ANNOUNCEMENT: The Passing of Lewis Cuffy, 5th Dan, Aikido Shobukan Dojo


We are deeply sad to announce the passing of Lewis Cuffy, Godan (5th Dan) in Aikido, on March 20, 2021. He was the Head Instructor of our exemplary Youth Program, a senior instructor of the adult classes, a pillar of Aikido Shobukan Dojo and a mentor to young and adults in our diverse Aikido Schools of Ueshiba community.


Lewis, or Mr. Cuffy as he was known by the many children and teenagers that he taught, ran the Youth Program for over two decades together with Sara Bluestone. Before starting Aikido, he had already excelled in the arts of Judo and Karate. He had a lifelong commitment to paying attention to the principles of the art of Aikido and understanding the reasons behind any posture, technique, and movement, as transmitted directly to him by our teacher Mitsugi Saotome Sensei. He was generous, rigorous, receptive, and beloved by the hundreds of children, teens and parents who have gone through our Dojo. He knew each one of his students, fostered their emotional and physical growth, and expected the same standards of excellence from young and old. His natural bass voice radiated presence while sharing the principles of the art. Through teaching he emphasized the value of human decency, the importance of trying even if failing at first, and always working towards improvement. We will miss him deeply.

Our heart and condolences go to his partner Sara Bluestone and to his family.

Saturday April 3rd the doors of Aikido Shobukan Dojo will be open from
12-3pm for any members of our community to pay their last respects to Lewis
Cuffy Sensei. In line with CDC Guidelines, mask wearing and social
distancing of at least 6 feet apart will be necessary. No more than 20
people may be in the Dojo at any given time.

At 4pm EST all are welcomed to join the memorial via Zoom
(https://zoom.us/j/9011746784#success Passcode: 421421). We will honor and
celebrate the life of Lewis Cuffy by sharing stories, memories and the joy
and passion with which he taught and lived Aikido and life.

A small number of people, who will receive invitations, will attend the
memorial in-person at the Dojo.

This is an occasion to remember Lewis Cuffy and his teachings, and mark the
successful end of his earthly journey.

Please join via Zoom his partner Sara Bluestone and members of our
community at the Dojo.

Cherry Blossom Seminar is Canceled

April 3rd – April 5th

We regret to inform you that Shobukan Dojo is cancelling our annually Cherry Blossom seminar scheduled for April 3-5, 2020. The CDC’s risk assessment remains that most people in the United States have little immediate risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. However, out of an abundance of caution and with an understanding of travel concerns, we think it is in the best interest of our aikido community to take this action. We look forward to seeing you at our next event. Anyone who has pre-registered for the seminar will be contacted and refunded in full.

This year was to feature Mary Heiny Sensei with Saotome Sensei. We hope we can host Mary Heiny Sensei at a future date.