Kristen started aikido at the Oxford dojo in England in 1993 and except for a year in Spain when there was no aikido to be found, has been studying ever since. After 5 years in the British Aikido Federation and the completion of her PhD in Early Modern History, she moved to Pasadena and then to Tucson, where she earned her shodan and nidan under Judith Robinson Sensei (Iwama style). Thanks to an introduction from Hans Goto Sensei, she had the amazing opportunity to be an uchi deshi at Iwama, Japan, for a week while Saito Sensei and Hitohiro Saito Sensei were in residence. This
experience gave her a boundless admiration for anyone who persevered in an uchi deshi lifestyle. After moving to Orlando in 2004, she joined Shindai dojo and the ASU, where training with Dennis Hooker Sensei and David Jones Sensei opened up the next level of her aikido experience. Being a part of Saotome Sensei’s organization and having the opportunity to train with him and his senior students provided continuous inspiration. Also in 2004, she met Henry Kono Sensei at a Shindai seminar and knew immediately that she wanted to understand his interpretation of aikido. After many more years of training at Shindai and with Kono Sensei at seminars, she earned her sandan and hopes to impart some of the knowledge she has gained via teaching and practice at Shindai. In her free time when not doing aikido, she is most likely to be cooking for her family (two small boys eat more than one would think!) or doing yoga.
Kristen is co-owner of TRAC Media Services, a company that connects public television professionals with the data and insight they need to better serve their local communities.
Kristen Sensei currently teaches first class on Friday evenings.