Don Hebert (Dojo Cho)
Don began his Aikido studies in 1979 at the New Haven Aikikai in New Haven, Connecticut. His early teachers were Bob Barrett, Donald Hailey, Terry Dobson, Ken Nisson and Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Captivated early on by the depth and beauty of Aikido movement, Don’s interest continues to be to explore the many ways that Aikido practice can be personally transformative, in both the physical and inner realms. Integral to his practice is his fundamental belief that he is on the path as aÂ studentÂ of Aikido. To this end he often travels to seminars and other opportunities to further his growth and hopefully set an example for his own students. Don has been awarded the rank of Yondan by Saotome Shihan.
Don has lived and worked in the Keene-Brattleboro area since 1983. He has recently renovated a hundred year-old church in Brattleboro, Vermont to be his home and the new location for the River Valley Aikido club. He has one daughter whose passion is dance.
Matt began his Aikido studies in 1998 at Vermont Aikido in Burlington Vermont. His Early teachers were Ken Nisson and Aaron Ward. From the first class, Matt was hooked on Aikido, a martial art that promoted martial confidence in a non escalating / non confrontational manner. In 2000 Matt moved south to Deerfield, Massachusetts where he learned about River Valley Aikido and promptly joined the dojo to learn from Don Hebert Sensei. His training at Vermont Aikido under Don Hebert has allowed for an exploration of the depth of aikido through vigorous training as well as insightful discussion about the many areas of focus Aikido has to offer. In 2013 Matt was awarded the Rank of Nidan.
Matt currently teaches a beginners session every Tuesday at 6:00 with a focus towards traditional form, technical details, and aikido weapons kata. He also has a strong feeling that students should give back to the dojo in some form, setting an example on etiquette and cleaning around the dojo to show respect for our training space.
In addition to his Aikido training Matt has also studied Itto Tenshin Ryu Ken Jutsu (ranked Shodan) and Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido which shows occasionally in both Aikido weapons kata and open hand technique.