Russell Reese, Sandan
Mr. Reese is a Sandan (third degree black belt) in Aikido. He began his study of Aikido under Sensei Jack Simpson in 2001. He was awarded his black belt in 2007, and his Nidan (or second degree black belt) in 2010. Sensei Simpson stepped down as Chief Instructor of Western Maryland Aikikai in 2011 and named Russ as his successor.
Russ has trained in Aikido all over the world including Okinawa, England, Spain, Canada and all over the U.S. In addition, Russ attends several training seminars a year, and has trained at seminars conducted by Moriteru Ueshiba, Aikido Doshu, and many of the leading Aikido Shihan, including Takeguchi Sensei, Tamura Sensei, Yamada Sensei, Sugano Sensei and others.
Russ attends regular Instructor Classes administered by Takeguchi Sensei (Capital Aikikai) in Silver Spring, MD.
Russ is also a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu having trained for several years at the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville, MD. He has won several medals in international competition including the gold medal for Blue belt, Senior 3, Ultra Heavy at the 2010 IBJJF International Championships held in Lisbon, Portugal.
Off the mat, Mr. Reese is a Registered Professional Land Surveyor and partner in the Rockville firm of Maddox Engineers & Surveyors, Inc. Russ has a wonderful wife (Michele) and four quasi-normal children (Emily, Jackie, Jacob & Kevin).
Ron Sulchek, Shodan
Mr. Sulchek began training in Aikido in 1995 and holds the rank of Shodan (first degree black belt). He continues to study with Jack Simpson Sensei and Russell Reese Sensei (Western Maryland Aikikai) and Clyde Takeguchi Sensei (Capital Aikikai, Washington, DC).
Ron began his martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do, earning the rank of Nidan (second degree black belt) from the World Tae Kwon Do Association and South Central Tae Kwon Do Association. He has also studied Tai Chi Chuan.