Aikido at Valhalla

Aikido at Valhalla


Hi all,

We would like to invite you to Shimbokukai's on-line event, "Generations Speak - Recollections of Aikikai Hombu Dojo", this Sunday, October 18th, 1:00-3:00pm Eastern Time.

We have 10 participant speakers that have each spent more than 10 years training in Hombu Dojo. At a time when most people have difficulty getting out of their own homes, much less travel to Japan, this is a rare opportunity to have a glimpse of over 100 years of Hombu Dojo training experience.

We would to welcome everyone to attend, and ask for a small contribution of $15 that will be attributed to the speakers for sharing all those experiences
with us.

Please share with your students and anyone you think may be interested in this
great on-line event!

Peaceful, Powerful, Effective. Aikido classes: beginners, advanced, & students of other arts.

Operating as usual

Photos from AikidoHarmonie's post 05/18/2023

I recommend you try this with Ikeda Sensei before you decide if it works. He conducts seminars all over the world, but he will be in Los Angeles May 26-28 and San Francisco July 28-30. See you there!


Great training opportunity in Beecher, IL!

Right around the corner…. Wonderful dojo. Sure to be a wonderful seminar.

2023 Bridge Seminar - AIKIJUKU DOJO 04/01/2023

Bridge Seminar in Kansas City in July!

2023 Bridge Seminar - AIKIJUKU DOJO Aikido Seminar held in Olathe, KS welcoming martial artists from all over the world. Come join us for training from elite Aikido Shihan


An appreciation of Wendy Whited at Inaka Dojo April 8-10.

Photos from Valhalla MMA Kickboxing & Fitness's post 12/14/2021
Choate Sensei Remembrance 10/20/2020

Please join us for this special seminar in honor of our teacher, mentor, friend. Lots of training during this 2-day free seminar.

Choate Sensei Remembrance

Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan: Oct 23-24, 2020 10/07/2020

Attend this seminar Oct 23-24.

Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan: Oct 23-24, 2020 Fall Seminar via Zoom Bond Street Dojo is pleased to welcome back Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan for this special fall seminar, October 23-24nd, 2020. Ikeda Sensei has spent over 40 years traveling extensively throughout the United States and the world promoting Aikido’s philosophy of non-violence, peace, a...

2020 Virtual Midwest Aikido Bridge Seminar 08/03/2020

August 2020

***Please note time zones for events as they have changed. ***

Great news! Ikeda Sensei will continue to teach online classes Wednesdays in August. Please join the fun. Send me an email, and I will forward the Zoom link to you. If you are able to make a donation for Ikeda Sensei and his dojo, please do. If your situation does not permit a donation at the moment, please join anyway.

You can also see more of Ikeda Sensei and Tres Hofmeister Sensei at the Boulder Aikikai 40th anniversary camp Aug 22-23 (Sat morning/afternoon & Sun morning). I attended the 10th Annual in 1990 and many times since. This year will be shorter and online due to COVID-19. I encourage you to register for this fantastic training opportunity:

AKI Summer Seminar online this weekend (Aug 8-10).

Also, a great line up of Shimbokukai instructors from all over the world will teach the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month starting Aug 9 through Dec 13 (except for Aug. 23 - that’s Boulder camp). Two classes: 7am & 7:45am (Pacific time). Details at

I’ll lead class at 7am on Oct 25. I’ll be the opening act for Tres Hofmeister who will teach the 7:45am class that day.

Finally, the Midwest Aikido Bridge Seminar will be online Sept 5.

Looking forward to seeing you at these training opportunities!

2020 Virtual Midwest Aikido Bridge Seminar Join us for this one day virtual seminar featuring top Aikido instructors from the Midwest and further!


Sept 5, 2020

In the spirit of community and friendship, we are holding a Virtual Midwest Aikido Bridge Seminar, via Zoom with a great lineup of instructors. Seven 30 minute classes. Each of these instructors has something unique & valuable to offer:

Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan
Mary Heiny Sensei
Wendy Whited Sensei
Lee Crawford Sensei
Laura DeGraff Sensei
Andrew Vitale Sensei
Cat Strada Sensei

This seminar is open to anyone who wishes to attend, from any affiliation or background. Please join us and explore Aikido together!

Registration fee on sliding scale, $40-$60. All contributions will be divided among the instructors, as our way of saying "thank you" for their time, energy, and instruction, not just during this time of the pandemic, but all the time. To get additional information and to register visit

Aikido Shimbokukai Aikido Shimboku Kai, an association of instructors, dojos, and aikido practitioners whose common bond is the practice and development of Aikido.


Our friends at Aikido Kenkyukai International are hosting their summer seminar online Aug 8-10. (NOTE: Check times & convert to your time zone.)

Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan, 8th dan
Hideo Numata Sensei, 7th dan
Daiyu Takeda Sensei, 6th dan
Lia Suzuki Sensei, 6th dan

To register:

Looking forward to training together soon!

AKI USA Summer Camp 2020 Via Zoom | Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA Takeda Shihan began his study of aikido in 1960 at Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo as a student of the late Yamaguchi Shihan, a direct student of O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido. He was soon recognized as one of Yamaguchi Sensei’s most gifted students and was urged by his teacher to start his own dojo ...

Boulder Aikikai, Inc. 07/27/2020

My first Boulder Summer was their 10th Anniversary. Come join us. Hop to see you there!

Boulder Aikikai, Inc.


Good News!
We will have a scaled down virtual Summer Seminar July 5.
15th Anniversary! Don’t miss it!


Sunday morning training (2/22/2020) in honor of a fellow instructor's daughter who left us too soon.
I am planning to go from Santa Barbara if anyone wants to car pool.

Southland Aikido Southland Aikido is a martial arts school in Monterey Park, with the mission of promoting traditional Aikido to the communities of Los Angeles County.

Hiroshi Ikeda in Munich 02/03/2020

Hiroshi Ikeda in Munich Seminar : Kodokan München, Quiddestraße 121, 81737 München Party : Isar Alm, Nithartstraße 8, 81541 München


Seminario de Aikido: Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei - Costa Rica 2020

Seminario de Aikido San José Costa Rica 2020 (Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan 7th Dan). Centro Cívico Escazú


South Austin Aikido

A great video demonstrating an application of internal power.

Reshared from a post by Eric Pearson in another group.


Aikido at Valhalla's cover photo


No Saturday class this week (June 22). The Solstice parade will fill State Street with revelers, and Valhalla training facilities will be closed all day.

Aikido classes will resume Tuesday night. See you then!


Great seminar in Los Angeles next month! See you there!


Shindai Aikikai Aikido Dojo

Just a few short weeks to Saotome Sensei's seminar at Shindai. Hurry.

We are happy to announce that John Messores Sensei will be with us, assisting Sensei and providing one of the classes on Saturday.

Don't forget the gathering Saturday evening. If you are a meatasaurous... you are going to love dinner.


My teacher Kevin Choate will be honored this year. He was a lifelong student of Mitsugi Saotome, Hiroshi Ikeda, and Shigeru Suzuki. He is remembered by martial artists around the world for teaching seminars in Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Portugal, Turkey, Uruguay, and more.

Although Choate Sensei was a great teacher, he never stopped being a student. He studied other teachers, other styles, other arts, movies, and books; and then he often integrated what he had seen into a class the next day (Drunken Master was fun...!)

He was scary fast & fluid with the sword and staff, creating a set his own kata. He developed his own teaching methods and could approach most topics from multiple angles to suit the audience, whether it was academics, auto mechanics, nerds, cops, elderly patients, etc.

Over 35+ years, he trained hundreds of students in Chicago and thousands more around the United States and worldwide. I learned more from him than I can ever tell you.

Congratulations, Choate Sensei!

The Director of the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Mike McNamara, has officially announced the Hall’s 2019 Class of Inductees today. They will be formally read into the IMAHOF at the Hall’s 15th Annual event on Friday April 12 at The Abbington in Glen Ellyn in Chicago’s Western Suburbs. They are:

Ron Balicki – Chicago native Balicki has truly done it all. Starting his training with IMAHOF inductee Fred Degerberg and then with Guru Dan Inosanto, Balicki is a world-famous instructor in Jeet Kune Do Concepts, Kali, Silat and several other martial arts, giving seminars around the world. He is also is an in-demand stunt man and fight coordinator, working on more than 40 movies. He is also a former kickboxer and early MMA fighter.

Oso Tayari Casel – one of the most famous Chinese and African style martial arts instructors in the world, Chicago native Casel was a well known competitor under what seemed to be any and every rule set. He had kickboxing matches as early as 1970 (!!) and was one of the competitors in the famous “Karate vs. Kung Fu” match against Lil’ John Davis at Aaron Banks’ Oriental World of Self Defense which was televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1974.

Bruno Drab – Drab is a black belt student of IMAHOF inductee Leslaw Samitowski. Brad has been a national and world level Kyokushin karate competitor, winning the American Open Championship and the North American Championships two times each. Drab also won the Canadian Kyokushin Championships and was a two time member of the United States team competing at the IKO World Championships in Japan. He was also an undefeated kickboxer. He currently works as a Physical Therapy Assistant

Bernie Gorak II – Gorak overcame a heart ailment suffered as a newborn and used the martial arts to gain strength as he grew up. Gorak studied multiple martial arts along the way including Shuri-Ryu with IMAHOF inductee Burley Wagner before settling on the Jeff Speakman style of American Kenpo. He has run a successful dojo in Chicago’s South Suburbs for decades where he has turned out formidable competitive students and was himself a successful tournament fighter and kickboxer.

Ted Love – The Head Instructor for IMAHOF inductee Jimmie Jones’ Universal Karate System, Love started martial arts training with Jones as a child and turned martial arts into a life long pursuit. His participation in martial arts demonstrations while growing up and his pursuit of additional knowledge in soft style martial arts led to a career in stunt work, fight choreography, and film production. Love holds multiple university graduate degrees in disparate fields and is a successful practitioner of multiple healing arts and holistic medicine arts.

Abel Macias – during his long, active career as a kickboxer, Abel Macias fought the best of the best lightweights of his generation and fought for several World and US titles. He was consistently ranked in the Top Ten in the world in his weight class for several years.

Dr. Joe Marek – Long time karate black belt and an MD who in his long career as a surgeon invented a medical device that has saved literally thousands of lives

Will Mason – high ranking Chinese Kenpo black belt and famous instructor in the Tracy’s Karate System

Keith Taylor – Taylor was trained by IMAHOF inductee Bernice Downs and was a consistent winner on the open sport karate circuit before joining the AAU National Karate Team. He represented the United States multiple times at the WUKO/WKF World Karate Championships in the 1980’s.

Posthumous Inductees:
Kevin Choate – Founder of Chicago Aikikai, one of Chicago’s first commercial Aikido dojo, Choate was a student of Saotome Sensei who rose to seventh dan and was a sought-after instructor who enjoyed a national and international reputation.

Jennifer Hampton – early female karate champion and tireless judge whose aggressive and fearless competition style was an inspiration to a generation of karate competitors.

Fred Letuli – “The Goin’ Samoan” was a nationally recognized open sport karate competitor in fighting, forms, and weapons in the junior ranks before entering the adult fighting divisions where he became one of the youngest nationally rated open sport karate fighters ever. He was a near lock to win or place at every national tournament he attended. Fred was also an integral part of the Letuli family martial arts event promotion business and an early MMA fighter as well.

According to McNamara “this is one of our strongest classes ever and appropriately so in a milestone year for the Hall.” McNamara added, “although we’re announcing the inductees relatively late compared to what we’ve done in past years, we have never seen ticket sales like we have for this year. We’ve already sold more than 400 tickets and now that the class has been announced we expect that will even accelerate. We will be selling out early, even with a larger facility.”

The IMAHOF’s Co-Director Pete Hoffman added
“given the huge crowd we’re expecting we are going to sell out early and we will NOT be selling tickets at the door this year. We encourage everyone who wants to come to get their tickets as soon as possible. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed. It’s going to be a great evening.”

The IMAHOF was founded in 2005 by Fred Richmond. Now in its 15th year, the IMAHOF seeks to recognize martial artists who are from or who live in Illinois and who have used the martial arts as a platform for competitive success and especially to improve their arts and the community at large.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting Mike McNamara at 708-473-0682 or at [email protected]. All major credit cards accepted.


Spiritual Self Defense Amsterdam

Saotome Sensei entering, striking, and cutting very friendly.

* Uke Don Modesto.


Aikido Zarate Campana Aikikai

Excellent filming of Sensei Mitsugi Saotome (1979) with varied techniques


Aikido Summer Seminar in Los Angeles, 2017: Ikeda Shihan, Part 1

Ikeda Sensei in Los Angeles last year.

Highlights of Ikeda Shihan's classes from the 2017 Aikido Summer Seminar in Los Angeles. Themes include internal movement for influence of uke. Aikido Kenuyu...


Istanbul Aikikai

Santa Barbara & nearby friends: Let me know if you are interested in a live blade cutting seminar. It’s great practice, and if there is interest, I will coordinate it.

Aikido autumn seminar in Sapanca, 2018.


Kevin Choate.


Aikido Journal

Matsuoka and Yamaki: The Power of Cross-Training
Read now:

"Through Aikido I was able to learn how to create unity in my body and break down the opponent’s body structure. This insight was a bit of a departure from my training in Kyokushin"

-Kenji Yamaki, former Kyokushin Karate world champion


Allander Aikido Club

Making a Return to the Dojo ,
It seems inevitable for many students – after years of dedicated training (or even just months), the training begins to slow down. Sometimes, it just stops suddenly, and there’s a conspicuous gap where a senior used to be. A pocket of quiet where a boisterous teen used to stand while listening to instructions.
No student slips away unnoticed.
There are a thousand demands on our time, many beyond our control. Money must be earned, marks attained, sports teams made. Families require an investment of quality time, and for many teenagers, just getting to the dojo relies on parental availability and willingness. Sometimes, it’s as simple as an injury that dragged on and suddenly, it’s two months off the mat.
One missed class can easily become three. Three classes becomes a month. Then six. Then a year. And then there’s a day when you open your cupboard and there is your gi, hanging up and gathering dust. Waiting. (And silently judging you.)
“But what will Sensei think?” the student wonders, before slowly closing the door. “I can’t go back after so long.”
Oh, but you can. You can always come back. 99% of the time, your Sensei will be utterly delighted to see you return. All that matters is that you make the decision to put your gi on and get to the dojo. Oh, sure, there might be excuses, like…
But I’m so unfit!
So few people are genuinely fit anyway. If fitness was a precondition for martial arts, very few of us would get to start. Fitness comes back much faster than you think, and honestly? It’s not that important.
What if my friends aren’t there anymore?
Then you’ll make new ones. A dojo is always in flux, so you’ll meet new people and make new dojo family. I’ve been in so many dojos, both because of moving and being a deshi, I know that you’ll soon find a good training partner and your own groove.
I never told Sensei why I left
Look, very few instructors are soft and fluffy and wear dreamcatchers. But your Sensei is human (very much so) and probably isn’t holding a grudge. (Disclaimer: I can’t speak for all instructors.) Just come back (bearing chocolate helps) and say sorry, and ask to train again. It sucks to ask, but it is also pretty hurtful when students disappear and text messages, calls and emails go unanswered.
I can’t remember it all anymore
You are not starting at the bottom – everything you learned is somewhere in your head. It just needs a gentle reminder and some dusting off, and things will start to flow back again.
A wise man named James Clear gives some great physics-related advice on how to stay committed to something. The whole post is well worth reading, but I simply wish to use this rule:
Losing momentum is the cause of so many failed hobbies, talents, dreams and projects. In trying to get any major goal accomplished, we forget that it is made of a thousand little steps. A black belt is only the sum of hundreds of classes, not a special talent. You don’t have to do amazing feats: you just have to go to class every week. Every class you can, except when you really, really can’t.
If you have a virus, stay out the dojo. If you have an exam tomorrow, then study. Big family thing? then go with the family. But tired? Busy? But not so busy that you can watch two episodes of Game of Thrones?
Get your Gi and get back to the Dojo.

Richard Thomson Dojo Cho :-)


Kyoto Seminar 2018 This seminar will take place at the famous Butokuden in Kyoto. The historic Butokuden, Hall of Martial Virtues was built in Kyoto near Heian Shrine to carry out the legacy of ancient traditions...


Bright Side

This advice can save thousands of lives!
via Mr. Obnoxious


Great seminar at Aikido Kenkyukai Hollywood last weekend!

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1113 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA

Opening Hours

Tuesday 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Saturday 12pm - 2:30pm

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