The Richmond Aikido Kai is dedicated to the promotion of Iwama Style Aikido in the greater Richmond area. Unlike other martial arts such as Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, etc., Aikido is a non-oppositional self-defense method that does not rely on strength and aggression. Instead the attacker creates the energy used for the aikido technique.
“Seeing me before him, the enemy attacks, but by that time I am already standing safely behind him.” …Morihei Ueshiba
After World War II, the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (O’Sensei) went from Tokyo to the rural town of Iwama to continue to practice his budo away from the watchful eyes of the US-occupation forces in Tokyo. It was during this period that the name Aikido was applied to his art. Saito Morihiro Sensei trained with O’Sensei in Iwama from 1946 until O’Sensei’s death. Saito Sensei preserved and fostered the founder’s traditional techniques, including the riai (combined practice), of taijiutsu and bukiwaza (aiki-weapons). Iwama-Style practice generally focuses on basic techniques (kihon waza) with a mind/eye towards martial applications. As a member dojo of the Takemusu Aikido Association, the Richmond Aikido Kai is recognized by the Zaidan Hojin Aikikai (Hombu Dojo) in Japan. The dojo provides training for testing of Kyu (6th-1st) and Dan (Shodan, Nidan & Sandan) ranks in accord with Hombu Dojo guidelines.
We uses both the Jo (wooden staff) and Bokken (wooden sword) in training. These traditional weapons provide a direct corelation with the hand-to hand techniques and provide the student with a way to practice techniques away from the dojo.