Shinto Ryu at 2014 Eastside Matsuri Festival

Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu will be demonstrating again at this year's Eastside Matsuri Festival! We will be demonstrating at 4:00 PM on Sunday September 7th. For more details please see

Hope to see you there!

Jan Nevelius Shihan will be in Seattle in October!

We are so excited to welcome Jan Nevelius Shihan back to Seattle, and have the honor of having him teach a class at our school for one night (Wednesday October 15, 630pm-830pm) while he is in town.

For the one class on Wednesday night, SSA Dojo members train for free, while the cost to non-members is only our regular mat fee of $15.  We are a non-profit corporation, so additional donations are always welcome.

Go to our facebook page for more details or the direct link to the registration page:

As Nevelius Shihan is SSA's mentor and connection to Hombu Dojo in Japan, we hope all of our adult Aikido program students are able to attend to train with him directly for our evening class.  I also strongly recommend registering and attending the full 3-day seminar at Seattle Central Community College Friday October 17 through Sunday October 19.

Hope to see you all on the mat!

- John

Wonderful introductory video for Aikido

Created by our friends at NOLA Aikido in New Orleans.

Thanks for making it,

- John

Nice exams today!

Congratulations to Dylan, Dan, Ben, and Russell for passing their 5th Kyu grading exams today.  Nice posture and clean movement with good attention to their partners' centers.  

Thanks to all of their friends and family for coming to show support for these students.  They have worked hard over the past few months, and I appreciated their efforts.

Next grading exams will be in October, we'll see who is ready for what as we get closer to that time.

- John

Save the Date! Grading Exams on Saturday May 17, 2pm-3pm, with all-dojo potluck 3-4pm

We will be having 5th kyu grading exams coming up on May 17, 2pm-3pm.  Please come and see the results of the hard work the students have put in for their first exam.

There will be an all-dojo potluck to follow the exams from 3pm-4pm, please bring something to share but we please request all items be peanut-free.

Members, friends, and family are welcome.

Thank you all for your support of our community.

- John

Adult Beginners' Series starts Monday, 4/7/14, 630pm-745pm.

Classes will be on Mon and Wed nights, 630p-745pm.

Please come early to the first class, 615pm would be ideal to get you registered and to complete paperwork.

Cost is $100 for the series, which is 2 days per week for 8 weeks, the last class will be Wed 5/28.

No uniform required, just wear comfortable exercise clothes, long pants preferred, short sleeve shirts ok.

Hope to see you on the mat!

- John Peng

Chief Instructor, Adult Aikido


Looking for Aiki in all the wrong places…

Read Chris Li's Aikido Sangenkai blog entry, Finding Aiki – and Aikido – in Hawaii.

Chris’ blog is a great read. He is a professional translator and has trained in Japanese martial arts since 1981. He has actively been researching internal power and aiki which has lead him to retranslate many works within the context of these concepts. Some of these translations are published on his blog.

You might recognize some of the names mentioned in the article and the reference material. Yup, that’s our Bernie Lau, founder of Icho Ryu. Seattle School of Aikido is home to Icho Ryu hombu dojo, lead by Chief Instructor Neil Yamamoto.

Bernie trained with Koichi Tohei and became the first haole to train in aikido in Hawaii. His shodan and nidan certificates were awarded in Japan and signed by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. Bernie played a significant part in Stanley Pranin’s research which conclusively showed that Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu was the parent art of Aikido, a fact long downplayed by the Aikikai. Bernie’s budo is ever changing and developing, sometimes by practical necessity, other times shaped by life events.

Meyer Goo was one of Bernie’s training partners and has had a pretty storied martial arts career himself. I’m told by friends that even at age 90, he’s a force to be reckoned with. His comments about Dan Harden are thought provoking and provocative. Some of us have met Dan and his power and aiki are undeniable.

Goo Sensei talking to Dan - “Thank you, I never thought that I would feel Ueshiba Sensei’s power again. What you are doing is very important.”

Adult Aikido Class cancelled for Monday night, 2/17, 630pm, and other notes

Sorry for the late notice, but there will be no adult aikido class on Monday night, 630pm, due to the Presidents' Day Holiday.

The beginners series will resume on wednesday 630pm.

For those that have been asking, the next beginners' series is planned for April and May, stay tuned for exact dates.

The next belt grading exam date will probably be in early June, pending the readiness of test candidates.

See you all Wednesday night, and sorry for any inconvenience,

- John Peng

Board President

Chief Instructor Adult Aikido

Seattle School of Aikido

Nice job with grading exams!

Congratulations to Arland (5th Kyu), Misae (4th Kyu), and Joyce (4th Kyu) on passing their grading exams yesterday. Wonderful tests, thank you for putting in the work. And thanks to the community for coming out to observe and show support. Photos and Video will hopefully be forthcoming!

Dojo cleaning this Wednesday 10/16, 745pm

There will be a pre-grading dojo cleaning this Wednesday after adult class, 745pm. Please help us make our space extra clean (vacuuming, garbage clean up, etc) before grading this Saturday.

- John

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