Thursday, August 2, 2007

Meet the Instructors Mike and Wally Taylor

Mike Taylor Sensei (left)

Present Rank: Godan

Year Started Aikido: 1990

Mike Started his martial arts career as a high school wrestler. Being a founding member of Louisville High School's wrestling team, he earned a school record that still stands to this day: most wins by knock out (2 in a season, 93-94)
At the insistence of his father(Sensei Wally), he began classes in Aikido with Ron Christenham Sensei at the Sarpy Aikido Club in 1990. His regular attendance at these classes was assisted by words of encouragement from his dad, namely the phrase "Get in the damn truck, we're going."

Mike received his Godan in Aikido from Robert Kubo Shihan in 2011 at the annual AHI seminar in Omaha, Nebraska

Other Arts that Mike has studied: Boxing, Mui Thai, Kung Fu, Kick Boxing, Iaido, and Submission Grappling among others. These arts were studied for experience and research only and Mike never desired to attain rank.

Wally Taylor Sensei (right)

Present Rank: Godan
Year Started Aikido: 1984

Wally started his martial arts training at an early age. Being the youngest of seven brothers, lessons were gladly handed out on a daily basis. He eventually started his formal training at the Omaha Karate and Judo Academy with Mr. Reed and Mr. Lee studying what was then simply known as Korean Karate. He attained the rank of Jr. Brown Belt during his stint at the Academy. Wally has also dabbled in many other arts, including Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, Iaido, Judo, and has the experience and wisdom of many scraps from his younger days.

He began his Aikido training after meeting his first instructor, Allen Scott Sensei at a gun show. Scott Sensei passed along the knowledge that had kept him alive during his two tours of duty as a Green Beret in the Viet Nam War. This style of Aikido was noticeably more direct than most, and that is evident in Sensei Wally's art. Scott Sensei passed away after a battle with cancer due to Agent Orange poisoning. Left without an instructor, Sensei Wally continued his training the best he could until he heard of a new instructor in the area conducting classes. He brought his teenage son along to Christenham Sensei's second class and has remained loyal to his Sensei ever since.

Sensei Wally was awarded the rank of  Godan by Kubo Shihan during the annual AHI seminar in 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Special thanks to Alec Smith for the photo, taken on location at Daytona Beach, FL.