INSTRUCTORS & STAFF
Sheila Cahilig, Sandan, Fukushidoin & Jeffrey Marfil, Sandan, Fukushidoin
Both Sheila and Jeffrey began their training at Aikido Schools of New Jersey (ASNJ) - Sheila in May 2004 and Jeffrey in October 2007, respectively – under the instruction and guidance of the late Shihan Rick Stickles 7th Dan, until his passing in June 2015. During their time with ASNJ, Sheila taught Adults Classes and assisted with Children's classes, and Jeffrey taught both Children and Adults. Jeffrey was also part-time assistant or soto deshi to Shihan Stickles.
Sensei Sheila Cahilig, Sandan Fukoshidoin
Ever since I was a young girl, I have been drawn to martial arts and physical movement. Looking back on my journey in Aikido, I can understand why. Aikido has profoundly impacted me and my life in many ways. I have encountered an amazing community of people whom I consider my second family. Through the practice, I have experienced Aikido is not just something you do, but a state of being, moving from calm, centered, awareness, and ready and open to face internal as well as external " opponents" or life's challenges. While I find the physical practice of Aikido fun, exhilarating, and deeply gratifying, I feel its true value can be found in application "off the mat." I hope to join others on their unique discoveries of Aikido as it applies to their lives.
Sensei Jeff Marfil, Sandan Fukoshidoin
Aikido to me is a way of Being. Aikido being a martial art without the Mind, Body, & Spiritual integration, is just fighting. I love Aikido because of its philosophy and principles. The art of Aikido helped me understand and see myself and others because it taught me how to be to aware of my being. I am learning on how to defeat and conquer my demons. It tremendously helped me to be aware of my EGO and learn the way of deeper reflection of my thoughts and action. Aikido has helped me build friendships with people of different backgrounds and cultures. I am here teaching Aikido because I want to share my very experience, what I’ve deeply learned, and how this wonderful, peaceful art helped me better myself.
Ulysess R. "D1" (Soto Deshi)
I have been practicing since 2017. Part of my training is helping newer students acclimate to this martial art and showing them the basics. There is always something to learn from anybody - a good teacher is always a student. The most important lesson I've learned from Aikido is that whatever life presents you with, you can learn to roll with it.
Zander R. "D2" (Soto Deshi)
Soto Deshi of Tenchi Aikido and have been practicing Aikido since 2018. The more I practiced over the years, the greater my appreciation for Aikido developed. My training has also helped me grow as a person on and off the mat. As Soto Deshi, I help newer students learn the basics and do my best to pass down the teachings that my Senseis have instilled in me. At every practice I focus on learning, being diligent, and having fun while doing so. I truly believe that Aikido is an experience that can be positive and fun for those who wish to learn it.
Libby Michelle Cruz (Soto Deshi)
Aikido, with its graceful movements and philosophy of harmony, has become a part of my life. Practicing this martial art has taught me invaluable life lessons, such as patience, discipline, and the power of redirection.
What truly fuels my enthusiasm for Aikido is the guidance of my senseis. Their wisdom and dedication to the art inspire me daily. Their ability to impart not just techniques but also the essence of Aikido's philosophy is a testament to their expertise. They've instilled in me a sense of community and respect that extends beyond the dojo.
Through Aikido, I've found a unique blend of physical and mental growth, a profound connection with the art, and the privilege of learning from exceptional sensei’s who continue to nurture my passion for this beautiful martial art.
Sharon R. (Staff)
"The greatest power in all the world is mastery of self." Adapted from Leonardo da Vinci
To me, Aikido bridges the often overwhelming gap between that purest intention of my most inner self with the inevitable shortcomings of my outer one. In this way, Aikido is more than just the practice of a martial art; it is a guiding principle, a philosophy, a way of living off the mat.
The late Shihan (Master Teacher) Richard M. Stickles, 7th Dan, founded Aikido Schools of New Jersey (ASNJ) in 1977. Sensei Stickles was a full-time Aikido instructor who practiced and taught Aikido for over 40 years. He began his Aikido training as a soto deshi (direct disciple) of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, 8th Dan and Chief instructor of the New York Aikikai. Sensei Stickles has practiced with many of O’Sensei’s direct disciples and received personal instruction from O’Sensei’s son, the late Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He traveled and trained throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan and taught Aikido seminars nationally and internationally. In addition, he was on the instruction staff at New York Aikikai, provided supervision and guidance to help students operate their own dojos, and was a senior representative of the United States Aikido Federation in New Jersey.