Kevin Choate: RIP
I've just learned that Aikido master and Systema instructor Kevin Choate has passed away after a short illness.
Kevin Choate Sensei was a sixth dan and student of Mitsugi Saotome Sensei and Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei. He had been chief instructor at Chicago Aikikai since 1981 and earned a reputation for high-quality instruction, always demanding the best from his students as well as himself in his own training. Choate Sensei taught as a senior instructor for Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) and traveled frequently to conduct Aikido seminars across the country and overseas. He trained thousands of Aikido students in the Chicago area, including classes for senior citizens, youth, actors, and dancers. Choate Sensei was also a Certified Instructor in Training of the Russian martial art of Systema.
On a more personal note, I studied Systema with Kevin for about a year. He was a real character, with a quirky sense of humor and a truly creative spirit that's rare among serious martial artists. He taught martial arts as a process of discovery and as an art of tactical movement, rather than as a collection of moves. His Aikikai dojo, which he designed and largely built himself, was the single most beautiful martial arts school I've ever seen -
Details on the funeral arrangements and on a memorial training session (both this week) are available on the Chicago Aikikai website - http://www.chicagoaikikai.org/ .
May he rest in peace.
RIP Kevin Choad may you be wristlocking in heaven now