Archives for category: RTP Aikido

Jokingly we were discussing the connection between Aikido and the movies as I pointed out Obata Sensei played the villain in the Ninja Turtle Movies.

Well in life he’s very much the real deal.  This is a beautifully shot and edited video of his school in Oakland.  He studied originally under Gozo Shioda the founder of Yoshinkai Aikido and then branched off into traditional kenjutsu.

Click Here for the Video

In Late March we took a group from our Tenrokan dojo to visit the International Headquarters, the Doshinkan in Philadelphia.  Our facilities in Durham are so modest that it’s important to have students know they belong to an art that’s widely accepted and internationally acclaimed.

doshinkan class shot = 2







From left to right – Ryan, Jesse, Rob, Chris, Kancho, Richard, Eric and Sensei.

jpg of 2013 Seminar Flyer

We are pleased to host a Summer Seminar with Aikido Shihan Yukio Utada.  Thanks to our friends at Triangle Aikido we will use their dojo on Hillsborough Road, June 8th and 9th.  There are more details on the flyer but this is open to all styles and levels of experience.

Within our international group Yukio Utada is referred to as Kancho meaning head of the school or organization.  He is the quiet master, encyclopedic technician and a genuine embodiment of Aikido principles.

Please help us share the word and pass the info about this great opportunity to learn more about Aikido and how it applies to martial arts and life.

Download the Flyer Here – Aikido Flyer 2013

Benjamin Cliver is one of the young guns and keepers of the flame at the Doshinkan, our headquarters in Philadelphia. Here is a great essay written about his perspectives on Budo.

Budo and Cleaning the Cold Box

by Benjamin Cliver on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 7:25pm ·

So, today at Yards, I had an interesting experience.  A fellow I worked with was mocking me for having to been assigned an obnoxious task.  This chap, is one of those people that, while seemingly having a preternatural aversion to hardwork, delights in seeing others working very hard.  Anyway, he mocked me for having to do a hard task.  I walked away with a serious desire to traumatically redesign his face with my hands.  Instead of the hard task he had implied that would be mine to do, I volunteered for an even harder one.  I asked to clean the cold box.

The cold box is dirty.  We run a fork lift in and out of there all day and the pallets we stock items on shed bits of wood constantly.  At first, I was just in the cold box to avoid the chap who had mocked me.  As I worked, I decided to CLEAN the cold box rather than just MOP the cold box.  After more than an hour and five buckets of fresh water I had become elated.  I worked hard and loved it… It was a very Budo moment for me.

Essentially, Budo says that we should examine ever task we undertake as way to make ourselves better.  Focus on that which we are doing and complete that task.  Every time I thought to half ass this task and “get done” another side of me said, “No, do it right this time.”  I find it really interesting that the most menial task has brought me so much joy.  Something my aikido instructor, Sensei Utada has been telling me for a dozen years, “Do the job you want to do the least!  That is your training.  You learn nothing by doing the thing you want to do”.  Awesome day for me.




Each primary element comes together  – earth, air, fire, water, vibration, friction and time to create the tool that reflects the Mind – sharp, flexible, penetrating and lustrous..

The Art of the Sword Maker

<p><a href=”″>Handmade Portraits: The Sword Maker</a> from <a href=””>Etsy</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>]

Welcome to the start of the New Year. This is the time when we contemplate our dreams and plans for renewal and how to capitalize on the time and blessings we have received going into to the new year. Time is the great issue and our lives are akin to mere sparks as weighed against the perpetual energy of the stars.  Time is one of my favorite topics and so here are a few of my mostly non-original thoughts on the subject.
1) Any person who accomplished anything did it within the same 24 hours we are all given each day.
2) One percent of the day well spent can change your life. One percent is roughly 15 minutes and if devoted and consecrated to something meaningful will change your habits and in turn change your destiny – 15 minutes with sacred readings, 15 minute run, 15 minutes calling old friends, 15 minutes reading to your child, 15 minutes devoted to real dialog with your better half. One percent of your daily time well spent can change your life.
3) A quiet mind is like a clock in a thunderstorm. It keeps its own pace no matter the clash and clatter. The purpose of training is to develop the quiet mind.
Peace, Health and Prosperity to each of you. I would love to see each of you on the mats with us.  But if that is not to be,  find your own path and consecrate yourself to it…
Sensei Fitts