At Mill Valley Aikido we practice Traditional Aikido as passed down by Morihei Ueshiba, (“O-Sensei”) Founder of Aikido (1883-1969) and Morihiro Saito, Shihan, Chief Instructor, Iwama Dojo (1928-2002) Traditional Aikido, with its historical roots going back many hundreds of years to Jujitsu, provides a broad system of highly effective self-defense techniques. These techniques enable the practitioner to blend with and neutralize punches, grabs and other attacks. Aikido uses a range of powerful locks, throws and pins to immobilize an attacker. In addition to empty handed techniques, we teach Saito Shihan’s traditional system of Aiki-Jo (wooden staff) and Aiki-Ken (wooden sword). These weapons are critical to the understanding of how traditional Aikido techniques are performed. Aikido develops balance, flexibility and coordination, as well as concentration and self-confidence while being physically attacked.
At Mill Valley Aikido, we stress safety, harmony and non-violence which are central themes in Aikido. Therefore, there are no competitions, tournaments or full-contact sparring. However, the training enables the learning of pragmatic techniques which can be employed to protect oneself with the potential option of limiting damage to the attacker. Our goal is to develop powerful, effective techniques yet deliver them in a safe, graceful and peaceful manner. This results in an enjoyable environment which promotes a strong and flexible body and mind.
In recent years, there has been a tendency for martial arts to drift away from their historical path. O-Sensei developed Aikido as “The Art of Peace” and not for the purpose of killing and destroying others. At Mill Valley Aikido, we respect the important traditional teachings of the past. We endeavor to adapt the physical techniques and wisdom in promoting overall good health as well as active participation in a more peaceful world.