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Here are some of the Important and commonly asked Questions we have Received...

 Q. I'm not very strong, out of shape, old, Can I train in Aikido?

A.  Using Aikido's Principals if you can walk you can Play Aikido! This is not a Martial Art in which you will use force against force or needless tests of strength. We would rather use the aggressors Momentum/Strength to achieve an advantageous position.


Q. I hear that Aikido is like magic using a strange KI Force and is hard to learn?

A. Aikido has been taught many different ways. We teach Aikido from a technical viewpoint, in which everything can be explained in simple terms with no mystic riddles to try to figure out. Even though you will be able to understand the theories and principals right away, you will spend a lot of time on the mat applying this to a physical application.


Q. Is Aikido really that hard to learn?

A. NO its not hard to learn. Think of the learning process just like walking, first you see it done and hear how to do it. Someone then guided your body through the motions, soon enough you were practicing it on your own until it became internalized and a part of your natural movements.  I guarantee that you will learn something that you can take with you, and apply for the rest of your life from the very first class.


Q. How long does it take to Learn Aikido?

A.  The Process of truly learning aikido will take you longer than you have left to live. What I mean by this is that you will learn techniques, and how to apply them in no time.. Then if you are really a serious student of aikido, you will spend the rest of your life working through and studying the various physical techniques, and the issues each one presents. The way you perform a technique will change over time as you progress more in your understanding of not only how and why but what's really behind it in principals.


Q. Is Aikido Fun? I played this other martial art before and didn't like it.

A.  I have a lot of fun playing aikido. This doesn't mean that it is right for you. the only way to know for sure is to come in and find out for yourself.


Q. So What is Aikido?

A. Please refer to the What is Aikido Page.


Q. So how do you know that Aikido WORKS?

A.  I Know that my Aikido works. It has gotten me personally through a couple of altercations. All the Techniques have been thoroughly tested in not only Randori Applications, but in real life and death situations everyday. It should be pointed out that prison guards, soldiers, and peace officers are all taught a form of aikido / aikijujitsu. They rarely lose in an altercation. As a citizen it will be easier for you though, as you will not need to restrain someone in an encounter. You only have to survive, and move on.


Q. Are you a Traditional Dojo?

A.  We are semi-Traditional in a lot of aspects. We do not bow or clap to a picture, or shrine. We bow onto and off the mat. We also circle up and show respect to each other by bowing together, for the training we are about to conduct. I fully believe that the teacher should not be placed on a pedestal, as he/she is human as well and subject to error. It is the greater teacher that can admit to his students that he/she made an error and go back to fix it.  It is also the greater students that allow for human errors, and are more interested in advancing this great art than in pointing out every small error that may eventually occur.


Q. Could you have thrown me?

(asked in the middle of a class during a small open period of movement, by a guy that just stopped in to check things out with his friend)

A.  My answer will always will be either  "Yes, three times" or sometimes simply "Yup" in this situation.   What is not said is that; 1. I could have thrown you out the door, 2. thrown you on the mat with some more positioning, and  3. I just threw your confidence...  I have a weird sense of humor and it is a part of me at all times. If you take yourself too seriously, you are missing out on the great times in life that you can have by simply smiling, and cracking a joke.  Also It is so I can ascertain if you are actually interested in Aikido, and how/why it works, or just there to take up space. I would rather have just one serious student there to work with,  than a dozen people half heartedly working their way through class.


Q. How will My Army Combatitives stand up against Aikido?

A. I personally do not Teach Aikido as if it were a sport. I realize that you have learned the “system of Combatitives” as if it were a sport competing against your Nco’s and peers. That is not in the spirit that I teach. I teach to harmonize with society, and help you Survive an Incident. Not to become the next UFC contestant. (although they could also greatly benefit from learning this art..) Yes some Tomiki Aikido Organizations do Compete, However you will be hard pressed to find one in Texas at this time.


Q. I want to learn a Martial art that I can use to beat people up when I have a Problem.

A. This is definitely not the dojo for you.  I will be happy to recommend you to a place to train, but I have a different outlook on life.  If you train with me and I find out you use it for unethical reasons, you wont be training with me for long. Of course defend yourself, and survive an altercation, but the goal of being able to go out to the bar to stir trouble, is a big no-go in my opinion.


Q.  I got your phone# from SGT. XXX, He said you train soldiers for free? What are the hidden costs?

A.  There are no hidden Costs, we are a NON-Profit dojo. I am up front about everything. You are welcome to come in and train. No cost to train and play for anyone during My scheduled Classes.  If you wish to Grade (go through the belt system), Receive recognition of your training abilities when you visit other places, and have visible recognition for your hard work and training time then you will need to become a member of the ATAA, at their yearly dues rate. Otherwise you are still welcome to come in and train during My scheduled classes. All I ask is that you reward my time with your willingness to seriously learn.


Q.  How do you stay in Business if you don't charge tuition?

A. This is not a Business, It is a Club. We started this club so we would be able to continue playing and training in our Beloved Art since there is no other dojo around here suitable for advanced learning and training. You can only progress so far without being able to spend more than an hour a week on the mat. As well as learning the big throws and to do that you have to be able to take the big falls... there is no other dojo equipped for Aikido Or Judo  in town. I wont charge tuition because it does limit those that aren't as affluent, but any donation that is made is gladly accepted. The real Payment We expect is that of being studious in your training, or using the door to leave.


Q. Why do you have “Permanent aikido floor” listed on your website?

A. To my knowledge there is no other permanent Aikido/judo Spring floor in this area. This is Extremely Important as it will GREATLY LESSEN your chances of Injury during your learning Process. It will also make it so you can possibly play aikido for 30 + years as some of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting have done. I originally learned on a hard rubber Karate puzzlemat floor. There was not much Ukemi taught due to the risks, My learning process with Ukemi (Falling) took a whole lot longer (due to Injuries) than those that had a forgiving surface to learn on. Rolling on cement is no problem once you learn how to roll. But it does present a few problems to learn on…lol.. For more information on spring floors click Here  or look at the Pictures of the new floor in the pic gallery  to understand what it is.


Q. Why do you train in Aikido?

A.  I have trained in a few other martial arts, and I now see how the principals can be applied differently than in the striking arts I played. When I started Training in Aikido, I found that even when I am tired I still have the ability to survive, applying the principals of aikido, and perform techniques when they present themselves. I definitely now take a whole lot less abuse in an altercation than in the arts I trained in before. I also Started to notice all the old Judoka, and other Martial Arts people on the mat, and asked them what their draw was to aikido.... The number one response was that they could still Play aikido, when they hurt due to becoming older and the injuries they received playing  their other arts. I love to play Aikido whenever I can, and have learned valuable skills to stay out of situations I used to get into years ago. The best way to win a fight is to not have to fight...


Q.  Why don't  you train in another form of Aikido? Why Tomiki Aikido?

A.  I have played in a few other systems, and this system makes the most sense to me. I like some of the differences in the other systems, and I will store those away for personal use if ever needed, I just found this to be better for me personally.  Not to say that any other system is wrong, or not as good as, because all aikido is good. I just simply prefer how the principals are applied in this form of Aikido.

Q. Several times during the Q&A it is referred to as "playing" Aikido. Why?
   Why not say training or practicing?

 A. I wrote the Q&A from my personal perspective. I answered all of the questions as I speak, and think so you can understand how the dojo-cho thinks. When I am training with my Sensei (and with Shihan when he indulges) I am definitely Training. I Play aikido with my students as my Sensei plays aikido with me while I am training. When you first learn something you will be training. After it is internalized, you can start to play with it. Working in as many variables as you can. Every new person gives me a new set of different variables. Such as a different stride, longer or shorter arms stronger movements, moving with or without your center. This allows me to Play, as I train you in the ART of Aikido. Sometimes It can get frustrating while you are learning something new. If you have someone on the opposite side of the mat, smiling and having a good time with it, I find its a whole lot easier to stay focused and not let the small frustrations get to you. I have had the good fortune of training with some of the most revered Aikidoka, and all but one were playing aikido, on the opposite side of my training in aikido. Sometimes laughing with me, sometimes laughing at me, and enjoying my seriousness. Their Positive attitude and ease of movement gave me something to look forward to.          I hope that I can be half the Instructor for you that my teachers were / Are for me. If you cant have fun with it there's no point in doing it. Otherwise yes, Practicing would be another good term to use instead.

(the following is from one of my old Shihan after he read what I wrote.)

You actually left out a component - doing Aikido.  I like to use 4 parts actually. 1) Learning - getting the basic movement of a technique. 2) Practice - doing the learned technique 1 step at a time ad nausium. 3) Training - doing several learned techniques in combinations in order to understand the various options available to tori, and 4) Doing - the actual application of aikido in a "for real" situation.  Most people don't get to stage 4, and those of us who have don't get to it very often.
The "playing aikido" verbiage is used, usually between members of the dojo, to mean "have fun".  If I say to you, "Lets go play" it usually refers to hand randori, but not always.  Also, to "play" is a mental state condition.  People have a tendency to remember more when they are having fun.  So if I say, "lets play some aikido" I have already put your mind in a relaxed state, a fun state, where you will be receptive to my instruction.

(This is why I love the ATAA They are interested in the growth and development of this dojo and the people teaching the art, even in a non-profit dojo)


Q. Is Aikido Better than this other Martial art my buddy is learning?

A.  There is no Martial art that is "better" than another. There are only better Martial artists.  The human body can only move in a few ways, all martial arts are derived from this fact. The only difference in reality between the arts is how you apply those Principals of movement.


Q. I studied a different Martial Art besides Aikido Before, and have achieved XXX Rank, can I wear my belt to class?

A. As long as its not pink I wont make fun of you…Lol… Seriously though, I personally don’t care. However, we now have visiting Aikidoka, and Instructors, both from our organization and from Outside Orgs. It is important that you wear your Aikido rank so they have a benchmark as to what you have been taught in Our system. This is to make sure they (visitors) don't do techniques beyond what you are ready to handle. Most of the other Arts do not teach you to protect yourself from some of the situations and throws that occur in Aikido.


Q. What color Belt do you Wear?

A.  I tie on the belt of a serious student. It is black in color (in aikido a black belt is the sign of a serious student..not an expert). If  all you are concerned about is belt colors this may not be the Dojo for you. I have had some students come in that had no formal Ranking but had played Aikido at another post, and could do the Kata’s for up to Dan graded Levels. Their lack of belt color doesn't stop me from spending extra time on the mat with them after class to learn what they know.. Everyone has something to offer when Honest and open training is being conducted!  


Q. What Rank are you now, and who did you really learn Aikido from?

A.  Gail and I both are Yondans in the Tomiki Ryu System of Aikido. We are serious in our training, and continue to learn under our Sensei and Dojo Sponsor Tim Cleghorn who is a Nanadan in Aikido, and a Yondan in Jyodo.

   When We Started Playing Tomiki Aikido we learned from an Officer in the U.S. Army who was teaching at The Shobukan Karate Dojo on Stan Schlueter (My Gratitude and Thanks still go to Sensei M. Da Costa for his generosity of allowing us to train there.) The Instructor Deployed So we started traveling to Houston on Saturdays and worked at keeping the Club together with the others. It became time for half of the club to leave that Organization, and we started training in the JAA Method of Tomiki Aikido with another Soldier in the club for about 6 Months. The path we were on led Us to what I call Home, Where we are now with the ATAA. I have all of my Certificates and Diplomas in the open from where I have been and am upfront about my future goals in life.   

We have had the best of  luck to be able to study Aikido under some of the best Tomiki Players, including but not limited to; Tim Cleghorn Sensei, Nick Lowry Sensei, Russell Waddell Sensei, Ray Williams Sensei,  Karl Geis Shihan, David Witt Sensei, D. Derasario Sensei, David Nyugen Sensei, Sammy Sandaval Sensei, and a few others along our path.  I may never be as good as my teachers, but If I work Dilligantly, and make it so its fun along the way, I will at least hope that they can be proud of what I have accomplished due to their hard work.


Q. I am Leaving to go to Iraq / AFG. soon, Can I still come and learn while I am Here?

A. Please do, I love to teach and to have new questions and viewpoints brought up. If you are going to be here for at least another 4 to 6 months and attend regularly you should have built up enough of a base to continue learning and practicing what I have taught you for your deployment term. I also am Happy to correspond with you by e-mail, or video (talk as you go through things so I can see what direction you are pushing as you do it), and Phone.  We have an e-mail list of all deployed students at this time for members to contact one another. Also you may get lucky enough to be at one of the camps with another and have a good Uke to learn with. (the market sells throw mats there for a reasonable price.)


Q.  Where are the guys located In AFG. that Trained with you before?

A. I will not give their locations out. Once you arrive to your Camp across the “Big Pond” shoot me an e-mail and I will send it to the guy in that camp. If you can hook up during your time off GREAT…  But I cannot and will not violate my students/Friends Trust.


Meeting Schedule
  • Wednesday 7:30pm 
  • Friday 7:30pm  - 
  • Sunday  12noon -
  • Private instruction time
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