Andy Fossett – Taido History

I didn’t include this information here for a long time, because I didn’t feel it was relevant. However, we each make Taido our own, and some people have asked me for more details about my background and experience. Perhaps this will clarify some things.

Below, I’ve listed a year-by-year account of some noteworthy events in my Taido career and some other major life events. In some cases, I’ve stuck to the facts, and in others, I’ve added additional commentary.

The Timeline

1977

  • I was born on 24 June in Atlanta. Every patient in the hospital was miraculously cured.

1984

  • My father and I began practicing Taido on 4 October.

1986

  • I competed in the US Taido international championships.

1987

  • I was chosen as a founding member of the first Top Gun class and was elected as an officer in that class.
    • Top Gun was originally included not only advanced application practice, but Taido theory as well.

1990

  • I became the first student under 18 years of age to be admitted to the Kishi Kai.
    • Kishi Kai, at that time, was a class for adult brown and black belt students. Training included theory, application, and detailed practice of hokei.

1992

  • Along with Carlos Martinez Jr. and Eddie Perez, I became the third person under 18 years to be awarded a Taido black belt in America.

1993

  • I competed in the first Taido world championships and international friendship tournament in Japan.
    • This was my first trip abroad.
    • Training for the tournament was administered by John Okochi who had become my mentor in Taido.
    • All of us who went to Japan on this trip (about 25 people, including children and parents) got a clear picture of how different Taido was in the rest of the world compared to what we had been taught.

1994

  • I was voted to be the intermediate (teen) class president.
    • Along with Negishi Sensei, I was also responsible for running the trainings for these classes.

1995

  • I accepted a scholarship to study physics at Georgia Tech.

1996

  • I assisted in operations of the international Taido friendship games.
  • Mitsuaki Uchida and I became the first people under 20 to be awarded 2dan in America.
  • Bryan Sparks and I founded the Georgia Tech Taido club.

1998

  • I traveled solo to Japan, visiting dojo in Yokohama, Fuji, and Hirosaki over a period of two months.
  • I began studying Literature and Sociology at Georgia State University.

1999

  • I traveled again to Japan, this time for three months.

2000

  • I judged the US Taido 25th anniversary championships.
  • I was awarded 3dan.
  • I began practicing basic T’ai Chi.

2002

  • I began studying yoga.
  • I helped organize and was a main judge at the US national championships.
  • I was awarded 4dan.

2003

  • I graduated from college and relocated to Japan to teach English.
  • I joined Negishi Sensei at the Yokohama Taido dojo.

2005

  • I competed in several tournaments around the Tokyo area.
  • I visited Atlanta to assist operations of the US Taido 30th anniversary tournament.
    • 100% of my students from Georgia Tech won medals in at  least one tournament event.
  • Taido/Blog was born.
  • I began practicing CST (Circular Strength Training) training methods.

2006

  • I traveled to Australia for the second Asia Pacific Games.
    • I placed second in “Taido no Hokei” (creative hokei) and third in team jissen.
  • I visited US Taido summer camp to see my first students test for black belt (Shelley Matthews, Bolot Kerimbaev, and Laura Sparks).
  • I competed in several tournaments in Tokyo and Kanagawa.
    • I placed in a couple of team jissen events and won a nengi award.
  • I returned to the US.

2007

  • I began training in Kaikudo Karate and Gracie Barra Jiu Jutsu.
  • I traveled to Holland for the European Taido championships and international friendship games.
  • I began writing occasional articles for the Finnish Taido Kamae magazine.

2008

  • I moved back to Japan and joined both Taido dojo in Osaka.
  • I began training in Judo.
  • I attended various training camps and seminars.
  • I competed in the 18th all-Japan workers’ championships.
    • Placed third in -mei hokei division – the youngest person to do so.
  • I competed in the 42nd all-Japan championships.

2009

  • I got married and started a new business, doing freelance web design.
  • I was awarded 5dan Renshi.
  • I lead the training at a seminar for students at Kobe Gakuin University, who went on to give their best performance in several years at the all-Japan university championships.
  • I assisted with a training camp for the Finnish National Team in Tottori.
  • I assisted with preparations and execution of the World Taido Championships.
  • I broke my arm in the International Friendship Games.
  • I received certification as a Circular Strength Training (CST) Instructor.

2010

  • I judged the first Australian Taido national championships in Sydney.
    • Kaneko and I taught a series of Taido seminars over the two days.
  • I founded GMB Fitness to teach athletic movement and agility for adult physical education.
  • I relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii.

2011

  • GMB raised over $15,000 for the relief efforts after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake a tsunami devastated northern Japan, affecting hundreds of Taido students.
  • I began training in Parkour.

2013

  • I visited Sweden for the first time, training in Gothenburg with the Swedish and Australian teams.
  • I attended the Taido seminars in Helsinki prior to the world championships.

2015

  • I taught and assisted with the European championships in Sweden.

2017

Georgia Tech Taido Club

Profile

Head instructor – Bryan Sparks – 3dan
also

  • Laura Sparks – shodan
  • Shelley Matthews – shodan
  • Bolot Kerimbaev – shodan

URL – defunct

Phone – nope

Schedule – Course info page @ GT Campus Recreation Center

History

1984

  • Andy Fossett begins practicing Taido.

1986

  • Bryan Sparks begins practicing Taido.

1992

  • Andy tests for black belt.

1993

  • Bryan tests for black belt.
  • US Taido sends its fourth team to Japan for the first world championships, including its first children’s team. The delegation includes Andy and Bryan as the two youngest competitors in the adult division. They make many Taido friends from various countries.

1995

  • Andy and Bryan begin experimenting with new Techniques and practice methods outside of the honbu dojo on a weekly basis. None of their training partners from that period will ever look at stairs the same way again.

1996

  • US Taido hosts the Sun Data international Taido championship. Andy tests for 2dan. Andy decides that his Japanese is not nearly good enough.
  • Andy and Bryan found the Georgia Tech Taido club, and not much else happens. Their first student is Jacob Langseth, and some others come and go as well. It is during these first few months that the traditions and conventions of the club originally come to be.

1998

  • Andy takes his first solo trip to Japan, living and practicing in Yokohama with Negishi Sensei, in Hirosaki with Sekiba Sensei, and in Fuji with Akiyama Sensei, where he picks tea and meets a few girls.
  • Tech Taido finally makes it to US Taido’s annual summer camp. Five students attend, including the now-legendary Kirk, a mysterious figure of whom many have heard, but few have actually seen.

1999

  • Andy returns to Japan for three months. Again, he visits Negishi, Akiyama, and Sekiba.
  • Bryan tests for 2dan at summer camp.
  • The beginning of Andy’s “dark period.”
  • Laura Bardey and Shelley Matthews enter the club at Tech.

2000

  • Bolot Kerimbaev joins Tech Taido.
  • Bryan graduates from Tech and moves to Colorado Springs for work. He buys a house and a kegerator.
  • Chris Healy transfers to Tech and helps Andy hold things together in Bryan’s absence.
  • US Taido 25th anniversary celebration. Andy tests for 3dan.

2002

  • Bryan makes his return debut at summer camp to the surprise of the entire club. There is much rejoicing, and Guinness flows.
  • Andy and Bryan make a week-long visit to Ft. Lauderdale to help out at Tom DeVenny’s dojo and demonstrate advanced techniques.
  • It’s about this time that Andy emerges from his three-year funk.
  • US Taido championship. Tech students perform well, but alas do not win any events. Andy is awarded 4dan.

2003

  • US Taido summer camp. Chad Gilmartin tests for 2dan. Andy belatedly demonstrates for 4dan.
  • Andy moves to Japan to teach English. He begins practicing regularly with Negishi in Yokohama.
  • Chad enters the Tech club as a freshman.

2004

  • Andy visits from Japan and attends classes at Tech and the honbu dojo.
  • The Georgia Tech Taido Wiki makes its cyber-debut.
  • Chris visits Negishi and Andy in Japan. They have a good time and learn the hard way that Samsonite doesn’t necessarily resist vomit stains.
  • US Taido summer camp. Bryan tests for 3dan.
  • Corey Myers and Mary Gezo enter the club as freshmen.
  • Mary tests for black belt.
  • The Georgia Tech Taido Wiki causes its first controversy and is subsequently limited to password access only.

2005

  • Corey tests for 2dan.
  • US Taido 30th anniversary celebration and tournament. Andy visits from Japan along with about 75 Japanese Taido students and instructors, including Negishi, Akiyama, and Sekiba. 100% of the competitors from Georgia Tech place in at least one event with several gold and silver medals.
  • Georgia Tech Taido finally gets a new public web page. The internal site is updated as well.
  • Taido/Blog is quietly established.

2006

  • Chris returns to Atlanta to finish his Master of Science at Georgia Tech. He then moves to California and buys a Ducati.
  • Bolot, Laura, and Shelley test for black belt.
  • Andy visits for US Taido summer camp.
  • Andy finishes his contract in Japan and returns stateside.
  • Taido performs a demonstration for Japan Fest at Stone Mountain Park.
  • The GT Taido Wiki vanishes into the void.
  • Bryan and Laura are married.
  • The Georgia Tech Taido club celebrates its 10th anniversary.

2007

  • Andy visits Holland to compete in the World Taido International Friendship Games.

2008

  • Andy moves back to Japan and begins training in Osaka.