Sharon Dominguez Sensei Is My Representative In More Ways Than One

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

It began one Sunday morning at Aikido Schools of New Jersey much like any other morning. I woke up around 6am to the quiet of the dojo and my buzzing alarm clock.

Time for chores.

Once the dojo was clean and ready for morning meditation class with Dean Sluyter, the inevitable, once-a-month call came from Stickles Sensei along with the special ring-tone letting me know it was time to gather his weapons and "go bag" for his monthly class at New York Aikikai. It's worth noting this peculiar tradition in the uchi deshi experience, or more specifically, the otomo experience - essentially being your teacher's valet. It was an honor of course, you see, it both gave me some uninterrupted time in the car with my teacher whom I had dedicated two years of my life to, along with time at the headquarters dojo for the entire US Aikido Federation. This trip was a special one.

Thanks to some extra meetings Stickles Sensei had with Yamada Sensei, there was some extra time before heading back and I was allowed to take an extra class, as well as meander a bit (being left to your own devices is a rare thing when there is literally any one else around as any uchi deshi will tell you).

This was the day I had the pleasure of meeting Sensei Sharon Dominguez. At the time, she was an alternating instructor at the New York Aikikai and I could tell immediately what set her apart.