The Aikibudokan

Academy for Elite Samurai Arts

         

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Gojo-the 5 qualities that make one noble; benovolence & human warmth, justice, etiquette, knowledge and trust.

How We Teach (what teaching philosophy do we follow and what you should look for):

The Aikibudokan's is focused on traditional training concepts.

  • For Begining & Intermediate Level Students  - weekly classes designed to teach the fundamental building blocks necesssary to advance to black belt
  • For Beginning Level Black Belts  - additional classes in high-level material and free-style practice in order to ensure their continued progress to senior ranks
  • For Advanced Level Black Belts - additional work shops in self-defense, advanced kata forms and randori (free-style)
  • Classical Studies - a study of classical techniques & traditional principles of Budo taught within the frame work of koryu or old school traditions and concepts
  • Sogo Bujutsu - study of "complete martial system" in classical weapons
  • True martial Arts Study - study of full-range of Samurai art forms, avoiding sport forms and competitions which cab be limited in their scope due to rule books
  • Self-Defense - attention to the need for effective self-defense applications in order to give practical meaning and usefulness to the training
  • Traditional  Reishiki (Etiquette) - traditional methods of courtesy and etiquette to engender mutual respect, consideration and safe training
  • Personal Development -  concentration on the ideals of martial arts training as a pathway to fully developing mind, body, spirit and intellect

Our curriculum & teaching methodology (especially for beginners) is centered around the concept of sempai (teacher or senior student) and kohai (student or junior/beginner) which consists of one-on-one personal attention for all levels of students, especially new students.  This helps in avoiding the initial stages of confusion that can pose difficulty for beginning students.  Other questions to consider include:

The Purity Of The Art Forms That Are Taught:

Aikido has become well known over the last 30 years especially since movies featuring Aikido practioners have come out.  As a result some schools claiming to teach Aikido actually do not. They have simply added it to their advertising in order to draw in new customers but end up teaching a mish-mash of unrelated martial arts material with an occassional Aikido idea thrown in.  We teach a style of Aikido that has been handed down to us by our teachers who themselves were direct students of Ueshiba Sensei (the founder of Aikido) and of Tomiki Sensei (a personal student of Ueshiba and the developer of the Tomiki Ryu method of Aikido instruction).  Any time you visit a dojo ask whether or not they actually teach a real Aikido curriculum or just a conglomeration of ideas in which other arts such as kick boxing or karate have been mixed in.

Background of the Teachers:

Our the head instructor has been involved in martial arts since 1969 and has trained almost exclusively in Aikido since 1975 after having competed in Tae Kwon Do and Judo.  After almost 30 years of focusing on an intense Aikido study he earned the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt, making him one of the highest legitimately ranked Aikido instructors in the United States.  His training lineage is documented and his teachers are well known in Aikido and Judo circles.  All senior instructors at the Aikibudokan have easily demonstrated backgrounds in Aikido and various other martial arts including Judo, Aikido, Jujutsu, Japanese police tactics (known as Taiho Jutsu) and military and US police tactics.  Anytime you visit a dojo never hesitate to ask where they learned Aikido, what their teaching lineage is, who issued their diplomas, and perhaps most importantly, how they view their role as Sensei (teacher) as it relates to you, the student.  

 

Bujutsu & Budo:

Some people use the term Budo (or Bujutsu) to mean any martial discipline that they are training in.   The word Budo is the translation of characters used in the Japanese language in which "Bu" means military and "Do" means path, way or method or a "way of life".   Budo then actually refers to Japanese fighting systems that are based on older martial arts but which now emphasize the fundamental concept of "do" which is personal, ethical and spiritual development as the ultimate goal of training; instead of only military or sports goals.  This Budo teaching philosphy was the goal of all three of the founders of todays' classical martial art forms; Kano (Judo), Ueshiba (Aikido) and Funakoshi (Karate) and was a major departure from and improvement of the older military based forms.  Always ask about the focus of the dojo.  Do they teach sports, para-military, police, or do they teach to the the development of mind, body and spirit (and self-defense) as part of a larger view of martial arts?

 

Focus On The Individual:

Walk into some dojo and you will find only one instructor (who sometimes is not even a black belt) with a group of beginners lined up performing drills while the instructor barks orders with the beginners fumbling around, confused and frustrated.  All in all, not a very good way to begin your martial arts career.  We start all beginners in the same way as the old classical dojo in Japan did.  Each beginner is put with a more senior student who 90% of the time is a black belt.  That beginner then receives individualized one-on-one instruction in order to mitigate the confusion that all of us experienced when we first started our training.  Our goal is to get you off to a good start so that you will begin to feel comfortable with the material and at home in the dojo environment as quickly as possible.  Giving all beginners personalized one-on-one instruction is the best way to build confidence and knowledge and get you moving forward in a postive fashion.  Always ask how beginners are taught when they first sign up.

 

Adults or Children?

While this may seem to be a strange question it can be important.  There are many dojo where they mix adults and children in the classes.  The net result is that the kids get lots of attention while the adults have to work with "little Aikido players" and become baby-sitters.  We do not take students younger than age 14 and then, they must have a minimum level of maturity and honest interest in training.  Always ask whether you'll be training with other adults or children.

 

Professional Training Facilities:

Many prospective Aikido students fail to consider the dojo design and facilities when looking for a dojo to train at.  This should be considered an important aspect of enjoying the training. Some dojo apparently consider a lack of air conditioning or heating part of "building character" and a hard training surface part of "physical conditioning".  We completely disagree.  Unnecessary injuries can occur when training and falling on a poorly constructed training floor.  Injuries can also occur if the student is overly fatigued, and physically can't respond quickly enough in a dynamic training exercise.  Nothing can fatigue someone like training in a sauna and sweating to the point of dehydration so we have a reasonably paced practice where everyone is welcome to leave the mat for a restroom or water break when they feel the need.

Our dojo is one of the most modern and well designed available.  The training floor is 2,500 square feet making it one of the largest in the state.  It's design is unique because it is a raised floor supported by 800 steel springs, on top of which is Olympic quality foam padding and white canvas.  This type of training surface (based on an old Kodokan design used in Japan) is hard enough to walk on but soft enough to fall on and enables quick movements as required by the training.  This is called a "fast" training surface and to our knowledge is one of only two training surfaces of its' kind in Texas.  The dojo is fully cooled and heated and we have separate dressing facilities for both men and women.  For an idea of what the dojo looks like go to our PHOTOBUCKET ALBUM for some pictures of training.

 

Our dojo (the Aikibudokan) considers all of these important in in how we train and teach.   We think that individualized instruction, especially in the beginning, is important in order to keep the student energized and focused on why they began training to begin with and additionally that;

  • teaching pure form Aikido serves the students well and meets their expectations,
  • that Budo and personal growth and development is an important life philosophy,
  • and that the quality of the facilities can make a difference in enjoying what you are doing.

 


Aiki Budo, Inc., 1998-2017 All Rights Reserved

Aikibudokan is a filed dba of Aiki Budo, Inc. for Harris & Fort Bend Counties and The State of Texas

Muso Zato Isana Tomiki Ryu Aikido is a registered trademark of Aiki Budo,Inc.