are some of the Important and commonly asked Questions we have
I'm not very strong, out of shape, old, Can I train in Aikido?
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
Q. I hear
that Aikido is like magic using a strange KI Force and is hard
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.
Aikido really that hard to learn?
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.
long does it take to Learn Aikido?
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.
Aikido Fun? I played this other martial art before and didn't
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
refer to the What is Aikido Page.
So how do you know that Aikido WORKS?
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?
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.
you have thrown me?
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
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.
How will My Army Combatitives stand up against Aikido?
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.
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.
got your phone# from SGT. XXX, He said you train soldiers for
free? What are the hidden costs?
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
How do you stay in Business if you don't charge tuition?
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.
Why do you have “Permanent aikido floor” listed on your
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
look at the Pictures of the new floor in the pic gallery
to understand what it is.
Why do you train in Aikido?
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...
Why don't you train in another form of Aikido? Why
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.
times during the Q&A it is referred to as
"playing" Aikido. Why?
Why not say training or practicing?
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
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.)
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.
"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
Aikido Better than this other Martial art my buddy is
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.
I studied a different Martial Art besides Aikido Before,
and have achieved XXX Rank, can I wear my belt to class?
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
What color Belt do you Wear?
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!
Rank are you now, and who did you really learn Aikido from?
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.
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.
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.
I am Leaving to go to Iraq / AFG. soon, Can I still come and
learn while I am Here?
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.)
are the guys located In AFG. that Trained with you before?
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.