Sensei George Hewson
George Hewson began Aikido at the JCCC Aikido Club under Sensei Osamu Obata and Sensei Kenji Ochi in 1975. He received his shodan (first degree black belt) in 1980 while training in Japan at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and the Meiji Jingu Shiseikan. The late Shihan Yukio Kawahara recommended him for rokudan (6thdegree black belt) in 2006.
Shihan Yukio Kawahara, former Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation, appointed George as a Shidoin (official national instructor) in 2009. He has been invited to teach at seminars all across Canada.
George has served for over thirty years on the boards of the Ontario and Canadian Aikido Federations. He is currently Past-President of the CAF and a member of the CAF Examination Committee.
Every year George has continued to attend many training sessions under various master instructors such as Shihan Yoshimitsu Yamada and Shihan Hayato Osawa in order to refine his skills and just for the sheer joy of the practise.
For George Aikido practice begins with the physical and martial aspects, and then moves to the spiritual dimension. Aikido should be manifested in daily life in a manner that is powerful but controlled.
George was a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and has done a great deal of research into Aikido pedagogy. He has developed an effective teaching method based on a blend of traditional and modern approaches. As always, basics need to be reviewed every class before new challenges are presented to the more experienced students. His qualifications from Red Cross first aid/CPR courses and the Canadian National Coaching Certification program have made him very aware of safety issues and how to prevent injuries.
As a former member of the Board of Directors of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, George was involved in the successful operation of the Centre as a whole. Part of his on-going volunteer efforts was to give lectures on various aspects of Japanese and Japanese Canadian culture. Through his work on the Sedai Committee he contributed to preserving and disseminating the history of the Japanese Canadian community as a human rights issue of importance to all Canadians. He also participated in the creation of a museum at the JCCC.
A teacher of World Cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum, George teaches about Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc. He is particularly interested in East Asian culture topics such as the influence of Chinese philosophy on the Japanese samurai. He is fluent in French and can converse in Spanish, Italian and Japanese.
Since 1979 George has shared his life in Aikido with his wife Gerry (nee Nishimura), who is herself a yodan (4th degree black belt).