Saturday, February 20, 2016

Take a Tour of the Adult Aikido Class Schedule

Tour de Schedule

Here's a walk-through of our adult class schedule. People often ask questions about what classes are like, which classes they should attend and who teaches when. I hope this tour is helpful to members in understanding our class schedule.

Our classes tend to range from about 2-15 people. Classes are small and the people leading classes are attentive to who is in the class. The class will be geared to the folks who show up for class. So, show up and the class will be tailored for you! Exercises taught are scalable. That means movements demonstrated can be practiced at a beginner level or a more advanced level, along a spectrum. Teachers and senior students are happy to work with beginners.

If you are a beginner we recommend you practice 2-3 days per week and make at least one of your classes a "Fundamentals" class. After watching attendance patterns and trends in teacher availability, we have established that certain class times make sense to designate as "Fundamentals." These class periods have attracted beginners consistently: Tuesdays 6:15pm, Wednesday 6:15pm and Saturday 10:30am.

Beginners are not constrained to Fundamentals classes! Feel free to practice Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays or Monday 12:30, Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, or any combination that works for your schedule. All regular adult members are eligible to attend any unrestricted class.

10:00 AM Private lessons
10:30 AM Private lessonsFundamentals/ All levels: SV
12:30 PM All levels: SVAll levels: AFPeriodic special Saturday classes, usually noon-1pm :SV
Private lessonsPrivate lessons
5:00 PM ReservedChildren's classReservedChildren's class
6:15 PM All levels: AF (SMS/JO)Fundamentals/ All levels (except for first Tuesday*) rotate among AF, SV, JO, SMSFundamentals/ All levels: JPO (SMS)All levels: AF (JO/SMS)
7:30 PM Bokken/ Iaido: SV/AFWeapons & Body Arts: AF (SMS/JO)

Who teaches which classes?
Everyone who leads a class in our dojo does so on a volunteer basis. The teachers all have jobs outside the dojo and we all balance dojo with work and family commitments. So, we have an adaptive system in place for covering classes. One person serves as "primary' teacher of the time slot and 1-2 others serve as back up. The four main people leading classes stay in tight communication to make sure classes are covered. Here is the primary teaching schedule:

Monday 12:30pm:
A new class taught by Van Amburgh Sensei (SV). The nature of class will be determined according to who attends regularly.
Monday 6:15pm:
Usually taught by Fleshler Sensei (AF).
Tuesday 6:15pm:
Teaching responsibility rotates among all four (AF, SV, JPO and SMS). First Tuesday of the month we hold advanced class open to 2nd kyu +. Beginners are encouraged to observe class. If you are dressed in gi, you may be invited onto the mat for part of class.
Tuesday 7:30pm Iaido/ bokken class:
Fleshler or Van Amburgh Sensei
Wednesday 6:15pm:
Oliva Sensei. Previously Van Amburgh Sensei taught this class regularly however she is now teaching more in Forest Grove. Wednesday night will be a good night for Oliva Sensei to teach regularly starting in May. Through March and April you may see Sean Sheedy Sempai or Van Amburgh Sensei teaching on Wednesdays.
Thursday 6:15pm:
Fleshler Sensei. This class tends to be faster paced requiring more challenging ukemi skills.
Thursday 7:30pm:
Fleshler Sensei. This class may incorporate weapons work, body arts or both.
Friday 12:30pm:
A new class taught by Fleshler Sensei. The nature of class will be determined according to who attends regularly.
Saturday 10:30am:
Usually taught by Van Amburgh Sensei. This class time has been popular among beginning students. Content is usually geared toward developing the skills to be able to perform a 5th kyu test well. All levels benefit from this practice. The fundamental techniques of the 5th kyu guidelines lay the foundation for the entire curriculum.

Periodically special classes are scheduled on weekends. Van Amburgh sensei often runs themed classes on Saturdays noon-1pm. Flesher Sensei runs a Sunday morning practice about once a month. Regional seminars are often held over a weekend. Stay connected with Upcoming Dates and the Seminar page for details on weekend events.

Once in a while we run into a situation where no one is available to teach. At that point we look to a long-standing member to open the dojo and host a "free practice." That member holds responsibility to maintain a safe practice atmosphere and be available to help people out responding to questions, etc. Participants may be self-directed and collaborative in their learning.

If we ever need to cancel a class an announcement will be posted on Upcoming Dates. We also do our best to notify by email the people who attend classes regularly. Please keep us updated with your best email address.

Upcoming Dates is a Google doc maintained by Van Amburgh Sensei. You can get to it from the Dojo News navigation bar or go to
Here's the google link:

Aikido Multnomah Aikikai 6415 SW Macadam Ave Portland OR 97239

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Weekend Weapons Practice

Fundamental Weapons Practice for all levels this Saturday!

5th and 4th kyu weapons test guidelines will be covered on Sat Feb 20 & 27.

Saturdays Feb. 20 and 27, 10:30 - 11:30am: we will focus in on the weapons forms outlined in the Birankai 5th and 4th kyu guidelines.
This class, taught by Van Amburgh sensei, is for all levels. 

If you've never held a bokken or jo before have no fear! Come and learn.

What does sanpo mean?
What's the difference between happo giri and suburi happo?

Senior members take advantage of this opportunity to practice the newly allocated weapons test guidelines as a set!

Sunday Morning Practice with Fleshler Sensei coming up February 28, 9am- noon. Expect a combination of body arts and weapons training.

Aikido Multnomah Aikikai 6415 SW Macadam Ave Portland OR 97239