Our Aikido program seeks to create a culture of respect and friendliness while maintaining a seriousness of training.  Students, under the guidance of instructors and senior students, learn from one another though training together.  In addition to training, we all contribute to the health of the dojo through sharing our time and effort according to our abilities, which may include teaching, website upkeep, marketing, and simple dojo maintenance.  Based on a collective model, we find that through training and sharing our time together, our lives are enhanced.  This is our vision of our community here at Seattle School of Aikido. 

We invite you to come visit the dojo and personally share our vision and training.

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.”

Congratulations Mike!

Mike UllmannOn February 3rd, Andy Dale awarded Mike Ullmann and Burk Dowell the rank of yondan (4th degree blackbelt) in the art of Xin Qi Shen Dojo Aikijujitsu. "Their skill and dedication to the martial arts is extremely high and sincere." Since Mike gets up early every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to teach our SSA morning class, we'd certainly have to agree!

Way to go Mike, well deserved!

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

Adult/Teen Beginner's Series Starts this Wed, Oct 2, 630pm-745pm

Reminder:  our Adult/Teen Aikido Beginner's Series starts this Wednesday, October 2, 630pm-745pm.  

The series will last 2 months, costs $100, and classes will be Monday and Wednesday nights 630pm-745pm.

If you have thought about trying Aikido, but felt like you didn't want to be the only one who didn't know what was going on, then this is the series for you.  Enroll for a 2-month-no-obligation-series with other beginners, and see if it's a good fit!  :)

Please arrive no later than 620pm if you are new so we can process your paperwork and get started on time.

See you Wednesday!
- John Peng
Chief Instructor
Seattle School of Aikido

Adult Aikido Dues to continue at $60/month ($50/mo for teens and students)!

The Seattle School of Aikido Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we are able to continue our Summer special for Adult Aikido dues. So until further notice, Adult Aikido membership will continue to be offered at $60/month ($50/month for teens and students)!

Thanks so much to our co-op community for the ongoing support, which allows us to continue offer Aikido instruction at a very reasonable and affordable cost.

We hope to see you on the mat!

- John

bonus adult aikido class this sunday

i'll be teaching an extra adult aikido class 9am-1015am this sunday, 9/8/13.

open to all dojo members, standard mat fee for guests.

hope to see you then!

- john

Technique Notes from Lillsved Aikido Seminar in Sweden 2013

well i'm back after an amazing week in sweden, studying aikido with jan nevelius and jorma lyly.  122 participants from all over the world, and it was a very inspiring seminar for me.

i kept a journal of techniques, and am posting them here for those who asked me for a copy of my notes. some techniques had no names, and i just described them best as i could.

i'm just cutting pasting my file here, but i've tried to attach it as a PDF for those who want to download it.

this did not include my notes on the jo kata that was shown, my stick figures would have to be scanned in, and no one who wasn't there would be able to decipher it into any meaningful form.

anyway, here's my annotated list.


- john


Lillsved Aikido Seminar

Jan Nevelius 6th Dan

Jorma Lyly 5th Dan

Sunday July 21, 2013 through Saturday July 27, 2013

Aikido Techniqes as shown in each Class

Sunday 1530-1630 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko – “exchange”
    • Katatedori Shiho Nage
    • Katatedori “uchi entry” Kokyu Nage (lower both hands) with seated Nikyo pin
    • Chudan Tsuki “uchi entry” Kokyu Nage with seated Nikyo pin


Sunday 1630-1730 with Jorma

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko
    • Katatedori “soto entry” Kokyu Nage (hand to shoulder and wrist, lower both hands)
    • Katatedori “lead behind then turn entry” Ikkyo
      • Hand change, lead to the rear, pivot hips to “Ai-hanmi”, then Ikkyo
    • Katatedori “lead behind then turn entry” Jiyu Waza


Monday 1030-1200 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Morotedori Tai no Henko – “exchange”
    • Morotedori Ikkyo
    • Morotedori Sumi Otoshi
    • Morotedori “turn around then lead in front” Ikkyo
      • Pivot hips, touch rear center, lead to front, then Ikkyo
    • Morotedori “turn around then lead in front” Kokyu Ho (Sokumen Irimi Nage)


Monday 1530-1630 with Jorma

  • Hanmi Handachi
    • Morotedori Kokyu Nage – “down”
  • Tachi Waza
    • Morotedori Kokyu Nage – “down”
    • Morotedori Kokyu Ho (Sokumen Irimi Nage)

Monday 1630-1730 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Aidori soto tenkan Sankyo
    • Aidori soto tenkan Nikyo
  • Suwari Waza
    • Shomenuchi Nikyo
  • Tachi Waza
    • Shomenuchi Nikyo
    • Shomenuchi “uchi kaiten entry” Sankyo then Kokyu Nage
    • Shomenuchi Randori / Jiyu Waza


Tuesday 1030-1200 with Jorma

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori “soto entry” Kokyu Nage with 1 person bracing behind Uke
    • Katatedori Irimi Nage


Tuesday 1530-1630 with Jorma

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko
    • Katatedori soto tenkan Gedan Kokyu Nage – “down”
    • Katatedori soto tenkan Jodan Kokyu Nage – “up then down”
      • Lead Uke slowly down into a deep back “limbo” stretch
    • Katatedori uchi tenkan Kokyu Nage – “down”
    • Katatedori uchi tenkan Nikyo


Tuesday 1630-1730 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Shomenuchi Shiho Nage
    • Katadori Menuchi Ikkyo – “dive hand down deeply”
      • Uke takes full step
    • Katadori Menuchi Nikyo – “exchange the meeting in front”
      • Uke takes half step
    • Ushiro Katatedori Sankyo “Propeller” Kokyu Nage
      • Hold Sankyo and the collar and SPIN Uke!


Wednesday 1030-1200 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko
    • Katatedori kaeshi waza Kokyu Nage – “cut kesa giri”
    • Katadori kaeshi waza Kokyu Nage – “cut kesa giri”
    • Morotedori kaeshi waza Kokyu Nage – “cut kesa giri”
    • Katadori Nikyo
      • Let Uke pull, then uchi tenkan entry, then Nikyo
    • Yokomenuchi “exchange entry” Shiho Nage
    • Yokomenuchi “exchange entry” Jiyu Waza
  • Suwari Waza
    • Ryotedori Kokyu Dosa


Wednesday 1530-1630 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katadori Ikkyo – “meridian stroke inside arm”


Wednesday 1630-1730 with Jorma

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katadori Kokyu Ho (Sokumen Irimi Nage) – “arm comes over from outside”
    • Katadori Tenchi Nage
    • Katadori Kokyu Nage – “bend over and down”
    • Katadori Kokyu Nage – “with action” (sumi otoshi)


Thursday 1030-1200 with Jorma

  • Hanmi Handachi
    • Ryotedori Kokyu – “down”, warm up exercise
    • Katatedori Kokyu – hand to ankle, warm up exercise
  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Kokyu Nage – “down”
    • Katatedori walking, forward, backward, tankan, uchi tenkan exercise
    • Katatedori tenkan Ikkyo
    • Katatedori uchi tenkan Ikkyo
    • Katatedori walk forward 3 steps to Irimi Nage Omote
    • Katatedori tenkan Ude Kime Nage –“change hands”


Thursday 1530-1630 with Jan

  • Hanmi Handachi
    • Shomenuchi “escape” exercise
  • Tachi Waza
    • Shomenuchi “escape” exercise
      • Uchi, soto, tenkan
    • Shomenuchi tenkan, then lower to seiza, arm under Uke’s arm
    • Shomenuchi tenkan Sankyo
    • Shomenuchi soto Ude Garami on Uke’s striking arm
    • Shomenuchi uchi tenkan Shiho Nage
    • Shomenuchi block, then Ude Garami on Uke’s rear arm
    • Shomenuchi no block, then Ude Garami on Uke’s rear arm
    • Shomenuchi uchi irimi shoulder atemi Shiho Nage


Thursday 1630-1730 with Jorma

  • Tachi Waza
    • Yokomen “direct outside” entry Kokyu Nage – “soft hands down”, #1
    • Yokomen “direct outside” entry Kokyu Nage – “Bam!”
    • Yokomen “direct outside” entry hanmi change Ikkyo, #2
    • Yokomen “direct outside” entry “zombie arm” Ikkyo, #3
    • Katatedori Kokyu Nage, #1
    • Katatedori Ikkyo #2
    • Katatedori Ikkyo #3
    • Yokomen “inside” entry Kokyu Nage – “walk through” and lead/cut Uke down to the rear
  • Suwari Waza
    • Ryotedori Kokyu Dosa – “turn hands in a small circle”


Friday 1030-1200 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko – “blueberry” in lead hand
    • Katadori Kokyu Nage – “blueberry” in rear hand takedown
    • Jodan Tsuki Ikkyo – static, start with fist on jaw
    • Jodan Tsuki Hiji Kime Osae (Rokkyo)
    • Jodan Tsuki uchi entry Kokyu Ho Omote – no block, walk straight through
    • Jodan Tsuki Ikkyo – “Meridan Stroke”


Friday 1530-1630 with Jorma

  • Suwari Waza
    • Ryotedori Kokyu Nage – lift up Uke to Hanmi Handachi and throw
  • Tachi Waza
    • Ryotedori Kokyu Nage – “turn hands in small circle”
    • Ryotedori Tenchi Nage


Friday 1630-1730 with Jan

  • Tachi Waza
    • Katatedori Tai no Henko – “Lingonberry” in lead hand
    • Chudan Tsuki Ikkyo
    • Chudan Tsuki uchi shoulder atemi entry Shiho Nage
  • Hanmi Handachi
    • Katatedori Ukemi exercise
      • Step forward backfall, turn over to Ikkyo, front roll to supine, get up and walk around Nage to front roll disengage


Saturday 1030-1200 with Jorma

  • Suwari Waza
    • Shomenuchi Nikyo
    • Yokomenuchi Nikyo, direct entry
      • Uke attacks with front knee up
  • Tachi Waza
    • Shomenuchi Nikyo
    • Yokomenuchi Nikyo, direct entry
    • Ushiro Ryokatatedori Nikyo
    • Ushiro Ryohijidori Yonkyo
    • Ryotedori Nikyo


Jan Nevelius (and others) interview from 2004 Aikido Today Magazine

here's a link to an old interview from aikido today magazine in 2004.  it gives insight into the style of aikido that nevelius sensei teaches, which is what i am studying/teaching in the monday and wednesday night adult aikido classes.


please enjoy!

- john peng (2nd dan, aikikai)

chief instructor, aikido

seattle school of aikido

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