Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sense What's Behind You + Dojo News shifts platforms

Sense What's Behind You -Jan 2018 Winter Intensive theme

January Winter Intensive is a time to renew your resolve to practice, to warm up your internal engine in the cold of winter, to come together with your fellow dojo members and support each other in taking a significant jump in progress.  This year's theme is:
 Sense What’s Behind You. 
The new year is an excellent time to look in the mirror (kagami),break our old habits (biraki) and resolve to improve ourselves. I invite you and challenge you to step up your training this month...

Read more of this post on the newhome for Dojo News blog posts:

This site will remain the home of Member Resources!
Check here at the blogspot for study guides, articles, links to great sites to supplement your training.

Dojo News as a publication of articles and news about the dojo is shifting to our main website and retains the title "Dojo News." Visit the blog now:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Holiday cancellations and end-of-year class schedule

Holiday cancellations and end of year class schedule:

Dec 25-27 (Monday through Wednesday): Adult classes are cancelled.
Thursday Dec. 28 and Saturday Dec. 30th. Classes will be held, Come train!*

Dojo will be closed for the New Year holiday Jan. 1 and for the MLK Jr. Holiday Jan 15.

Winter weather note:
Extreme weather conditions may lead us to cancel a class from time to time. Check Upcoming Dates page if you’re wondering whether class is on. We’ll post a notification as soon as we make the determination.
Please save the link and check often:

Links to check for the latest Portland weather forecast:

*If we ever need to cancel class due to inclement weather, we'll post a notice on Upcoming Dates

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lynn Sensei and Bluhm Sensei teach aikido seminar together Dec 1-3, 2017

Multnomah Aikikai is proud to host Elizabeth Lynn Sensei and Darrell Bluhm Sensei, teaching aikido together for the first time in a seminar Dec 1-3, 2017.

This seminar is a celebration and honoring of their promotion to 7th dan. Please join us for a special weekend of training. 

View seminar details on our Seminar page.

Printable Flyer:

Elizabeth Lynn, 7th dan Shihan
Founder of Eastshore Aikikai

Lynn Sensei began training in Aikido in 1971. She trained in Chicago under the late A. Tohei Shihan, and continued her training in San Francisco and in Berkeley, CA. From 1990 -- 1994 she was kenshusei in the teacher's training program conducted by I. Shibata Shihan at Berkeley Aikikai. She founded Eastshore Aikikai in September 1991.  She was General Secretary of the United States Aikido Federation, Western Region, from 1984 -- 2001, and General Secretary of Birankai North America from 2001 -- 2006. In April, 2007 she was awarded the title of Shihan in BNA by T. K. Chiba Shihan.  She is the current Chair of Birankai North American Senior Council. 

Enjoy this video clip of Lynn Sensei teaching at the 2016 BNA Aikido Summer Camp:

Darrell Bluhm, 7th dan Shihan
Founder and Chief Instructor, Siskiyou Aikikai

Darrell Bluhm Sensei began his Aikido training in 1970 as a student at UC Santa Cruz. In 1973 he spent two months living at the Iwama dojo in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, training with M. Saito Shihan, as well as time training at Hombu dojo in Tokyo. In 1981 he became a student of T.K. Chiba Shihan and a founding member and assistant instructor of San Diego Aikikai. In 1983 he founded Siskiyou Aikikai in Ashland, Oregon where he has taught Aikido and Tai Chi Chuan for the past 33 years and the Feldenkrais Method for 20 years. In 1996 he was promoted to 6th Dan, in 2002 awarded Shihan title by Chiba Sensei, and in 2006 received Shihan recognition from Doshu M. Ueshiba at Hombu Dojo. He serves as a member of the BNA Senior Council and as the BNA representative to Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

Enjoy this video clip of Bluhm Sensei teaching at Bucks County Aikido in 2013:

Check our seminar schedule, prices and directions to the dojo:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ready for your First Course in Aikido?

First Course in Aikido starts Tue. Oct 17, 2017

 Aikido practice is tasty and nourishing! Ready to dig in to your first course? For the first day, plan to arrive about 15 minutes before class.  We'll get you registered and ready to roll. 

Plan to wear something comfortable you can move in. Be prepared to practice barefoot. Before stepping onto the mat we’ll ask you to clean your feet and remove any jewelry. 

First Course participants are eligible to take two fundamentals classes per week:
  • Tuesdays, 6:15pm-7:15pm and 
  • Saturdays, 10:30am - 11:30am 

Fee: $97 includes a uniform and classes two days per week. Series runs Tuesday October 17 - Saturday November 11th. 

How to register: 
Download and fill out the application form; you can bring it in with you on your first day. Make your payment for "First Course" through our online payment portal.

Aikido Multnomah Aikikai: 6415 SW Macadam Ave, Portland OR 97239 

Learn more:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A free taste of Aikido at the Aikido Appetizer Open House

We invite our Portland neighbors, our extended dojo community and anyone curious about the art of Aikido.

Aikido Appetizer
Saturday  Oct 7, 2017

Enjoy a taste of what the practice of Aikido is all about. Get ready for fun! This is an ideal opportunity to experience Aikido firsthand. This free event is open to both adults and children.

You are invited to our Open House - the Aikido Appetizer! Family, friends, neighbors are welcome! This is a great opportunity to try something new. Here's the schedule:

  • 10am: Doors open. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and get oriented to the space. 
  • 10:30am: Step onto the mat for a sensory experience and introduction to the art of aikido. Whet your appetite for for martial practice and get your body moving. Everyone can participate at their own pace. 
  • After class: We will have tea and sushi. Socialize and ask questions of members.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Jo Ha Kyu - universal progression of phenomena

Jo - Ha - Kyu 
by Adam Westphal

shishi-odoshi = deer scarer

Any season is a beautiful time to visit the Japanese Gardens but summertime is especially nice.  The warm weather, the lush greenery, and all the sounds that fill the natural space combine to make for a wonderful experience.    Tucked away between what is called the Strolling Pond Garden and the Natural Garden is a curious device made of bamboo called a shishi-odoshi which translates as ‘deer-scarer’.

This dual-purpose fountain and animal chaser consists of a piece of hollow bamboo resting with its heavy closed end against a rock.  A pivot suspends its middle and the open end points up towards the sky as water pours slowly and steadily into it.  Filling up with water causes the center of gravity to change, forcing the open end downward.  This shift dumps its contents, forcing a sudden reversal as the heavy end knocks back against the rock making a sharp sound.  The cycle repeats.

In many traditional Japanese arts, there is a concept called jo-ha-kyu (序 破 急).  The characters can translate in many different ways.  Jo is most commonly means ‘beginning’, ha when isolated can read ‘to break; to ruin; to destroy’, and kyu reads as ‘rapid; urgent; quick’. 

The term jo-ha-kyu first appeared in writings around the 14th century by the renowned Zeami Motokyo, creator of the Noh Theatre.  Similar to martial teachings, his writings were hidden away, shared only within families of the Noh theatre, until they were discovered in a second hand bookshop.  He wrote, “Every phenomenon in the universe develops itself through a certain progression.  Even the cry of a bird and the noise of an insect follow this progression.  It is called Jo, Ha, Kyu.” 

This progression describes how a Noh actor should raise their arm slowly, hold it momentarily suspended, and then quickly drop it.  It also dictates the composition of the music, progressing towards faster and more climactic tones.  Even the acts of a Noh drama follow this form towards climax.  The bamboo shishi-odoshi fills slowly and just as slowly starts to teeter.  It reaches a point where it suddenly purges itself of its water and rushes back to its stationary position, punctuated with a loud noise.
In partner practice in aikido and iaido, there is a build-up of tension as the pair approaches each other, a sudden break in this tension as a technique is executed, and acceleration towards the end of the form.  The solo practice of iaido kata lends itself well to the study of jo-ha-kyu.  One can isolate movements without interference or distraction.  At more advanced levels of practice an onlooker might be able to imagine an opponent being cut down by the strikes of the practitioner. 

What forces work upon the pair or the shishi-odoshi?  It is not simply the bamboo that makes the noise.  Gravity, the water, and the positioning of the bamboo all play their part.
At the beginning of your next practice, you will face the shomen while sitting in seiza.  The calligraphy on the wall is a permanent record of a moment of jo-ha-kyu by the calligrapher.  If the preparation of the ink is not correct, it will be too light or too dark.  If the composition is not considered, the lines and characters will be out of balance.  If the calligrapher lingers or hesitates while writing, ink will pool.  How heavy or light the hand was that held the brush will show in the lines.

How will your next practice begin?  And how will it end?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"Let Go of Me!" Self Defense and Embodied Learning workshop

"Let Go of Me!"

If someone takes hold of you, literally or figuratively, how do you release their grasp?

At this event we will explore common wrist grabs, options for response and how you can move your body to release a person’s grip on you. This physical practice serves as not only a metaphor for interpersonal encounters but an embodied learning experience you can carry with you and apply to your everyday interpersonal encounters.

A supple stance, both mentally and physically, allows us to move and adapt to the changing environment. The non-competitive martial art of aikido affords us the opportunity to make the conceptual physical and explore the nuances of communication and leadership in a safe laboratory of embodied learning practice. When we imbue the sensory activities with intention and awareness, the relevancy to our workplace encounters springs to life.

Benefits and outcomes include:

  • Practice simple wrist releases to quickly escape unwanted physical contact.
  • Learn how you can use the power of the ground to apply leverage and break someone’s grip on you.
  • Understand the mechanics of the human grip and experiment with the natural levers of the body.
  • Sense your instinctive response to challenging encounters and consciously introduce options for change.
  • Build confidence that you can learn to change the dynamics of a developing situation in its early stages.

Please be prepared to remove your shoes and participate barefoot. Wear something comfortable you can easily move in. This event is free for dojo members. $25 for non-members. Become a member:

Taught by Suzane Van Amburgh, Chief Instructor of Aikido Multnomah Aikikai and Founder of Space to Move.

When: August 5, Saturday, Noon- 1:15pm
Fee: $25 (Free for dojo members)
Where: Aikido Multnomah Aikikai, 6415 SW Macadam Ave, Portland Or 97239

Register now!