Mr. Smith began his aikido training in July of 1987 at the Clear Lake recreation center. Those classes were under the supervision of Sensei Raymond Williams, under the direct instruction of Mr. Leon Blum until Mr. Smith was a green belt – he performed his Shodan demonstration almost exactly 3 years later at Sensei Karl Geis’ summer clinic in 1990.
Mr. Smith has always been a student of Sensei Williams. Mr. Blum started a class at NASA’s Gilruth Center sometime after 1990, and he assisted Mr. Blum there by teaching the newcomers.
Mr. Smith has always been in step with Sensei Williams’ aikido association affiliations until Sensei Williams retirement from active teaching in 2010. The initial association was Sensei Karl Geis’ Fugakukai, which became Karl Geis Aikido, then back to Fugakukai.
When Mr. Smith began his training, Sensei Williams was teaching aikido at the Clear Lake Recreation Center. A couple of years later, the club moved to a place called Williams pool, an indoor swimming pool that also had a gymnastics floor which was used. This is where someone at the club (comprised of NASA engineers, mathematics majors and physicists) was inspired to invent the floor we had at League City and now in Pearland. From Williams Pool, we moved to Sensei Williams’ League City dojo where John Powell trained.
On June 30, 2007 Mr. Smith was promoted to the rank of 7th degree e black belt, or nanadan, by the board of the American Tomiki Aikido Association.
Mr. Smith is a volunteer crewman for the recreational/demonstrational sailing ship, Elissa, which sails out of Galveston, Texas h he just completed his 2nd year of sail training.