Instructors


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Chief Instructor – Steve Erickson, 6th Dan

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.


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Senior Instructor – Kevin Ellwood, 5th Dan

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.


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Instructor – Jim Nield, 3rd Dan

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).  


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Instructor – Brad Meyers, 3rd Dan

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.


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Instructor – Raoul Dub, 3rd Dan

In early 2002 I was in search of a martial art that both my boys Dylan, Jordan and I could participate in.  Through a friend we were introduced to Aikido and Y. Inaba Sensei, chief instructor at Calgary Aikikai. We had a real close relationship with BigRock Aikikai and I was always impressed with the dedication, the fun and respect that Steve Sensei brought to his program. It was under Steve Sensei’s guidance that I earned my Shodan (1st degree black belt) in 2009. Over the past 16 years between the two clubs I dedicated my time teaching and instructing in the kids and teen programs and have seen first hand how our programs take young students and develop mature, respectful and community oriented young adults.  Over the many interactions between the clubs I developed a close friendship with Steve Sensei and was honored to join BigRock Aikikai in 2012. Through hard work by many at BigRock Aikikai I was promoted to Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in 2012 and then Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in 2017.


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Instructor – Joel Robson, 2nd Dan

Joel has been involved in Aikido since 1994. From 2003 to 2008 he took a break from Aikido to expand his understanding of martial arts through the dedicated study of internal kung fu. He then traveled to Japan for 2 years where he studied ki society Aikido.

Upon returning to Canada he resumed his study of Aikido. In 2014 he received his shodan and in 2017 his Nidan.  He has also been an instructor for the children’s program since 2014.

Prior to his involvement in Aikido, he studied shotokan karate for 7 years, in which he holds a rank of shodan.


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Junior Instructor – Taia Wyenberg-Henzler, 1st Dan, Advanced Black Belt (youth program)

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).


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Junior Instructor – Aaron Rowsell, 2nd Kyu

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.