Zen and Aikido Classes Starting in August

Combining formal Zen practice with training in the modern, multiple attacker self-defense art of Aikido.


What would you do if you were suddenly faced with someone grabbing one of your arms? Now what would you do if both arms were grabbed by separate attackers? Learn to calmly face 2, 3 or more attackers. You can! It's all part of the beauty, power and grace that is Aikido.

Aikido is considered by many to be the highest form of all the martial arts - but only, only if you can silence that inner voice and react spontaneously to the host of attackers before you. Easily said, hard to do ... but right 'up the alley' of a Zen student - and that's why all of our Aikido classes now combine Zen practice with traditional Aikido training.

Join us for a new Zen and Aikido session starting the week of August 11th. The session lasts 13 weeks, with 2 classes per week, each class an hour and twenty minutes. Note that for this upcoming 13 week session, there will be both a noon class and an evening class.

Noon Class: Mondays and Wednesdays 11:30 - 12:50. First class Monday, August 11th
Evening Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00 - 7:20. First class Tuesday, August 12th

Strong Arm Grabs

Traditional Aikido instruction focuses on about a dozen well-defined attacks. In this session, we will be studying the attack sometimes called "ryote-mochi" or "morote-tori", where the attacker grabs one of the defender's arms with both of his hands. There are numerous reasons to study this attack. As a 'real' attack, this type of 'strong arm' grab may be part of a mugging by a group, where two attackers each grab an arm. Or a single attacker may grab one arm from the side, with the intent to deliver a knee or kick to the groin or stomach.

From a pure Aikido training standpoint, this attack is very important, as it is about the only time that Aikido students are actually encouraged to 'resist' a technique. After students become familiar with a handful of techniques, attacking partners start to add more and more resistance - forcing the defending partner to be both technically precise and yet 'explosive'. But not explosive in the sense of relying on muscle strength, but explosive in the sense of coordinating technique, mind and breath ... where if any one of these three elements is missing, the technique fails.

Of course, the precision and explosiveness that you practice and experience in this 13 week session is readily translated to the other striking and punching types of attacks and defenses that are covered in other sessions. Last, this attack is sometimes referred to 'standing kokyu ho' - increasing the power of the breath through the practice of standing techniques.

So, is Zen and Aikido training for you?

  • Have you always been attracted to the martial arts - looking for a challenging pursuit of mastery, yet something beyond kicking and punching?
  • Have you previously studied Aikido (or another martial art) and felt that something wasn't right?
  • Do you want learn a self-defense geared to multiple attackers?
  • Are you interested in learning one of the world’s premier self-defenses, taught as it should be taught ... complete with emphasis and practice on helping you silence those pesky thoughts?
  • Are you simply looking to get (back) into shape – a great workout - where the quiet mind and self-defense are a nice bonus?
  • Zen students, do you want to add an exciting new dimension to your Zen practice?

What you will learn in this 13 weeks …

After completing this session, you will be able to demonstrate:
  • The traditional Aikido warmup set studied world-wide (wrist stretches, shoulder stretches, footwork and balance drills)
  • How to fall and roll safely - both forward and backward, including high-falls onto a soft mat
  • About 10 traditional defenses to the 'strong arm' grab
  • How to sit zazen (seated Zen mediation) for 30 minutes
  • The basics of the Zen tea ceremony as practiced by the Rinzai-ji Zen schools world-wide

What does it cost?

Standard registration: $50 / month (for the 3 months, or a one-time payment of $140)
Discounted registration*: $35 / month (for the 3 months, or a one-time payment of $100)

* Discounts apply to military personnel, students, additional family, retirees and currently active Albuquerque Zen Center members.

How to get signed up?

You can reserve a spot in either class by sending me a quick e-mail with a short description of your martial arts and/or Zen background (or neither as appropriate), which class you are interested in (noon or evening) and a sentence or two about what you hope to get out of the class.

Of course, you are welcome to just show up for the first class. But be aware that new students will be accepted only during the first 2 weeks of the session.


Be sure to check out our 'About' page and don't hesitate to leave a comment or question which may benefit all viewers ... or e-mail me directly. Aikido is suitable for both men and women and mature teens. I have seen a regular Aikido student in his 80's, so keep an open mind, and if you have an interest but are not sure, drop me a line.

Maybe just a bit more info?

Happy to oblige ... drop me an e-mail and I can send you a copy of our Student Manual.

My e-mail

Aikido Demonstration, August 7th

As part of our regular 13 week Zen and Aikido classes, the last week is always reserved for demonstrations - a chance to show family and friends and all interested in training in 'Zen and Aikido' all about the lessons of Zen and this powerful, beautiful, graceful art.

On August 7th, we will be hosting an aikido demonstration. The exact details -

Thursday August 7th 6:00 - 7:20PM

Our demonstrations are definitely 'hands on'. They consist of a short introduction, about a 15 minute mini-class, some Q&A and then you will be invited to come and get a feel of the mat and actually learn an aikido throw or two.

No reservations are necessary, wear loose, comfortable clothes and prepare to have a bit of fun.

Advanced Aikido June 24th