As a reminder, the dojo will be closed starting Friday 2:30pm through Sunday 2:30pm. Apologies for all that are inconvenienced, our mats are being used at the Jan Nevelius Shihan seminar at Seattle Central College Friday through Sunday. Classes will resume as usual on Monday. Thank you for your cooperation and support. – John
Kids/teens classes are on for tomorrow, Tuesday 8/8. Weather’s cooled off a bit, but bring those water bottles. See you on the mat!
It took awhile, but we’re finally launching SSA 3.0. Fortunately good things are happening in the dojo at a much faster pace than the webmaster works.
It’s been awhile since we all caught up so here’s a quick rundown of notable things that happened this past year:
Installed a new subfloor! Sure the place looked pretty much like it did before we started, but there’s a big difference taking falls on the new floating floor. Training is safer and healthier for all participants.
Shortened the mat frame and installed hardwood flooring in the front of the dojo. Looks nicer and easier to clean!
Put in a big, noisy fan that pulls lots of air into the dojo. Getting some fresh air into the space is always helpful and makes for much more comfortable training on the warm days.
Kids summer camp at the ocean. Quite an experience for kids, teachers and parents. There are stories. And pictures. Remember that kids…
Kenta Shimizu, Tendo Ryu dojo cho traveled from Japan to teach a seminar at SSA. It was a unique experience to train with a teacher of exceptional caliber.
Budo Tanren debuted. In this class we teach how to develop a martial body that cultivates stability, power and efficient movement. These are the basis for developing aiki skills.
And there are more exciting things to come!
Good things happen at SSA because of the leadership of our board and the significant volunteer efforts of our teachers, students and their family members. Every effort to help is very much appreciated.
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.”
I am considering a new beginners series starting on April 2, 2013. This would be a 3 month session to help build a student’s ability to learn as well as build physical conditioning for success in martial arts. Whether we do this class or not is going to be based on the level of responses I receive. This series will be taught by not only myself but by senior students in Icho Ryu.
Class time would be 6:15 to 7:30 on Tuesdays and the option for other classes on Thursday and Saturday will be at the discrestion of the Thursday Budo Tanren and Saturday Icho Ryu class teachers.
If you are interested in participation, Please contact me via the contact links on the “About Icho Ryu” page and please tell me why you are interested.
Once again proof people are weird. Enough requests for a beginners series over the last few months and to support the aikido beginners series here at SSA, we once again offer an introductory class.
Beginners series class starts at 6:15 and runs to 7:30. For those interested in being weird, the beginners series is designed to give a taste of what is needed to learn martial arts. This is a 3 month course and consists of:
- Conditioning exercises
- Basic skills in ukemi, which I like to translate as “learning to fall down and getting back up”
- Basic etiquette, also known as “how to keep from getting someone mad at you in a dojo”
- Introduction to a basic techniques.
Icho Ryu will begin an introductory course to Icho Ryu on May 1st. This 2 month course is intended to introduce students to the basic skills and physical conditioning needed for martial arts. Classes will be every Tuesday for 2 months, class time is 6:15-7:30. Students who are interested in Icho Ryu must attend this class and demonstrate they have developed an understanding of the skills taught to the instructor’s satisfaction prior to requesting permission to attend senior classes.
Membership in Seattle School of Aikido is required Cost of this series is $120.00 for the 2 month session.
Students may repeat the course if they want further instruction in the methods we teach in Icho Ryu, or simply enjoy the exercise.
You may read more about the goals of the series by reading Chris Moses’ blog at the link below.
Seniors of Icho Ryu will help in teaching this class, as well as instruction from me, Neil. Please direct all questions to Neil Yamamoto
Intent: This course is designed to introduce a prospective student to the basic characteristics of Icho Ryu Aiki-Budo training and prepare them to enter traditional class much better prepared than they would otherwise. Secondarily, it is intended as a way to offer a different view of “Aiki” than is seen in other arts and study groups. While there are many similarities with other arts and practices, it is our belief that the training and environment of Icho-Ryu is unique. It is our hope that offering a different but similar perspective will help clarify the home art of any student who attends this series. This series is not meant as indoctrination into Icho-Ryu and does not require any further commitment on behalf of those attending. We have found great moments of insight into our own art(s) by travelling outside of our own dojo and training with other generous teachers. It is our hope that this course could offer that same experience to other students.
Audience: Any interested student. The specifics and nature of class will depend greatly on the skills and experience of those students in attendance, but we are confident in the general content and potential benefit of this course regardless of background or experience.
Class Format: Class will run approximately two hours and will generally have the following format:
- Welcome and bow-in
- Bodyskill development (t-shirts and gi-pants/shorts)
- solo drills
- walking drills
- partner drills
- Short water break
- Taijutsu (dogi, no hakama)
- ukemi: rolls and falls
- freestyle practice/exercises
- Open discussion and bow out.
Cost: Free to current members of Seattle School of Aikido, $80 for the eight week course for non-members.
When: Classes are Sunday from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM beginning October 9th and running through November 27th. Since this course is intended as a sequential series, participants are encouraged to attend as many classes as possible.
Instructors: This course will be taught by senior students of Icho Ryu Seattle.
For more information contact Chris Moses (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeremy Hulley (email@example.com).
After consulting with more members of the dojo, it’s come to the conclusion that is is better to hold off on starting Wednesday night classes to coincide with the start of the next beginners series. Sorry for the short notice. I hope everyone understands the decision and we hope to have members of Aikido, Icho ryu, and new students taking part. So, speaking for all of us in Icho Ryu, we hope to see old and new faces on the mat.