What a fun New Year’s Party!

I’ve got to say, this party was a success.

People started drifting in the door at around 4 pm. Most of the kids played downstairs in the dojo for a while, then joined the adults upstairs for sushi rolling.

Before we ate, we had a short aikido class. A few rolls, a bit of knee walking, and last but not least, a hundred sword cuts.

Sushi, dessert, then origami! I showed everyone how to make paper cranes, most of which went on to become mobiles to decorate the dojo.

And after that, everyone went back downstairs to watch a movie – Kiki’s Delivery Service!

And meanwhile, the adults sat outside ’round the campfire.

And here are a few more pictures, which I thought should be in this post because they’re so sweet:

I hope you all had a wonderful new year!

Aikido Training pt.1 (mudansha)

Where are you at in your own practice?

This is a question I like to ask myself and others from time to time. It’s one thing to go to class and follow your instructor, but it is quite another to have an idea of your own path and how your personal practice fits into raising the group’s overall successes. Training goes in steep climbs and plateaus for our bodies, our minds and our spirits. As with any long learning path, you will have obstacles or challenges to overcome, mostly self inflicted.

So, have you thought about your next test? Do you know the terms for the techniques, the stances, the attacks, and the variations? What is your overall goal at this point, and what will it take for you to get there?

One piece of advice I have taken to heart is to find a partner with a similar rank, so that you can work on test material together. For me, this has proven to be very useful advice in terms of technical training, and also toward fostering trust and friendship.

Here are some useful handouts I often refer to for memorizing terms, and also the AKI test material, by rank. Keep in mind, you may practice everything for your own rank level and then get asked something completely different! But it is still assumed you know these basic techniques when you are called upon.

Next instalment, I’ll expound upon how I came to love testing!

Peace on the mats.

Aikido for Beginners Starts Jan 19th

Next course will run January 19th- February 25th 2015

Mondays 7:00- 8:30 pm
Wednesdays 7:30– 8:30pm

We are pleased to introduce a new class aimed at giving adult aikido students a good foundation in basic movement, etiquette and language. The course will be taught by one of our intermediate dojo members, Rebecca.

In any martial art, a beginner’s learning curb is fairly steep with regard to etiquette and language. It can be intimidating to be corrected on nuances such as bowing or pronunciation of Japanese words. Many dojos expect beginners to learn by observing senior students, and so do we… However, we also realize that a little welcoming support can go a long way to making new members feel comfortable in the dojo.


Our particular style, called Kenkyukai, is on the free-flowing and interpretive side of the aikido spectrum. The Kenkyukai focus is research into the movement of ‘ki’ or life energy.

In order to facilitate this kind of ‘research’ or interpretation, our 6 week beginner’s class will introduce footwork, basic techniques (attacks and defenses), the language, etiquette and a little about the harmony-oriented philosophy of aikido which makes it so unique in the world of martial arts.

Fees: $96 for 12 classes.

What to Wear: Do-gi (martial arts uniforms) are not necessary. Please wear long sleeved loose clothing for working out. Pants are preferable to shorts.

Please call Rebecca for more information or to register: 250-777-1546 or contact her through info@whitepinesdojo.com