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About Aikido

The MIT Aikido Club - P.E. Class Information

Part of the MIT Physical Education Curriculum

The Aikido PE class is our introductory class to Aikido basics. It is offered both in the Fall term (first quarter) and Spring term (fourth quarter) of each year. The PE classes are given by the head instructor, Sensei Dick Stroud, and senior black belt instructors. New students are encouraged to start with the PE class as it focuses on the basics, being specialized towards beginners. You can, however, also join the Club at anytime.

What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Martial art that emphasizes blending with the attacker, rather than confronting the attacker with hard techniques such as punches and kicks. It was created in Japan by a man named Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to as "O' Sensei"). Before creating Aikido, Ueshiba trained extensively in several varieties of jujitsu, as well as sword and spear fighting. Aikido is not primarily a system of combat, but rather a means of self-cultivation and improvement. Aikido has no tournaments, competitions, contests, or "sparring." Instead, all aikido techniques are learned cooperatively at a pace commensurate with the abilities of each trainee. According to the founder, the goal of aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit one's own mind and inhibit its functioning.

Each technique is first demonstrated by the instructor. The students then pair off and practice the technique, switching off who is the attacker. In this way we learn how to take a fall, how the technique should feel, and finally how to do the technique.

When & Where The Class Meets:
The PE Class schedule varies from year to year. Please check with the Department of Athletics for when the class is offered.
The class meets in the DuPont Gymnasium (Building W32 on the map) - Wrestling Room on the 2nd floor.

Proper Attire:
Students are encouraged to wear a martial arts Gi if they have one. Otherwise, normal exercise attire (long exercise pants) is recommended. A Gi is not necessary for this course.

Course Philosophy:
The emphasis of this class is the art of blending with an attacker and redirecting their aggressive energy, not in how to take them out. We ask students to come with an open mind, a healthy spirit, and the desire to learn Aikido. Each section of the course builds upon the previous sections, so an absence from any class is not advised. On occasion, we will hand out information about the history of Japanese martial arts, in-depth explanations of techniques, and additional documentation to assist student learning.

Instructor's CV:
The head instructor, Sensei Dick Stroud, is a 6th Degree Black Belt and a "shidoin" (second-level instructor). He started the MIT Aikido club in 1978 with the permission of Kanai Sensei, the last uchi-deschi (apprentice students) of O' Sensei, from New England Aikikai.

About the MIT Aikido Club:
The MIT Aikido club, started in 1978, is a member dojo of the U.S. Aikido Federation and is affiliated with New England Aikikai located in Porter Square. We have three instructors that teach on various days of the week, though most classes are taught by Sensei Dick Stroud.

Sample Course Outline:

    Class 1
  • introduction to Aikido dojo etiquette
  • Basic balanced stance (hamni)
  • Basic moving (Tencon, tenchi)
  • introduction to Forward roll (close to ground)
  • introduction to Back fall
  • Tsuki (punch to solar plexus) techniques
    Class 2
  • review of forward roll and back fall
  • introduction to Back roll
  • introduction to ma-ai (distancing)
  • Basic entrances (omote and ura)
  • Shomenuchi techniques
    Class 3
  • Yokomanuchi techniques
    Class 4
  • Katatatori (wrist grab) techniques
    Class 5
  • Kata kosa tori (cross-wrist grab) techniques
  • Escapes: Katatatori (straight-wrist grab), Kata kosa tori (cross-wrist grab)
    Class 6
  • Katatori (lapel grab) techniques
    Class 7
  • Morotetori (one wrist being grabbed by two hands) techniques
    Class 8
  • Ryotetori (both wrists grabbed from in front) techniques
    Class 9
  • Ushiro Ryotetori (both shoulders grabbed from behind) techniques
    Class 10
  • Ushiro Tekubitori (both wrists grabbed from behind) techniques
    Class 11
  • Ushiro Kubishime (choke from behind with free hand grabbing wrist) techniques
    Class 12
  • introduction to Suwari Waza (knee walking)
  • Demonstration of advanced Aikido techniques
  • Class evaluation, feedback, question and answer session


If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mitchell L. Hansberry at .