Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Russell Waddell - a brief history

Russell Waddell

It is so easy to lose information on the important people in our practice, our lives and lineages if we don't take the time to ask, and to record the knowledge. This is one of the responsibilities that I have taken on for myself - to record some of the facts about my teachers, so my students will have access to the information when they are ready to ask questions.

My first aikido and judo teacher was, and still is, Russell Waddell. I was working in a pizza place in 1994. Then one day a dojo opened up next door. I was already training in kung fu, and I would spend my breaks looking in the windows knowing my Chinese boxing could defeat these aikido people. Finally I met the teacher, joined his group and have been training under his guidance and friendship ever since. In his career he has graduated around 40 shodans and has started numerous budo clubs.

Russell Waddell and Eric Pearson - Austin Aikibudo

From Waddell Sensei

Hey guy, haven't forgot about your interview...looking at your questions, I must tell you there are some I am not of an opinion on, so don't want to try and answer them as a line-by-line item, but instead just let me do a little rambling and thoughts to you and you pick out what you want...I of course owe you my life and hope my correspondence helps you, you pulled me back from the brink of despair and hopeless obscurity by forcing me to get back on the mat and starting to teach again...many thanks to you and your group of friends for instilling meaning back into my life

How about stats and facts and history first...and I think that I will get this started with you and it will be sent to you in series as I can think and write down what you my be looking for and want to know, so lets begin and go for a while and then I will pick up later with you.

I began studying Kung fu wing chun with Robert Alaniz in Corpus when I was 23 which would be 1973. Spent about 1 &1/2 years with him, then was on my own sporadically working out for the next t couple years. While working at NAS Kingsville I met Barbara and David Gillanders who taught Judo and Aikido and began with them...about 1977-1979. I also met my Karate teachers, Bill Inmond and Marta Baiste..I was promoted to 2nd black in Karate, moved to Oklahoma and started a club (Bushido Club) in Frederick , Ok. and left it in Paul Fowlers hands when I moved back down to Corpus. I re-hooked up with Barbara and took my shodan test in Aikido in Houston in 1982 under Karl Geis.

In 1984 I moved to San Antonio and began teaching the suburb of Kirby until I moved back down to Kingsville in 1985. There, I started the Shorino Shi Shi Club in Bishop (named after Barbara and Davids club with their permission) and ran that for about 4 years...then moved to Houston for a few months to study under Karl but left after a few months back to Kingsville.

In January 1991 moved to Lewisville and am still here. Started teaching Judo and Aikido at Fred McBrides club, then joined in with Tim Vought who had a couple schools in Garland . Over the years I have had 4-5 locations on my own and had 3-4 partnerships with Tim.

Tim Vought, Russell Waddell, Eric Pearson - Port Aransas 2008ish

In 2001, I turned 50 and decided to step down and let my club be run by the seniors and for them to take it to wherever they wanted...that is now located on N.W. Highway by Lake Bauckman with Bill Parker,, David Bedard, Marc Randolph, Ron Charron, the teachers.

3 years ago I joined forces with Tony Genova at Texas Karate 3 to teach Aikido again and am presently there. Time frame brings to date about 38 years tied up in doing martial arts, have had a lot of great teachers and these are too various to mention and give due credit, but if truth be told, I think I have learned from just about everyone I have worked out with, irregardless of their ran,k, and that is the great and mysterious gift hidden in this endeavor which is why I am thankful for my rebirth to you Mr. Eric.

Eric, Brus, Russell, Jeff, Scooter - Austin 2008ish

My ranks are Aikido-6th dan, Judo-1st dan, karate-2nd dan, Jyodo-1st dan. Still a student in every sense of the definition, and forced by circumstances to fill in as teacher when needed.

In respect to my practice as I see it now, I am focused on timing and balance breaking. My teachers put lots of weight on these and I see why. They become the great equalizers in confrontation, rather than speed and strength, and now that I am beginning to feel the effects of age, laziness, over-weight, loss of muscle mass, it is of most importance that I shift my attention to these more important aspects of my training. When I am able to put Uke on one leg and then throw him at will, than that is going to be identified as my favorite technique...which way I am able to bring it to finish not too important, but as for teaching this, I think Aigamae Ate, Gyakyugamae Ate, and Gedan Ate are good and then Hiki Taioshi, and Ude Hineri also produce the little light above their heads.

Here is a good place to stop for now, will continue later, Russ

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