Aikido of Santa Barbara

Aikido of Santa Barbara


Dear aikidoists, (**Please share and spread the word**)
Holidays Season is at the door, please take a moment to add a sweet message of Love & Appreciation to Yamada Sensei on this virtual card available at:
Simply click on the link and express yourself. This card will be available for the next couple weeks (to allow maximum contribution from around the World) and then it will be delivered to Yamada Sensei.
Let your words hug him and he will appreciate you connecting, and for sure reading you!
Aikido of Santa Barbara came to visit Aikido of New Orleans. Senpai Julia still excels in the sneak attack!
This is amazing for me! I am so proud of the three of you, your tests were great!!! Your focus, clean footwork and techniques are spot on. Y’all deserve your promotions!!! You’ve made the transition into sempais to everyone and are a huge asset to the dojo and your teachers.

Aikido classes for kids and adults. Feel free to come watch class.

Operating as usual


As we honor the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba today on the anniversary his death, the USAF remains forever grateful for our strong connection, through the lineage of our teachers, to Aikikai, O Sensei and the Ueshiba family. (O Sensei demonstrating with Yamada Sensei looking on)

2023 Summer Camp Registration is Open! 04/23/2023

2023 Summer Camp Registration is Open!

Summer camp!! Field trip time!

2023 Summer Camp Registration is Open! We are happy to announce that registration for the 2023 USAF Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan Memorial Summer Camp is now open. You can review all of the information and proceed with your registration at Please read the details carefully, as they will instruct you on how to reserve your h...


We have wonderful memories of Kanai Sensei when he came to our dojo and taught. His teachings still influence our practice to this day.

In loving memory of Kanai Sensei, who passed 19 years ago. We are eternally grateful to him for dedicating his life to spread aikido and support his students. His legacy remains strong and he will in our hearts forever.

New York Aikikai Live Stream 03/02/2023

New York Aikikai Live Stream

It was a wonderful memorial for Yamada Sensei and a testament to his influence that so many people from around the world were there. Much gratitude to the Yamada family and New York Aikikai for giving us a loving place to grieve.

New York Aikikai Live Stream

Yamada Sensei Memorial 02/21/2023

Yamada Sensei Memorial

If you’d like to join the memorial this Saturday, Feb 25, for Yamada Sensei online, here’s the link. The ceremony will start around 2pm EST (11am Santa Barbara time)

Yamada Sensei Memorial


Happy heavenly birthday Yamada Sensei

It is with heavy hearts that we honor Yamada Sensei today on his birthday. We miss you and love you.

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 01/28/2023

On 1/25/2023, three members who started in our kids program tested for adult kyu and shodan ranks! We are insanely proud of these young people- they are the future aikido teachers! Congratulations!!

Ian McMurtry - 5th kyu
Emiliano Gallegos - 4th kyu
Ava Engle - Shodan

Yamada Sensei Memorial Registration Open! 01/21/2023

Yamada Sensei Memorial Registration Open!

There will be a memorial gathering to honor Yamada Sensei on February 25, 2023 in New York City.

Yamada Sensei Memorial Registration Open! Yamada Sensei Memorial Registration Open! You have 5 days to do it. We are humbled by the overwhelming global response to Yamada Sensei’s Memorial. For planning purposes, we need to gather a guest list. Kindly reserve your space as soon as possible if you are pl...

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 01/18/2023

Yamada Sensei was a major influence and a big part of Aikido of Santa Barbara. We were very fortunate to have him teach at our dojo several times, including our 30th Anniversary seminar in 2019. And our dojo field trip every year to his seminar at San Francisco Aikikai was something we always looked forward to. We will miss him tremendously.

Sad Announcement Regarding Yamada Sensei 01/16/2023

Sad Announcement Regarding Yamada Sensei

With great sadness we mourn the passing of our teacher.

Sad Announcement Regarding Yamada Sensei Dear Aikido Community, It is with a heavy heart that we share the following announcement from New York Aikikai regarding the passing of our beloved teacher, Yamada Sensei. We will be in touch with more information as it becomes available. The USAF It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing...


Happy holidays!

Holiday Message from Yamada Sensei

Photos from Feilen Meishûkan's post 10/13/2022

Photos from Feilen Meishûkan's post


Sugano Sensei was our very first guest teacher when we moved to our space on Milpas St. We remember the awesome classes and still practice some of the things he taught us.

Thank you Brian Ericksen, Chief Instructor of Heaven and Earth Aikido, for creating this wonderful homage to Sugano Sensei. On the 12th anniversary of his passing, Sugano Sensei remains greatly missed, and his teachings continue to live on through the memory and practice of all his students around the world.


And now, the fun part...


New roof construction is taking longer than anticipated! The dojo will be closed until August 13, 2022.

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 07/14/2022

Kyu testing in person is back!

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 05/08/2022

Aikido of Santa Barbara at the San Francisco Aikikai’s 30th Anniversary seminar. It was so great to see Yamada Sensei, Peter Bernath Sensei and Penny Bernath Sensei! Added bonus- and as well as great friends!

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 04/29/2022

Starting our kids program after a two year stop- and what better way than having a light saber weapons class?


Kanai Sensei taught an amazing seminar in Santa Barbara. We will always remember and miss him.

This is a photo worth sharing over and over again, as we remember Kanai Sensei on this 18th anniversary of his passing. A classic moment capturing the spirit of this great teacher and mentor. Sending best wishes to his family, loved ones and students around the world. Photo credit: James Keller, NYA.

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 02/17/2022

Happy 84th birthday Yamada Sensei!


Congratulations to our dear friends!

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 01/09/2022

Congratulations to Louis Caron and Francesco Grieco, our new 5th dans! Well done and very much deserved!
And congratulations to Arturo Peal on his 6th dan! Though now the chief instructor at Aikido of New Orleans, we still claim him as our own!!


Having fun even with Covid class restrictions!

Penny Bernath: On Getting a Seat at the Table – Aikido Journal 09/21/2021

Penny Bernath: On Getting a Seat at the Table – Aikido Journal

A great interview with our friend and teacher, Penny Bernath Shihan!

Penny Bernath: On Getting a Seat at the Table – Aikido Journal Penny Bernath Shihan holds the rank of 7th degree black belt in aikido and is a member of the technical committee for the United States Aikido Federation, the largest aikido organization in the United States. She started aikido in 1973 in Hollywood, Florida and soon after, became a student of Yoshim...


Celebrating our teachers!


A great picture by Jaime Kahn that captures the kind spirit of Sugano Sensei. His teachings and generosity left an incredible impact on the international aikido community, as we remember him with fondness and gratitude.


Congratulations to Penny Bernath Shihan!


Sensei Chris will be in Chicago! Field trip?

Please join us from September 24-26 for a seminar with Christine Wong Sensei and Laura DeGraff Sensei at in Chicago, IL.

DeGraff Sensei is a 6th dan and the Chief Instructor of Kiku Matsu Dojo. She started training in 1998 at Tenshinkan Dojo, the headquarter dojo for Fumio Toyoda’s Aikido Association of America (AAA). In 2004, she followed Andrew Sato Shihan to become a founding member the AWA. She is now a member of the AWA’s National Technical and Testing Committees, and the AWA's Director of Operations.

Wong Sensei is the Chief Instructor of Aikido of Santa Barbara (). She is a 6th dan and a Shidoin (certified teacher). She started aikido in 1985 under the late Kensho Furuya. She studied under the late Mitsunari Kanai Shihan and Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan. After moving to Santa Barbara in 1998, she studied with the founders of Aikido of Santa Barbara, Geraldine Louise Tremblay and Xavier Staub. She continues to study under Yamada Shihan and attends seminars throughout the world.

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 07/13/2021

And we’re open! First class, joined by special visitor Arturo Peal!
For our class schedule, please check our website or email us at [email protected]


Great online classes during a very unusual time! Congratulations to our very own Julia Lovan for her kids class!


Mark your calendars!!! On July 12, 2021, we will be re-opening for classes! Here's the tentative schedule:
Monday, 6:00-7:15 pm: Aikido (indoor class, vaccinated students only)
Tuesday, 6:00-7:15 pm: Weapons (outdoors, all students)
Wednesday, 6:00-7:15 pm: Aikido (indoor class, vaccinated students only)
Thursday, 6:00-7:15 pm: Weapons (outdoors, all students)

Our kids program is still on hold as we figure out how to re-open it safely. However vaccinated teens can join the outdoor or indoor classes.
Class space is limited, so email us at [email protected] if you want to join us!

Photos from Aikido of Santa Barbara's post 05/27/2021

After almost 15 months we were finally able to practice indoors. It was an informal and small vaccinated “pod” adult class. But the thrill for all of us (even the new beginner) to be practicing again was beyond description.
Here’s to opening up fully in July!

Up Next! MAY 22! The USAF Aikido Online Class! 05/20/2021

Up Next! MAY 22! The USAF Aikido Online Class!

Join us for another great class!

Up Next! MAY 22! The USAF Aikido Online Class! Spread the word! Dear Aikidoka, We are excited to invite you to the next class in the USAF Aikido Online Series. This will take place on Saturday, May 22 at 1 pm EDT (12 pm CDT / 10 am PDT) featuring


Shea and Julia L take our outdoor weapons classes to a new level!

Videos (show all)

Group photo randori....
Ava Randori
Morgan randori
Philippe randori
First Kyu Testing, Spring 2019




121 N Milpas Street
Santa Barbara, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 6pm - 7:15pm
Tuesday 4pm - 7pm
Wednesday 4pm - 7:15pm
Thursday 4pm - 7:15pm
Friday 6pm - 7:15pm
Saturday 10am - 11:15am

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