Ikazuchi Dojo

http://ikazuchi.com The dojo is home to Chief Instructor Haruo Matsuoka Sensei (6th dan).

We are a traditional Aikido dojo with our foundations rooted in the principles of Budo – a way of achieving self-improvement through sincere martial arts training.

Ray Feliciano Seminar, November 2021 11/18/2021

On Saturday, November 13th, Ikazuchi Dojo held its first post-pandemic seminar. Ray Feliciano Sensei (Chief Instructor of Maru Dojo in San Francisco and Pasadena Aikikai) shared a range of techniques and weapon disarms, as well as a fascinating series of leg locks / pins as follow-ups to traditional aikido throws. We hope you enjoy the photos from the event!

On Saturday, November 13th, Ikazuchi Dojo held its first post-pandemic seminar. Ray Feliciano Sensei (Chief Instructor of Maru Dojo in San Francisco and Pasadena Aikikai) shared a range of techniques and weapon disarms, as well as a fascinating series of leg locks / pins as follow-ups to traditional aikido throws.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 11/18/2021

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post

Kyu Test: October 2021 10/31/2021

Some photos from our October kyu test.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 10/31/2021

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post

A Next-Generation Program for the First-Generation — Budo Accelerator 09/28/2021

A Next-Generation Program for the First-Generation — Budo Accelerator

Looking forward to welcoming students from this new program to Ikazuchi Dojo!

A Next-Generation Program for the First-Generation — Budo Accelerator We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with UC Irvine. Starting September 29th, we’ll be running a new program for first-generation college students led by Josh Gold, the CEO of Budo Accelerator, and Michael Dennin, the Vice Provost and Dean of the Department of Undergraduate Education a...


It was great to have Bobby Roe from Seattle join us for class today at Ikazuchi Dojo. He's a student of Bruce Bookman Sensei's Tenzan Aikido in Seattle - one of our favorite places.

It's nice to see dojos opening up again and the aikido community reconnecting in person.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 05/03/2021

Busy weekend at Ikazuchi Dojo!

Kali class with Mark Cheng, Indoor/outdoor aikido with Josh Gold (20 students in attendance), Anastasia Shuba led a falling workshop as part of a new training program for BASE jumpers, Budo Accelerator ran a session of its leadership academy for 50 teens from around North America with guest speaker Hamilton Chu, a legendary leader in the video game world (Producer of Halo and Halo 2, Exec Producer of Hearthstone at Blizzard, CEO of Second Dinner), and we did final preparations for the launch of Aikido Journal's new course on T.K. Chiba.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 05/02/2021

First class for fully vaccinated students on Friday night!

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 04/03/2021

Great day at the dojo. 10am: 4 people inside attending a zoom jo seminar with Haruo Matsuoka broadcasting from LA, teens outside learning Kali from and at 11am, aikido class led by .gold.ikazuchi attended by 22 practitioners.


Seven Samurai. Ikazuchi outdoor weapons class.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 02/09/2021

We’re pleased to announce that three of our instructors have been promoted to the rank of yondan (4th degree black belt). I consider Wes Watkins, James Young, and Chris Jones as founding members of Ikazuchi Dojo. All three of them began training with Haruo Matsuoka Sensei and I in a local community center before Ikazuchi Dojo was founded in 2002. They were present for our first class and have been an integral part of the history and evolution of our dojo since. We’ve included some pictures and words from each of them in a short blog post here:


Josh Gold, Chief Instructor


We just updated our website, featuring lots of new photos by Anne Lee.


Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 01/08/2021

Ikazuchi Dojo is pleased to announce that as we transition into 2021, Haruo Matsuoka is passing on the role of Chief Instructor to Josh Gold. Matsuoka Sensei will continue to teach at the dojo, but will place a greater focus on leading the Aikido Doshinokai Association, supporting its member dojos, and leading the Doshinokai Foundation, a new organization with a mission of sharing Japanese cultural arts.

Ikazuchi Dojo will be same place you know and love, but you can expect to see some exciting new initiatives and opportunities take shape through 2021. We look forward to building our community and our future together as we head into the new year.

***Note from Haruo Matsuoka***

I’m excited to announce that after we founded Ikazuchi Dojo together almost 20 years ago, Josh Gold Sensei will be taking on the role of Chief Instructor. I know that he will bring new energy and a new perspective as he shapes the future of our dojo. I support him 100% in this important undertaking. I am proud to see him take what he’s learned from me and create a new direction for our dojo, which is needed for this new era. I look forward to seeing Ikazuchi Dojo’s development into the future!


***Note from Josh Gold***

I’m honored to take on the role of Chief Instructor from Matsuoka Sensei and will use everything I’ve learned from him, our dojo members, and other important mentors from the global aikido community, to guide me in this important new endeavor. As Matsuoka Sensei and I have run the dojo together since its founding, you can expect continuity and a natural progression and evolution as we move forward together.

I wish you the best for the coming year and look forward to strengthening our connection as we move forward into 2021.



Letter from the Editor: November 2020

The winds of change are upon us. The United States is transitioning to new political leadership and much of the world is entering winter and facing the most dangerous phase yet of the pandemic. We’ve lost many aikido dojos around the world, and nearly every dojo has lost members. The very soul of our art is human connection, which we have largely turned away from for the common good.

We don’t know what the future holds for the aikido community and what our infrastructure will look like when we emerge from the pandemic. We do know that it will be our generation, those of us reading this editorial now, who will be responsible for the very survival of the art. I’m not a historian, as my predecessor, Stanley Pranin was, but I do believe that our generation will become known as one of most pivotal in the history of the art of aikido.

As we all find our way through this unique time in history, we can use this moment not just to hold our communities together, but to reflect and plan. What can we do through the remainder of the pandemic to best position us for its end? And what strategies will we pursue to preserve our art and create a more meaningful place for it in today’s society?

This is a time to ask the hard questions:

-What does our community look like now- demographically and organizationally? What‘s left of our infrastructure?

-What is the essence of what we are practicing?

-What should the role(s) of aikido be in today’s world?

-How can we best recover from this crisis?

Through the remainder of the year, Aikido Journal will be exploring these questions and looking at ideas and perspectives from both the past and present. We will be republishing interviews with members of the Ueshiba family, editorials from Aikido Journal’s founder, and pieces from others with keen insights into the essence of aikido. We will also be publishing new articles that outline key demographics of the global aikido community and highlight some forward thinking ideas and initiatives that have recently emerged. Lastly, we’ll have some announcements about products we have in development that I’m very excited about.

Now, more than ever, we need knowledge, ideas, and skilled leaders with the conviction to shape our future.

We hope you’ll join the conversation.

Josh Gold
Executive Editor // Aikido Journal


Fellow Ikazuchi Dojo members and friends:

The world is facing a challenge of enormous scale and human impact with the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Based on recent developments, I wanted to reach out to you and provide an update on the actions we are taking to help prevent the spread of the virus and support the health and wellbeing of our student and broader community. After consulting data and recommendations from the WHO, CDC, and the State of California, we have decided to cancel classes through the month of March. Social distancing is an effective way to prevent transmission and the earlier that measures are taken, the larger the positive impact we can have on the spread of the virus.

Effective Friday at 3pm, group classes at the dojo will be cancelled through Tuesday March 31. This Friday’s weapons class from 12:30-1:30pm will be the last class held in the month of March at the dojo.

The decision to close the dojo during this period has not been made lightly, but the health and safety of our community is our highest priority. Kazuo Chiba, one of the great legendary masters of aikido, defined martiality as adaptive capacity. This is an opportunity for us to adapt to a short term challenge and show our resiliency and ability to collaborate for the greater good.

As part of this adaptation, we will be providing curated aikido related articles and videos for you every week to learn from, starting next week. Our instructors will also be using this time to develop and refine new curriculum, plan workshops, and other events we can roll out later this Spring. We appreciate your understanding and support. I very much look forward to training with you again soon.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Best regards,
Josh Gold

Summit LA19 11/13/2019

The Ikazuchi Dojo team had the privilege of presenting aikido at last weekend. Here's a photo album from the event.

Josh Gold presents the art of aikido at Summit LA, one of the world's preeminent idea festivals.

The initiative was huge success. The message of aikido was enthusiastically received by the Summit community- a diverse group of global leaders, influencers, and trailblazers.

Special thanks to the Summit team for making this possible.

More detail to come soon on Aikido Journal. We look forward to sharing a full event recap with you in the near future. Photos by Anne Lee.


Highlights of Chungju - IAF/WMAM 2019

Doshu Seminar in California: Photo Journal Part 1 09/17/2019

Photo journal from the Doshu seminar in San Francisco earlier this month. Photos by Anne Lee.

On September 6-8, Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba visited California to lead a seminar organized by the California Aikido Association. Over 750 aikido practitioners gathered from around the world for this historic event. This is part one of a two part photo journal.

During the Doshu’s trip to California, Aikido Journal also conducted an interview with Moriteru Ueshiba, which will be published in the very near future.

Photos by Anne Lee, © Aikido Journal.

Photos from Ikazuchi Dojo's post 07/07/2019

Nastia Shuba, our newest Sandan, will be moving to LA at the end of this month to start her new career. Nastia has played an integral role in the development of countless students at Ikazuchi over the 8 years. She has been here as a practitioner and instructor. She taught her last classes at Ikazuchi on Saturday. Thank you, Nastia, for all you've done for us. We look forward to having you back as a guest instructor in the future.


Black Belt Essentials | Taijutsu Trailer

Looking forward to releasing this course next month. Filmed at Ikazuchi Dojo...


Black Belt Essentials with Patricia Hendricks

Filmed at Ikazuchi Dojo by Roy Dean.

Patricia Hendricks Video Shoot 01/22/2019

Great video and photo shoot at Ikazuchi Dojo this weekend with Patricia Hendricks Sensei. The content will be used to create a new course for Aikido Journal Academy.

Pictures from a video shoot with Patricia Hendricks Sensei for a new Aikido Journal Academy course.

Photos by Anne Lee.

Nidan Test: December 8, 2018 12/14/2018

Nidan Test: December 8, 2018

Matsuoka Sensei conducts a 2nd degree black belt test for Billy Vincenty, Dave Lee, Rose Jones, and Raymond Ariazza

Nidan Test: December 8, 2018 12/13/2018

Matsuoka Sensei conducts a 2nd degree black belt test for Billy Vincenty, Dave Lee, Rose Jones, and Raymond Ariazza


An Ikazuchi Dojo student's perspective on the benefits of aikido for women...

Why Aikido is Great for Women

Great insights from the perspective of a relative beginner, written for a general audience who may or may not be familiar with aikido.


Shihonage > Sankyo

Another sample module from Bruce Bookman Sensei's new course from Aikido Journal. Filmed at Ikazuchi Dojo.


Aikido Extensions | Course Overview

We're pleased to announce the launch of Aikido Journal's new instructional course - Aikido Extensions with Bruce Bookman. The course was filmed at Ikazuchi Dojo by Roy Dean.

Videos (show all)

Taking Ukemi from Haruo Matsuoka Sensei
Kyu Test: Iriminage request
Matsuoka Sensei on Stanley Pranin
Tanto free-form practice (slow speed)
Mocap for Project Orion
QA with Matsuoka Sensei
Shomenuchi Ikkyo:  Suwari-waza
Be slippery
Hand Movements: Two Attackers
Ninindori Kokyunage




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