Announcing the Aikido and Zen – Spring 2018 Session
For Men and Women of All Ages (and Mature Teens)
A Great Class for all Skill Levels: Beginner => Advanced
Starting the Week of February 19th
Noon and Evening Classes

albuquerque aikidoWalking through a parking lot, what would you do if you someone suddenly grabbed both of your wrists? Now what would you do if there were two or three attackers? Learn to calmly handle this possibility. You can! It’s all part of the beauty, power and grace that is Aikido and Zen. And you can get your training jump started in the upcoming Albuquerque Aikido and Zen Spring 2018 session.

Many consider Aikido the highest form of all the martial arts. It is an effective multi-attacker self-defense that doesn’t depend on strength or speed, punching or kicking. But only, only if you can stay relaxed, accept the moment and react spontaneously as it unfolds. Easy to say, hard to do … but right up the alley of someone who has Zen training. And you will get both Aikido and Zen training here.

While the Winter 2017 session is underway, it is never too early to start planning for the Spring 2018 session which starts the week of February 19th. Sessions last thirteen weeks, with two classes per week and an optional Open Mat on Sundays. And for this coming Spring session, you can mix and match noon and evening classes. Registration for the Monday-Wednesday class closes on February 26th. Registration for the Tuesday-Thursday class closes on February 27th.

Aikido and Zen Noon Classes
Mondays and Wednesdays
11:30 – 12:50 PM
First class Monday February 19th.
(This class is also great for retirees.)
Aikido and Zen Evening Classes
Tuesdays and Thursdays
6:00 – 7:20 PM
First class Tuesday February 20th.
(This class often fills up, register early.)

For the Spring 2018 session, we will be studying the Aikido attack called ryote-tori – grabbing both wrists.

Traditional Aikido instruction centers on about a dozen well-defined attacks. Each session we focus a full thirteen weeks on a different one. In this session, we will be studying the attack often called ‘ryote-tori’ where the attacker grabs both of the defender’s wrists. There are several reasons to study this attack and in this way.

  • albuquerque aikido woman in parking lotOn the street, this kind of attack is usually done in coordination with followup kick or in simply trying to intimidate a victim.
  • For beginning students, you study this attack to learn strategies designed to stop an attack immediately after the first move.
  • But most importantly, by focusing all thirteen weeks on just the this attack, for the last three weeks of the class you will get to apply what you’ve learned in freestyle practice (randori). Most other schools reserve this type of training for advanced students – and some schools never practice randori. It’s challenging – but you can do it! This is what you want from a martial art.
  • And it’s this freestyle practice that is the basis for the realization of an unfettered mind.

Are Aikido and Zen Classes right for you?

  • Have you always been attracted to the martial arts?
  • Have you studied another martial art or studied at a another Aikido school and felt that it just didn’t meet your needs?
  • albuquerque aikido drawing swordDo you want to learn a true self-defense – not just fighting?
  • Are you looking to stay in shape or get back into shape, but the gym and the jogging and the stationary bike just don’t cut it?
  • Or are you looking for a challenging pursuit of mastery, but something beyond kicking and punching?
  • Are you retired yet still active? Check out the noon class times.
  • Do you want to learn how to quiet your mind – really quiet your mind? (See what the US Army is experimenting with.)
  • Zen students, do you want to add a more physical dimension to your practice?

Albuquerque Aikido and Zen classes are suitable for both men and women of all ages and mature teens. I have seen an Aikido student in his 80’s – so keep an open mind. Also, if you have an interest but have some concerns, you can always send me an e-mail.

What you will learn in this thirteen weeks …

After completing the Albuquerque Aikido and Zen – Spring 2018 session, you will be able to –

  • albuquerque aikido and zen scrambleDemonstrate the traditional Aikido warmup set studied world-wide (wrist stretches, shoulder stretches, footwork and balance drills).
  • Fall safely – forwards and backwards.
  • Demonstrate ten traditional defenses to having both wrists grabbed.
  • Calmly face one, two and three attackers in a freestyle format. You will!
  • Understand the three pillars of Aikidobalance, footwork and timing.
  • Sit zazen (traditional seated Zen mediation) for twenty minutes.
  • See Aikido a little differently (an example).
  • See Zen in a new way (an example).
  • Gain new insights into our shared human birthright – an unfettered mind (an example).

“This doesn’t look like other Aikido websites. So, who are you? … No, really!”

albuquerque aikido friends note Do you get the sense that we are not your typical Aikido school? No super-fancy website. No pictures of elaborate kamizas (shrines) with tea and flowers and incense. If that is what you’re looking for, then there are other schools that can offer just that. Let’s face it, Aikido is not a religion and the founder was just a man. Zen is not a religion and the Buddha and the Bodhidharma were just men. Both Hands Clapping Aikido is not just another school in some Aikido organization. And after thirty years of Aikido I am not ‘sensei’ – still Jim. Decisions about your training are made right here, right now – to help you eventually realize an unfettered mind. The techniques you will learn are traditional (one of my teachers studied directly with the founder of Aikido), but the approach to teaching them is not. (Here’s even more info about our training philosophy.)

But the art of Aikido itself, when combined with Zen training, is something special. And if that is of at least some interest to you, then you should seriously consider taking this upcoming session.

From another Aikido school, another Aikido style?

There are plenty of us who have studied at other Albuquerque Aikido schools, including yours truly.

Do you sometimes feel you’re doing the same 10 or 20 throws and pins over and over and over and over? After thirteen years as Chief Instructor with a well-known national Aikido organization, our core curriculum ended up being about thirty techniques taught and practiced ad nauseam – thirty techniques was the exact number required for a student’s first three promotional tests. (After all, new students were being admitted continuously and they naturally needed to learn these thirty techniques to progress in rank – to become invested in the school.) For Both Hands Clapping, our core curriculum is nearly 100 techniques (not counting simple variations) and advanced students will eventually learn and demonstrate over 350. And we can do this (and you can do this) because we don’t admit students continuously and promotions are never based on testing. We don’t have to teach to the next test.

How often do you (or did you) practice randori? Over the course of a thirteen week session at Both Hands Clapping Aikido, a full three weeks are spent in randori – one, two and three attackers. If you’re looking for a constant challenge, you need not look any further.

Last, we are always more than happy to accept your current rank. If you are not sure about our style of Aikido or if you are uncertain whether Zen training is for you, you can check out the Open Mat. We are always happy to answer your questions and address your concerns – stop by before or after class or email me

“Where are you located?”

In Albuquerque, we are on Juan Tabo, with easy access to the freeway. near Copper. Also be sure to check out the studio – with map and directions.

“What will I need to get started in Aikido and Zen?”

Loose fitting clothes are all you need to get started. Also, realize that every Aikido throw involves the attacker taking a gentle fall and ending up on the mat, so there is a bit of up and down. (Of course, the upside is that in no time at all your back will be supple and your legs strong.)

“What does it cost?”

  • albuquerque aikido women sittingStandard enrollment: $65 / month (for the 3 months, or a one-time payment of $180).
  • Discounted enrollment*: $45 / month (for the 3 months, or a one-time payment of $130).
  • New student offer: A one-time payment of $130.

* Discounts apply to military, police and fire department staff (and their families), students, teachers, added family members and retirees.

“I’m very interested, but I can’t make the spring session.”

albuquerque aikido aikijo drawingThe Albuquerque Aikido and Zen Summer 2018 session will start in late May. Click here to receive notices. Also, here is a post that includes a list of other dojos that may better fit your schedule.

Ready to get started?

  • Below you can register and pay for the session on-line. Doing so now, will absolutely guarantee you a spot in this Albuquerque Aikido and Zen session.
  • You can also reserve a spot by posting a comment at the end of the page.
  • Of course, you are welcome to just show up for the first class. (See the note in red!)
  • Finally, be aware that registration ends with the start of the third class (the first class of the second week).

FYI, as the evening class will inevitably fill up, and so those who have not paid in advance may get put on a first come, first served waiting list.

Pay registration fees here (or you can always pay in person – cash or check)

On-line payment is best if you want to guarantee yourself a spot in a class. You can pay the full amount (all 13 weeks) and save a few dollars, or pay by the month. ** New students must pay the full amount to be eligible for the new student discount. **  See below where you will have four choices:

  1. New students who want to take advantage of the new student discount by paying in full.
  2. Returning students who want to save some hassle (and a few bucks) by paying in full.
  3. New or returning students who want to pay by the month.
  4. Purchase a gi or weapons. (Neither is needed for new students.)

Note, you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay through this method.

New Students – Pay In Full

Returning Students – Pay in Full

Pay by Month

Gis / Weapons

Some documents you may want to look at before your first Aikido and Zen class


Be sure to check out our ‘FAQ’ page. Also, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or question. But remember that you can e-mail me directly. Lastly, you can subscribe here to automatically receive notices of upcoming classes.


  1. Reply
    Joyce Bidwell October 21, 2017

    I’m interested in getting information and would like to talk to somebody. Are you currently in business? I tried calling you and your phone number is not a working number.

    • Reply
      Jim October 25, 2017

      Hi Joyce,

      Sorry about the confusion with the phone. We sublet from the Albuquerque Judo Club and they are in the process of switching their phone between providers and the process has not been exactly seamless. Happy to answer questions.


  2. Reply
    Richard Pisciotta October 24, 2017

    Hello, I am interested in a new student registration paid in full for your winter 2017 evening class. Are there still available spots?

    • Reply
      Jim October 25, 2017

      Yes, there are still a couple slots available.

      Thanks for your interest,

  3. Reply
    Steven Henderson January 13, 2018

    Hello, I would like to speak to someone to discuss information in regards to your kids program?

    • Reply
      Jim January 13, 2018

      Hi Steven,

      We don’t have a kids program, but we are happy to consider mature teens.


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