Woodstock Aikido Martial Arts Training
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Chief Instructor
Harvey Konigsberg Sensei

Woodstock Aikido
Harvey Konigsberg Sensei
Harvey Konigsberg, 7 Dan, Shihan                                               Chief Instructor Woodstock Aikido

In 1965, Harvey Konigsberg,  a promising young boxer at the time, attended an Aikido demonstration by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei and Koichi Tohei Sensei. This soon compelled him to begin his training in Aikido, and by 1970 he was already teaching at the New York Aikikai, the Aikido headquarter of the USA. One of the original students of Yamada Sensei Konigsberg Sensei has been practicing Aikido for over 50 years.

Nationally and internationally renowned for his strong yet subtle style, Harvey teaches Aikido seminars around the world. In addition to being the chief instructor in Woodstock, he maintains weekly classes at the New York Aikikai in Manhattan.

Woodstock, famed as a colony of the arts, is an ideal location for Konigsberg Sensei's dojo, since he has worked as an artist for decades. His artwork has been exhibited in 22 one-man shows in New York City and in many national and international exhibitions. Harvey's paintings are represented in private collections and museums around the world. Change of Worlds, a coffee-table book of his work, was published in 2011.

To view  Harvey Konigsberg's  artwork, visit http://www.harveykonigsberg.com.

All classes at Woodstock Aikido are taught by either Konigsberg Sensei or senior practitioners .


Lowell Miller, 6 Dan

Lowell was introduced to Aikido in 1973 by a friend at NY Aikikai. After about a year of vigorous training, he moved out of the City, returning to practice with Lou Kleinsmith at the barge dojo in Saugerties in 1977. After Lou passed away, Lowell worked with Sensei Harvey Konigsberg to start Woodstock Aikido (1986) in a small unheated space in the Byrdcliffe Barn, using old mats from Saugerties that turned rock-hard in freezing temperatures. Now that it's far in the past, he looks back fondly on those days of wearing ski parkas in winter to soften the falls. He's trained in many dojos all over the country, as well as in Europe and at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, and was promoted to Rokudan (6th dan) in 2011. Off the mat, Lowell has founded and runs a successful investment management business, and is a sculptor and writer. Some people associate him with his favorite Aikido phrase, "feet first."


     David Smilow, 6 Dan

David is a writer and an actor, he moved to Los Angeles and began his aikido training there in 1982.  Shortly thereafter, he moved to New York, where he trained at the New York Aikikai with Yamada Sensei and Sugano Sensei.  He subsequently moved to the Woodstock area, where he has trained and taught at Woodstock Aikido under the direction of Harvey Konigsberg for over twenty years.  


    Brian Mizerak, 6 Dan, Shidoin

Brian Mizerak has been practicing Aikido since 1983 and has been an instructor since 1987.  He holds the rank of 6th degree black belt and is a Shidoin (certified instructor) through the United States Aikido Federation.

He trained originally with  Irvin Faust, 6 Dan, Shihan, in Albany who gave him a solid base of movement which has allowed him to blend what he has learned from various other instructors.

He has trained under Konigsberg  Sensei for more than 10 years, who has been instrumental in taking his understanding of Aikido to the next level.  Brian currently instructs weekly at Woodstock Aikido, occasionally at Kingston Aikido, as an ongoing guest instructor at Albany Aikido, and teaches a yearly seminar at Adirondack Aikido.


Cathy Conlin, 5 Dan
Cathy has been training Aikido for  over 36 years. She began in 1976 with Clyde Takeguchi, 6 Dan, Shihan, and founder of Capital Aikido Federation near Washington, DC and with Michael Friedl, 6 Dan and President of the California Aikido Association.  In 1997 she moved to the Woodstock area and since then Cathy has been training with Harvey Konigsberg in his Woodstock Aikido dojo.  

Cathy: " Aikido is a discipline for training the mind and spirit.  We are engaged in a continual cultivation of the self and ongoing exploration of relationship and the flow of energy.  Aikido and its principles form the central core of my life and I am grateful for all that it has taught me."


    Annette Mackrel, 5 Dan

Annette began practicing Aikido in 1986 under Katsuaki Asai, 8 Dan, Shihan in Dusseldorf, Germany. She regularly attended seminars in Europe with visiting Shihans: Hiroshi Tada, Masamichi Noro, Yasuo Kobayashi, Yoji Fujimoto and Masatomi Ikeda among many others. Moving to the States in 1993, she settled in Woodstock after a  brief stint at New York Aikikai. At Woodstock Aikido, she was  the instructor of the children's classes for many years and has been teaching the Tuesday evening class since 1998.



John Conlin, 5 Dan

John was first introduced to Aikido in 1985/1986 by Suzuki Sensei while living in Maui, Hawaii. After returning to the Hudson Valley, he discovered Harvey Konigsberg and Woodstock Aikido and became a serious student of the art of Aikido. For the past 25 years he has had the great good fortune to practice, learn and teach Aikido with Harvey Sensei and our fellow practitioners at Woodstock Aikido. John continues to practice at seminars from New York to Hawaii (50th anniversary seminar). In 1996 he accompanied Harvey Sensei to Capital Aikikai in Silver Springs, MD and met his future wife Cathy and her teacher Clyde Takeguchi. Both have remained his teachers and inspiration in his practice of Aikido and Life. (Clyde has not yet forgiven him for stealing away his best instructor and insists Harvey still owes him for this occurrence, luckily he still welcomes Cathy and John to his dojo and seminars whenever they can make it.)


Woodstock Aikido Martial Arts Training