Spring Gasshuku May 19 – 22, 2017

Once again White Pines is pleased to host a weekend training seminar with Jean-René Leduc sensei, Director of AKI Canada. We welcome students of all aikido paths and levels of training for a weekend seminar full of mindful connection, dedicated training, wilderness exploration, and potlucks.
Join us in welcoming Leduc sensei home from his recent travels to Japan and South America.

Daily Class Schedule:

May 19th, Friday
Arrival evening class 6:30 – 8:30pm

May 20th, Saturday
Early morning class TBD;
Mid-morning class 9 11am;
Afternoon class   2:30 5pm

May 21st, Sunday
Early morning class TBD;
Mid-morning class 9 – 11am;
Afternoon class   2:30 4pm with testing to follow

May 22nd, Monday 
Early morning class 7 8:30am
Mid-morning class 9 – 10:30am

Seminar Fees:

Full Seminar – $120 for adults,   $100 for teens

Registration is now open~ please email to register. 
For daily class rates or other inquiries, please call Marcia at the dojo 355-0009. To share seminar details with friends, you may download a pdf version of our poster here: Seminar Poster May 19-22 2017


Local Dojo members will host potluck dinners at the dojo or close-by. Slocan Village has a small but well stocked grocery for breakfasts and lunches. As much as possible we make meals together and share what we have.

Explore the Slocan Valley

Between classes we encourage visitors to explore the spectacular surroundings the Slocan Valley has to offer. Spring and summer offer hiking, paddling, swimming, rock-climbing, or walking on the rail-trail. For more visitor information on the area, visit 


New Denver class schedule

Spring 2017, White Pines student Rebecca continues to lead kids and adult basics classes at the Community Fitness Centre in New Denver, BC.

Little Kids class (3-5 years old) 12 – 1:00pm Sundays

Young children learn basics of aikido movement including footwork and simple timing exercises through games and obstacle courses.

Young Kids class (6-10 years old) 1 – 2:00pm Sundays

Basics class with more emphasis on etiquette and technique, with evasion games and falling/rolling practice.

Adult Basics (15+) 6 – 7:30 pm Fridays

Learn the basic movements of aikido, including falling, rolling, footwork, and sword work through paired partner practice. Teens younger than 15 years are welcome with permission by instructor.

Please call Rebecca at 777-154six, or contact the main dojo.

Winter Gasshuku March 18-20th, 2016

We are all looking forward to our Winter seminar, March 18-20th, 2016, with Jean-Rene Leduc Sensei.


Class schedule* is as follows:

DateClass 1Class 2
18-Mar-167 PM – 8:30 (Contact Yoga) 8:30 – 9:30
19-Mar-169 – 11 AM2:30 – 5 PM
20-Mar-169 – 11 AM2:30 – 5 PM

Adults classes are invited to join the 11am kids class on Sunday.
All students and their families are invited for a dojo potluck on Sunday the 20th at 5pm (after testing).

Cost: $120 for full seminar.

* Class schedule for seminars are always subject to change. Please confirm first class times when you register.

View the Seminar Poster here:

March 2016 Gasshuku Poster

Visit our sister dojo Pacific Shizen for information on the upcoming Spring 2016 seminar in Victoria BC.

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

Visiting Other Dojos: Pack your Gi!

The last few trips I have taken to visit family around Canada, I have always been so glad that I packed my gi. Since beginning my aikido training, about seven years ago, I’ve always been welcomed to train in a dojo I visit. In November I visited Big Rock Dojo in Calgary, and arrived during a great seminar over the weekend. I got more training than I had hoped for!

The benefits of visiting other dojos include everything from new perspective on techniques you thought you understood (ha!), new friends & connections, a different training environment & etiquette, and a better sense of how your training style fits in with the overall aikido network.

I think the key to gaining these benefits is humility, humility, humility. I try to mimic senior students of the dojos I visit, in order to show proper respect for how things are done. It’s amazing how the manners and etiquette of our dojo transfer to any other place I go. I know how to practice with people and generally what to expect, even if the language of instruction is different.

When I return to White Pines, I am motivated and inspired to continue my training. My hope for our dojo is that we can host some aikidoka (students) visiting from other dojos around the world, so that we can learn from them and inspire them in their own training.

Next time you go on a trip, pack that gi, even if it takes up too much space! It will be worth it if you get a chance to make new friends, as inevitably you will by making the effort to visit and train somewhere new.


– Rebecca Sargent is an intermediate student at White Pines, and a member of the WPAA board.

Kids Seminar!

Our next Kids Seminar will be held on Saturday, Dec. 20 from 11am- 5pm

Kates-kidsGasshukus, or seminars, are an important part of martial arts training.

Kids’ seminars offer an opportunity for children to practice endurance with longer intensive classes, and to create connections with their classmates they may not otherwise make during the rest of the term.

Testing, at the end of each seminar, also gives kids a chance to perform their skills, building confidence and earning respect.

Call the dojo (355-0009) to register, or for more info!