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Donovan Waite

If you ever tried to find some good educational videos about ukemi there’s a good chance that you stopped looking right when Donovan Waite “Meeting the Mat” explanations were found. You may get no idea why it’s attractive but you will get the feeling that everything should work just like that because of the softness and smoothness of the moves.

Donovan Waite (1958 – Feb 21, 2021) got his Shodan at the age of 14. Through years of practice, he had a chance to learn from a lot of foremost instructors and spent over ten years as Yamada Sensei‘s uchi-deshi.

He was doing Aikido for almost 50 years and was a 7th Dan Aikikai certified Shihan. He was a great example of the Aikido skills in the hand of a physically big person. Just watch his ukes flying.

In the late years Sensei was teaching in his Philadelphia Dojo and all around the world. There are a lot of videos with Donovan Waite teaching. He was really creative with the moves.

There’s also Aikido remote product named Aikido3D made by the Sensei which is good but remember that going to the Dojo is the only possible way to learn the art properly.


  1. Herson Ramirez

    I am terribly sorry to inform about the death of this great Aikido Shihan. Yamada sensei informed such bad news today with no further details. Perhaps, Hombu Dojo will make an official announcement then. My most solemn condolences to his family and friends. May the Lord be with him.

    • Anonymous

      So sorry for this very sad news… RIP sensei. 🙏

  2. Roland Antoine Eid

    A great loss for Aikido comunity, may he rest in peace!! só sad!

  3. Anonymous

    DEP Donovan Sensei nuestros corazones estaran siempre contigo…

  4. Martin

    R.I.P Sensei

  5. Anonymous

    Rest in Light Sensei. I never had the honor of learning from but feel honored to have learned of her gift.

  6. Janet

    Light is never lost. I have been privileged to know and train with Sensei. May your Spirit be in harmony.

  7. De Bock

    Feel heartbroken…..A great and inspiring man ! Condolences to his family and all Aïkidokas who kew him.
    Robert (Belgium)

  8. K S

    One of the most peaceful and polite people I met in my life. I participated in two seminars that he taught. Rest in peace Sensei

  9. Anonymous

    I regret that I never met Donovan personally even though we were most certainly at more than a few of the same seminars years ago. The scale of his impact on aikido — perhaps especially around the time I started practicing at San Francisco Aikikai in 1993 — was and is immense.

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