make plans for a more permanent training space. The spring of 2008 saw a permanent full-time facility secured for Aikido classes, through a great deal of effort by many committed students. In 2011, Steve was promoted to godan (5th degree black belt) by Y. Kawahara, Shihan.
In 2018, Steve was promoted to rokudan (6th degree black belt) by H. Osawa, Shihan and teaches Aikido to all ages out of the BigRock Aikikai Main Dojo as well as various community centres through out the city.
Kevin began his Aikido training in 1990 at the University of Lethbridge under the direction of Lincoln Chu Sensei. Through dedicated practice he earned shodan (1st degree black belt) in 1996, nidan (2nd degree black belt) in 1998, sandan (3rd degree black belt) in 2004, yondan (4th degree black belt) in 2010 and godan (5th degree black belt) in 2017. Kevin trained in Japan from 1995—1998 under the instruction of H. Kawakami, Shihan. He has been teaching Aikido since 2002.
Jim began his Aikido training in 1995 at the University of Victoria under the direction of Hilary Dawson Sensei. He moved to Calgary in 1998 and joined Aikido Bozankan, and has trained at Big Rock Aikikai since the two Dojos joined. Jim earned shodan (1st degree black belt) in 2005, and currently has a rank of sandan (3rd degree black belt).
I was introduced to Aikido as an observing parent in 1995. Our son Terry and daughter Laura were being taught by Steve Erickson Sensei. I was pleased to have our kids participating in a martial art that was centered on resolution rather than conflict. Steve Sensei’s dynamic dedicated programs made such an impression that I began training with him when he opened BigRock Aikikai in 1998. Under the direction of Y. Kawahara, Shihan, with much effort from Steve Sensei and so many others, I was awarded my shodan (1st degree black belt) in 2009. Our Aikido community continued to support me with much training and instruction from Steve Sensei. With this I earned a nidan (2nd degree black belt) promotion in 2012 and sandan (3rd degree black belt)in 2017. I am honored to be allowed to continue my training, and share what I learn with others.
Taia Wyenberg-Henzler began her aikido training in 2001 in Calgary and has continued steadily with dedication in her practice. Her enthusiasm and passion for aikido has resulted in teaching children's classes as well as training both in the teen and adult classes. She continues to train under the direction of Chief Instructor Steve Erickson Sensei at BigRock Aikikai. Her dedication to training and skill in aikido lead her into the Instructor Training Program where in 2010 she earned Junshidosha (Junior Instructor). In 2011 she also earned Joshu Buki (Instructor’s Assistant, weapons class).
I started Aikido 7 years ago in Lethbridge as a way to stay fit and learn some useful skills along the way. Not only self defense but also respect, compassion, humility, and self confidence. I joined Big Rock Aikikai a year later when I moved back to Calgary and have been practicing under the amazing senior instructors there ever since. 4 years ago I was asked to volunteer with children's classes and it is now something I look forward to every week.