Special Class: Ukemi (Art of Falling) – Friday 4/3/2014

We have had a request to do an in-depth seminar covering Ukemi (the Art of Falling). This seminar will cover the finer details of correct techniques, teaching and back-leading Ukemi, and multiple Ukemi drills. The seminar costs $25.

Techniques covered will include, among others:

  • Slapping Drills
  • Crossing Drills
  • Floor Techniques
  • Long (Distance) Falls
  • High Falls

Ukemi Seminar: $25

Friday, April 3rd, 2014
6:45 – 8:15 PM

The Cultural School

255 Magnolia Ave., Goleta, CA, 93117


Below is an excerpt from an article written in 1998 by John Sing.

The Importance of Ukemi, Rhythm, and Timing in Aikido

Question: Sensei, you feel extremely high emphasis on advanced Ukemi as the first and most important ingredient for good Aikido.  Why do you feel so strongly about this?

Ota Sensei:  My experience has been that advanced Ukemi (breakfalls, high falls, kickouts, ‘body-only-slap‘, etc.) is the most important, essential skill necessary to allow Aikidoka to progress as quickly and proficiently as possible.  But for surprising reasons in addition to the traditional reasons you might expect.

We discovered in Goleta that with advanced Ukemi speeds, students would naturally begin to develop the speed, rhythm, timing, and endurance necessary to do Aikido at real-life speeds.  I am responsible to see that all my students can express O’Sensei’s “Way of Loving Harmony” not only in the dojo but outside in real-life situations.  In order to do that, long ago aI started to develop ways to teach each of them to be able to do Aikido at real-life speeds, both physically as well as mentally:  and to do it smoothly, relaxed, enjoyably, accurately, and subconsciously.

Now, I am well aware that high speed Aikido training, improperly done, will surely cause serious injuries.  Yet, no one could ever do good Aikido at real-life speeds unless you’ve specifically trained at those speeds and levels.  We have successfully developed training methods and tools that can safely and reliably create this kind of high level Aikido training for everyone.  The foundation that makes it all possible is high technology advanced ukemi.



Personal Safety – BE AWARE!

Personal Safety – BE AWARE!
This past weekend there were two reported sexual assaults in Isla Vista. These are horrible incidents, and while no place can be 100 percent safe, Isla Vista has a higher than normal risk where both men and women can be victims to a number of different crimes.
We urge all to take certain precautions as outlined in the links below.
Educate yourself concerning prevention tactics:

Always be alert and aware of the people around you.   Be aware of locations and situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots!


Special Class: Tantodori (Knife) Techniques – Friday 3/14/2014

Due to request, we will be having a special seminar on tantodori (knife techniques). This seminar will cover this and possibly several other topics, and costs $25 for regular students, and $20 for Ki/Weapons students.

Tantodori Seminar

Friday, March 14th, 2014
6:45 – 8:15 PM

The Cultural School

255 Magnolia Ave., Goleta, CA, 93117


Tantodori is the defense against an attacker with a tanto (knife). The technique involves disarming and throwing the attacker, and sometimes involves a pin. Tantodori is a belt requirement for all Shodan (first degree Black Belt)!

“Relax Taiso” Ki Class Friday 2/21/14

Reminder: we will be having a special Ki seminar tomorrow!

“Relax Taiso” Ki Class – $25
Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 6:45 PM
The Cultural School
255 Magnolia Ave., Goleta, CA, 93117

The “relax taiso” program, a five minute low-impact aerobic training program created by Koichi Tohei Sensei , can be practiced by anyone of any age. With its focus on rhythm and oneness of mind and body, regular practice of relax taiso can improve physical stability and mental concentration. When taught as a component of Ki training , the series of movements become powerfully relaxed– the same type of relaxation practiced by students of Ki Aikido (Aikido with Mind and Body Coordination).

Class Review: 2/11 – 2/18

This week at The Cultural School, we have been refining our basic forms of kokyu-nage (breath throws). Kokyu-nage, or breath throws, are performed based on the movement of the attacker. There are nigh infinite variations of kokyu-nage, as it is an integral form of Aikido.

Forms from this week included:

    • munetsuki (stomach punch)
    • zenpo-nage (straight in attack)
    • katate kosa-dori (cross-hand grab)


      (diagonal strike to the side of the head)




    pins (sit down pins)

We have also been covering the theory behind moving en undo – moving in a circle. Circular motion is another foundation of Aikido!