Arizona Aikido

 News and Notes


7 November 2021
Current Class Schedule

Weapons in the Park: Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Steele Indian School Park

Classes IN the Dojo

  • Tuesday - 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Children'w Class
  • Tuesday - 6:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. - Aiki-Budo
  • Wednesday - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Low-impact Aikido
  • Thursday - 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Karate
  • Thursday - 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Open mat - Karate or Aikido - Individual/Pairs
  • Friday - 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. - Aikido Open Class
  • Friday - 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. - Aikido
  • Saturday - 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Aikido - Beginner to Advanced.

    We recommend that you wear a mask. Hand sanitizer is available and should be used regularly by everyone! Mats and surfaces are sanitized regularly.

Remembering Tsuneji Sakakibara Sensei

22 July 2021
Sakakibara Sensei Grave Marker
We remember Sakakibara Sensei fondly on the eighth anniversary of his death on July 22, 2013. Sakakibara Sensei was very important to Arizona Aikido! After the death of Jon Takagi Sensei in February 1984, Sakakibara Sensei stepped in to fill the role of Chief Instructor. He held the dojo together, brought us back into union with Hombu Dojo, and kept us training. He started the first Fall Mountain Camp in Prescott when he saw the need for us to get away from the Valley, to come together as a family and to grieve the loss of Takagi Sensei. Eventually, he turned the dojo over to Tom Haines Sensei, but continued to teach as as Chief Instructor Emeritus. We still miss him and we honor his memory. Read Sensei's biography here.

Sakakibara Sensei










  One of the ways we remember him is through the Sakakibara Sensei Memorial Scholarship Fund. If you'd like to donate to the Fund, you may do so using the Donate button below.

Arizona Aikido - Matsuri Video

10 March 2021

Arizona Aikido participated in the Virtual Matsuri in Phoenix this year. What you see here is the video presentation we made. If you are interested in learning Aikido, reach us through our Contact Us link.

Arizona Aikido Students - Pay Your Aikido Schools of Ueshiba Dues via PayPal

22 December 2020
Aikido Schools of Ueshiba LOGOWe set up a page for you to pay your Aikido Schools of Ueshiba dues via PayPal. Note that you don't need a PayPal account to accomplish this; you may just use your credit or debit card. Go here to pay via PayPal. (Note that we will charge you a little bit extra to cover the Paypal fee!)

Of course, you can still pay your ASU dues the old fashioned way - with cash or a check!


9 November 2020

Here are some guidelines as to how we'll behave in the dojo:

  • Wear your gi to the dojo or have only one person in a changing area at a time. We may also use the bathrooms and shower room to change.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after training.
  • You are required to wear a mask. This is more to protect others than it is to protect yourself.
  • Sanitize weapons before and after use with Lysol.
  • Don't trade weapons with another person; continue using the weapons you are using.
  • Try to maintain a six-foot separation from others who are training.
  • Launder your gi after each use. If you don't have a clean gi to wear, wear street clothes, but launder those afterward, as well.

I know this seems like a bit of a load to put on everyone, but we need to be cautious as we move into this new paradigm.

We will ask you to sign a COVID-19 waiver. We feel this is a necessary precaution on our part.

Also remember, if you don't feel comfortable coming to training at this time, don't! It's OK. You need to do what you need to do. Please do stay in touch!

Training will be a bit different from what it was before this pandemic started, but flexibility is one of the characteristics of the Aikidoka (Aikido practitioner). Let's continue the journey!

Ikeda Sensei Zoom Seminar

1 November 2020
Group Photo - 2019 Ikeda Sensei Seminar This photo is from our last seminar with Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan in December 2019, when we were still able to get together, i.e., before the COVID-19 pandemic. THIS year, we'll train with Ikeda Sensei virtually! Our Annual Ikeda Seminar will be held December 12, 2020, via Zoom! There will be two sessions, one from 10:00 a.m. to Noon (MST), and the second from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (MST). The cost for the seminar is $35.00. Register via Paypal below.

If you need to register with a check, please make it payable to Arizona Aikido and send it, along with your email address, to: Arizona Aikido, 2416 S. Mulberry, Mesa, AZ 85202.

Ikeda Sensei has been teaching weekly classes on his approach to internal power. This seminar will also focus on internal power. This is an essential skill, whether you are a beginner or an advanced Aikidoka.

All proceeds from this seminar go to Ikeda Sensei.

We hope you'll plan to attend! We look forward to seeing you online!

Download a flier here

Please register here for the Ikeda Sensei Zoom seminar. The cost for the seminar is $35. Please enter your email address and name below. We'll send you a link for the seminar before December 12!

Your email address
Your name


1 May 2020
Aikido is a full-contact art. It is not possible to train in the dojo and maintain social distance. Therefore, Aikido training in the dojo is suspended until at least May 31, 2020!

The novel coronavirus global pandemic is upon us. Entire countries are on lockdown and global measures are being taken to slow the spread and impact of what may be the largest public health emergency we’ve faced in our lifetimes. As Aikido practitioners, our very way of life has been upended. The foundation of the art we love so much is human connection, after all.

These are challenging times, and the actions we take now will impact our families, friends, communities, and the future of the art of Aikido itself. Aikido teaches us to remain calm in the face of danger, to be adaptive, and to neutralize threats in a way that creates collective benefit. Now is the time for us to make some hard decisions. This is the moment for us to put our training into practice in a real-world crisis.

The world is facing a challenge of enormous scale and human impact with the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Based on recent developments, I wanted to reach out to you and provide an update on the actions we are taking to help prevent the spread of the virus and support the health and wellbeing of our student and broader community. After consulting data and recommendations from the WHO, CDC, and the State of Arizona, we have decided to cancel classes through the month of March. Social distancing is an effective way to prevent transmission and the earlier that measures are taken, the larger the positive impact we can have on the spread of the virus.

Effective today, group classes at the dojo will be cancelled through Thursday April 30. We will reevaluate this decision on a regular basis and either terminate or extend it, as necessary.

The decision to close the dojo during this period has not been made lightly, but the health and safety of our community is our highest priority. This is an opportunity for us to put our training into practice, to adapt to a short term challenge and show our resiliency and ability to collaborate for the greater good.

Please monitor your email for updates.

Stay safe and healthy.

Donate to Arizona Aikido

30 April 2020
Arizona Aikido is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. Please consider donating to us to help us through the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to have normal expenses while not being able to train. Not all members are able to continue paying monthly dues during this time. Thanks for any help you can provide!

Message from Saotome Sensei

31 March 2020
Saotome Sensei - Coronavirus Encouragement A message form Saotome Sensei!

I hope that all Aikidoka everywhere in the world stay safe. Aiki is the ability to recognize circumstances around you and adapt. For example, I hear you are using new technology to keep to keep connected. Very good!

I am very proud that my students have put safety first and closed their dojo. Taking care of the community was always in the heart of O’Sensei. If we help each other, we will get through this and return to our usual practice.

Please know that Patricia, my wife, and I are safe and taken care of here in Sarasota. I hope to see all of you soon.

Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan Aikido Schools of Ueshiba

Special Seminar with William Gleason Sensei - April 24-26, 2020 - ** POSTPONED **

14 March 2020

** NOTICE **

We will update this information when we complete the new schedule.

William Gleason, Aikido - 7th dan, is the founder and head instructor of Shobu Aikido in Somerville, MA. He is also the author of two books about Aikido, spirituality and kototama. He lived in Japan from 1969 - 80 where he trained in traditional aikido and Japanese sword at Hombu Dojo. Gleason Sensei received his 1st degree black in 1972 from Kisshomaru Ueshiba and in 1998 was given his 6th degree black belt from Mitsugi Saotome. Download a flier here

The seminar will be held at Arizona Aikido's Agatsu Dojo, 939 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013. Access to the dojo is easy via the light rail system. Exit at the 7th Avenue Station and the dojo is just a short walk to the west. The light rail is easily accessible from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport via the Sky Train. There is plenty of parking at the dojo, as well. The dojo is immediately east of the 11th Avenue traffic light and bus stop on the south side of Camelback Road.

Register and pay here:

Which sessions?

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