Our children’s classes are for ages 6 and up. Kids 12 and older may start aikido in the adult class, depending on their maturity level. Emphasis is on good discipline and healthy attitude while enjoying a fun and rigorous practice. Drop by any of our children’s classes to watch or participate.
Aikido for adults
Our adult classes focus on proper technique and mental focus as well as overall fitness and flexibility. Calgary Aikikai welcomes persons of any age, gender or ability. New students may come and watch any class, and may also participate in up to four classes free of charge to see how they like it.
Since 1980, Calgary Aikikai has trained hundreds of students in this martial art that is both a practical self-defence and form of creative movement. We believe that the best way to learn is through enjoyable and spirited practice, with an emphasis on traditional techniques.
This July we welcome back seventh-dan K. Igarashi Shihan of Tokyo, Japan. Sensei will be visiting us from July 8th to 10th, 2016. All are welcome to come train and learn with this master sensei who has been teaching aikido to adults and children for over 42 years.
(I wrote this some time ago, but thought it still has relevance to our practice today, and provides a little insight into a previous era of Calgary Aikikai. It was originally published January 2008 on the indie music site www.thickspecs.com. The photo above is from 2009, I believe)
About twice a week I make the trek to a warehouse in the industrial southeast of Calgary, walk around the back, weave my way past 18-wheelers and commercial debris and go up the blue metal staircase to one of my favourite places. This might sound like many a band’s rehearsal space, but in this case I’m talking about my dojo, the place where I’ve practiced the martial art of Aikido for the past 12 years.
Upon opening the door, I’m greeted with a hearty “Konichiwa” from the other students, like I’ve entered a sushi restaurant. I bow to the photograph of Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, and immediately I’m transported into another world. My mind is cleared of the stresses of normal city life, and I’m immersed in an atmosphere of camaraderie and scholarship, all couched in Japanese tradition and etiquette
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing, after a prolonged illness, of a great sensei and friend of Calgary Aikikai, Robert Kubo Shihan 8th Dan of Honolulu Hawaii.
Kubo Sensei was one of the “Three Amigos” which was composed of he, Inaba Sensei, our dojo’s founder and Igarashi Sensei our Shihan. Great friends, as well as aikido masters, they always had a sparkle in their eyes when they were together. This spirit was reflected in their passion for their art and life.
Kubo Sensei always brought both his personal insights and sense of joy and humour to his visits to Calgary for seminars. From Kubo Sensei’s experience working with prison employees we were tutored in the use of his “mini baton” which was both enlightening and at times, if used to it’s full potential, painful.
Sensei will be missed but never forgotten in Calgary. Our best wishes go out to his family and friends as we celebrate his life in our thoughts and prayers.