- Specific Dojo Information
Kiryu Aikido is dedicated to the practice of serious traditional Aikido techniques in a safe and supportive environment. Blevins Sensei’s focus on teaching traditional techniques via an emphasis on ukemi (the art of falling and rolling to protect oneself) and weapons work shapes and guides students’ open-hand practice, resulting in strong, solid Aikido techniques.
Because Blevins Sensei believes that ukemi is the most important part of Aikido, the dojo focuses on actively teaching ukemi from Day 1. This is different from a common approach in many dojos that assumes students will figure it out on their own…or not. The downsides of not overtly teaching ukemi are greater potential for injury and developing bad (and potentially unsafe) habits that are hard to change later on.
Instead, Kiryu Aikido emphasizes the development of ukemi skills from the very first class. This allows Kiryu Aikido students to build a strong, safe practice within our dojo, as well as the ability to attend seminars and practice safely in others dojos and with other styles.
And, as Blevins Sensei shares, the students with the best ukemi generally have the best Aikido techniques.
Kiryu Aikido is known for developing very strong kihon (basic) techniques in our students, which then allows the practice and refinement of more advanced techniques. Like any structure, it’s the solid foundation that makes a building strong, rather than the ornate and intricate architectural details.
Weapons are an integral part of Kiryu Aikido’s curriculum. Our strong weapons program is based on the Samurai bokken (sword), jo (staff), and tanto (knife). Weapons practice is often incorporated into regular class, and we also have weapons-only classes and seminars.
The dojo has its own weapons ranking program, starting with basic weapons handling and etiquette, and reaching advanced weapons techniques.
Much like O-Sensei trained outdoors in all weather, the Kiryu Aikido – California dojo takes advantage of training next to the ocean. Practicing on the sand adds a deeper dimension to the concepts of balance, timing, and center. It also builds sensory awareness of what is going on around us as well as flowing with changing conditions.
Kiryu Aikido believes in integrating new students with the regular class rather than having separate beginners-only classes. Each new student is taught from their level of ability, and brought along at a comfortable pace. This integrative approach has been proven to quickly increase student learning and confidence, and reflects the cohesive and supportive environment of the dojo.
Our beginner’s program is a seven-week consecutive session, which can begin at any time.
During this session, new students are encouraged to attend as many classes as possible. The beginner’s program includes a student manual and a certificate upon successful completion of at least six classes and demonstrated improvement of three basic techniques.
Read more about becoming a new student with Kiryu Aikido in the Deshi Corner section.
Kiryu Aikido – California is in the process of starting a children’s class for ages 6 to 13. We’ll post more information as the program develops.
If you are an Aikido student visiting the area, you’re welcome to come practice. There’s a $10 mat fee for visiting Aikidoka.