Chris Thornton Sensei, Sandan

I took an interest in the martial arts at an early age growing up. I was always athletic in school playing sports. I played baseball and basketball through elementary school and high school and also one year of football. In 1992 a friend introduced me to Okinawa Goju-Ryu which I studied for 3-4 months. The hard and confronting style did not fit me since I was always one to avoid confrontations.

In 1993 I started studying the internal art of Tai Chi. In that same year I saw a man doing these amazing things on TV and knew I wanted to study his style of martial art. After some research I found out the style he was doing was Aikido. For the next 4 years I searched for Aikido Dojo’s until I finally found the Kodokan Aikido Dojo in Blacksburg, VA. In 1997 I stopped studying Tai Chi and began training in Kodokan Aikido under Sensei Truman Capone and have been under his teaching ever since.

Although I have been studying the physical side of Aikido for a long time it was not until 2005 that I realized the healing and spiritual aspect of Aikido. In that year I had some personal hardships and a severe injury that put me on the sidelines for a while. During that time through meditation, not trying to make sense of everything that happened, and letting the answers come to me instead of making up things that made me feel better I realized why everything happened and was at peace mentally, physically, and spiritually.

In 2007 I returned to Aikido and tested for my Shodan which I passed. Aikido has truly blessed my life in so many ways. It has given me the opportunity to travel and train with various Sensei’s and Shihan’s. Although I still practice physical Aikido, now more than ever I want to learn more about the healing and spiritual side of Aikido.