Interview with Tony Blomert

Published 2014-10-27.
What motivated you to become involved with Aikido?
My interest was first piqued when I enrolled in a summer college prep class that covered an overview of Judo, Karate, Jujitsu and Aikido. To be honest, my friends and I signed up because we were told by others that this was a fun and easy credit class. Being active in various athletics growing up, my buddies and I thought it would be just a fun class to take to break up our heavy academic schedule.

Little did I know that I would be so fascinated by the experience!
What inspired you to write your book?
Several years ago, I created an on-line (blog) forum for our dojo members, that would cover subjects that Sensei shared but wasn't necessarily heard by everyone, since class attendance always varies. These topics ranged from basic etiquette to historical background on certain practices. The blog "An Aikidoka's World" was successful in reaching not only the students of our dojo, but many people all over the world. Among the most popular subjects were the Aikido hakama, breathing exercises and many of the "how to" topics.

In preparing these articles, I naturally went beyond the information provided by our Sensei and completed extensive research on each topic. I knew that many of these topics would be of interest to anyone training in Aikido. Also I had the good fortune of traveling to many dojo throughout the US during the past couple of years. It was a very enjoyable experience and I met many wonderful Aikidoka. While on these visits, I often heard students asking their Sensei or Senpai questions about similar topics. My previous research had resulted in what could be called "frequently asked questions" to which I learned or heard varied answers to.

My book -- An Open Secret -- a students handbook to Aikido training, could offer a good starting point for these FAQ. At least that was the intent behind writing the book.
You began your training in the 70's what was it like back then?
Well, it is very much like training today. The biggest difference is that there are many martial arts schools and Aikido dojo to be found in nearly every area of the US. Back in the 70's unless you lived in a major "world class" city, it was difficulty to find a place to train. Many people, traveled to Japan to train there during this time. My first Sensei, Lynn Lomen, relocated his family for nearly 5 years to Japan. A great experience and also a difficult choice for some people.

The Aikido dojo is one of the few places I can think of were tradition and consistency can be found. That is a comfort for those of us living in the whirlwind of change that is the 21st century.
Where and with whom do you train?
For the past twenty something years, I had been located in Las Vegas NV. While there I trained at Shidokan dojo under the auspices of Aikido Schools of Usehiba (ASU) and Sensei James Sterling. ASU is headed by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.

My wife and I now live in an area of 7,000 inhabitants located along the banks of the Yellowstone River. The nearest Aikido dojo is located 30+ miles away. So I make the trip as frequently as possible and most days train at my home. I do get to travel often and am frequently a guest at various dojo.

That said, I have had the pleasure of training with numerous instructors all across the US. I have had the privilege of receiving instruction from some of best in Aikido including Koichi Tohei (deceased), Shinichi Tohei (Osaka Japan), Mitsugi Saotome (Washington DC), William Gleason (Boston MA), Hiroshi Ikeda (Boulder CO), George Ledyard (Seattle WA) and John Messores (Sarasota FL).
What are you working on now?
At the moment I am spending most of my time working on new content for the website, One of the most difficult parts of writing "An Open Secret" were the decisions on what to include and exclude in terms of topics. One way of covering the subjects that didn't make it into the book is to include them as website topics.
Describe your desk
Somewhere underneath mounds of papers, stacks of books and magazines, files etc.. there is this gorgeous walnut desk. I haven't seen the top since moving to our new home months ago! In the center of it all is my iMac which is control central for my life.
What other activities are you involved with?
My interests are varied and wide! But since moving to Montana's big sky country, my wife (Eva) and I have been taking full advantage of the tremendous outdoor opportunities that surround us. For example, we make an almost weekly visit to the Yellowstone National Park to photograph wildlife, hike, fish and enjoy this truly magical land. My Facebook page has some of the thousands of photos, taken by Eva.

The relocation has really been a boost to indulge my passion for the outdoors.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

An Open Secret: A Student’s Handbook for Learning Aikido Techniques of Self-Defense and the Aiki Way
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 23,160. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2014 . Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Martial arts, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Shintoism
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Aikido is a self-defense martial art (budo) founded by Morihei Usehiba (O’Sensei) in Japan. Tony Blomert shares his experience and wisdom in this training guide about etiquette, tools and weapons, rank examination, relationships between students and teachers, etc., essential to learning Aikido and ultimately the Aiki way. An Open Secret provides a proven learning methodology for Aikido that can be