“I started aikido when I was 23, in June of 1981. At that time, I was a graduate student at UMass, Amherst, studying in Fisheries Biology. I was a swimmer and would regularly swim laps in the UMass pool several miles a week between classes. I was sharing an office with a few other Fisheries graduate students, one being Dave Stier. Dave had been studying aikido for several years and he told me he was practicing at a new dojo, Amherst Aikikai where Paul Sylvain and Lorraine DiAnne were teaching. They had both recently returned from Hombu dojo in Japan, as students of Chiba Sensei. He said I should come by and check it out. It sounded a lot more interesting than solo swimming so I stopped by Amherst Aikikai and tried a class. After the first class, I joined and bought a gi, and started training daily. I loved it, and I was hooked.”
Congratulations to Kathy Stier Sensei on her 6th Dan promotion!

She tested for her Shodan in 1989 and continued to progress and train along with her young family. In 1995 she received her Fukushidoin promotion, tested for 3rd Dan, and became the Director of the children’s program. She and her husband instructed for 9 more years at Valley Aikido, until they opened their own dojo in 2006; Green River Aikido