Bob O’Hare, 80, and David Goldberg, Sensei, are seen at River of Life Dojo in Fort Washington.

Bob O’Hare, 80, and David Goldberg, Sensei, are seen at River of Life Dojo in Fort Washington.

A resident of Flourtown for 56 years, Bob O’Hare of Haws Lane started training in Aikido for exercise six years ago.

Bob and his wife, Carol, were both active physically and planned their vacations around skiing and scuba diving. Bob, in addition, ran for several years until it got to be too much for his feet and knees.

Searching for a new way to keep fit, Bob heard that Aikido was good practice for older folks because there was little kicking, punching and competition. It also offered some self-defense, which Bob thought was a good idea. “After watching a class of rolling, falling and ‘flying,’ I was hooked,” Bob relates.

Now, six years later, Bob credits Aikido, the peaceful Japanese martial art, for making him more aware of who he is, how he treats others and how he lives his life. Bob says, “The idea of protecting myself against harm while not trying to hurt my opponent is a solid principle for leadership and building relationships.

“Going further — and I am on this path — the ‘ki’ part of Aikido strengthens the idea that we are all one with the universe.” Carol agrees that Aikido has helped Bob mellow a bit.

Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969), referred to by some Aikido practitioners as Ōsensei {“Great Teacher”}. The term ‘Aikido’ is a generic term coined in the 20th century. Ueshiba envisioned Aikido not only as the synthesis of his martial training, but as an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. During Ueshiba’s lifetime and continuing today, Aikido has evolved from the Aiki that Ueshiba studied into a wide variety of expressions by martial artists throughout the world.

Bob O’Hare graduated from Newark College of Engineering and moved to Philadelphia in 1957 to develop early UNIVAC computers. He was one of the first to use a computer over telephone lines and co-developed one of the first PCs.

Later, with a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and post-graduate studies from Temple, Bob ran his own company, Performance Improvement Technologies, Inc., to improve corporate process and leadership. He coached many executives to higher levels of performance.

The O’Hare children, Kathy and Mike, now married with their own children, graduated from Springfield High School. They like the fact their parents stay active and healthy.

Bob will perform his Black belt test Saturday morning, March 21, one week before his 80th birthday, at the River of Life Dojo in Fort Washington, where he trains.

More information is available at or 215-542-0102.

  • Whimsical Anarchist

    Congratulations to both the student, for having the vision to continue growing and exploring, and to the teacher for providing the environment fostering this growth for folks of all ages.
    Good luck and I hope to see you on the mat someday, those Bridge seminars are great.

    As a former engineer, Bob might enjoy this article.
    Aikido for Recovering Engineers