Douglas Dale
Douglas first went to Japan in 1974 as an exchange student from Anitoch College to Waseda University in Tokyo. While studying Japanese art and language he joined an Aikido Club. In 1975 Douglas moved to Shimaneken and became a ceramic apprentice to potter Funaki Sensei. He lived at Temple Mineji and learned 'Oshoujin Ryori' cooking from Hideo Matsuura. He then graduated from Antioch College in 1976 where he majored in ceramics with Karen Shirley and Michael Jones. While cooking with Chef Hiroshi Hayashi at the Seventh Inn he studied yoga and martial arts with Bo in Lee. In 1978 Douglas opened Wolfdale's Restaurant with family. He traveled to the Oakland Aikido Institute in the early 80's to study with Bruce Klickstein, where many of California's future Aikido Senseis were training. In 1985 Wolfgang Baumgartner moved to Tahoe City to establish the first Lake Tahoe Aikido Dojo. Douglas received his Shodan and Nidan under the direct instruction of Wolfgang Sensei. Douglas traveled to Iwama for study with Saito Sensei and took pride in personally cooking for Sensei on many occaisions. Sensei referred to Douglas as 'Cooksan'. As a 5th Dan Aikidoist, Douglas' interest is in enhancing his entire life with the many benefits of living Aikido. Douglas uses Saito Sensei's brilliant teaching approach of basic techniques leading to advanced variations in everything he teaches from Aikido to cooking, skate-skiing and as the Head Coach of the North Tahoe High School J.V. Football program. Douglas has carried on the Iwama tradition at Lake Tahoe Aikido since Wolfgang left in 1992.