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Aikido of Scottsdale (AoS), also known as Aikido Family Martial Arts Center, offers traditional Aikido training for adults and children age 6 and up. The chief instructor is Glenn Brooks, Shidoin 6th degree black belt.
Aikido of Scottsdale is a member of the United States Aikido Federation under the direction and support of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, 8th Dan. AoS is also directly affiliated with the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. AoS was under the direction and support of Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th degree black, until his passing in July 1999.
Adult classes are open to students of all levels and beginners may start at anytime. Beginners receive individual instruction from senior students in exercises, falling safely and basic techniques.
In traditional Japanese fashion, there is no course structure. Students with varying levels of experience practice together to the best of their ability, and newer students learn from their seniors. All members are encouraged to practice as often as possible. In any case, each student determines how often and how rigorously he or she will practice.
Aikido of Scottsdale is open to the public and visitors are welcome at any time without appointment to observe class and ask questions. Aikido of Scottsdale is open to all applicants regardless of race, color, sex, ethnic or national origin, or religion.
Glenn Brooks, 6th Dan Shidoin
Chief Instructor Aikido of Scottsdale
Glenn Brooks hails from Chicago, IL.
He graduated from Chicago Medical School, is a licensed Physical Therapist, holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido and is an avid Crossfitter.
In 1996, Brooks Sensei relocated to Scottsdale, AZ to continue his career in Physical Therapy and open an Aikido school to give back to his beloved martial art.
Brooks Sensei has studied Aikido for over thirty-five years beginning under the direct instruction of Akira Tohei an 8th degree black belt and one of the last direct disciples of Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
In August 2000 upon the passing of Akira Tohei, Brooks Sensei was appointed to the Technical Teaching Committee whose responsibility it is to carry on the Tohei legacy.
In 2003, Brooks Sensei was promoted to 5th degree black belt and awarded the title of Shidoin (Professional Instructor) by Yoshimitsu Yamada also a 8th degree black belt and direct disciple of the Founder.
In 2009, Brooks Sensei was promoted to 6th degree black belt.
He has trained throughout Japan and the USA under the most senior Aikido instructors in the world, most notably the founding family at the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Brooks Sensei also provides Personal Security services for the music and entertainment industry. His clients include Linkin Park, Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas.
He has fulfilled his dream of opening an Aikido school and humbly gives back to his beloved martial art every day.
Akira Tohei, 8th Dan Shihan
Chief Instructor Midwest Aikido Center
Chairman, Midwest Aikido Federation
Tohei Sensei was born in 1929 in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. He began his practice of Aikido in 1946 under the direct instruction of Aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba.In 1963, Tohei was asked by the Aikido founder to accompany his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba on a three-month tour of Aikido dojo in Hawaii, after which Tohei was asked to stay and teach Aikido throughout the Hawaiian Islands for nine months. In 1964, he returned to Japan and joined the teaching staff at Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo).
For the next eight years Tohei, in addition to his teaching at the headquarters, was also an instructor at Asia University, Akita Economics University, Keio University, Nihon Women's University, the Ground Self-Defense Forces, and the Naval Self-Defense Forces.
In 1966, Tohei Sensei was awarded the title of Shihan (Master Instructor, 'teacher of teachers') by the Aikido founder. Tohei was then dispatched to Chicago in 1972 where he founded both the Midwest Aikido Federation, and in 1975, the Midwest Aikido Center. Shortly thereafter the MAF became the Midwest Region of the USAF.
Tohei Sensei was promoted to 8th dan in 1989 by Aikido Doshu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He also served as Chairman of both the USAF Technical Committee and North American Shihankai. Through Tohei Sensei's guidance and leadership, the Midwest Aikido Federation grew to over 50 dojo throughout the Midwest. Up until his death on July 2, 1999, he was the most senior Aikido instructor in the United States.
Yoshimitsu Yamada, 8th Dan, Shihan
Chief Instructor New York Aikikai
President, US Aikido Federation
In 1955, Yamada Sensei was accepted in the Honbu Dojo uchi deshi program (live-in apprentice) to study directly with O Sensei, the founder of Aikido. In 1964, he was invited to demonstrate Aikido at the World's Fair in New York City. He stayed on to become chief instructor of the New York Aikikai and introduce Aikido to the east coast of the US.
Yamada Sensei is known for his clear and strong basic technique. He teaches seminars worldwide and thousands of students have attended his classes. "We must keep the spirit of budo no matter how we practice," he says.
Aikido is an excellent art for children. It can provide them with benefits of personal safety, confidence, and respect for themselves and others that extend beyond the dojo and into the rest of their lives.
Training in Aikido provides children with self-confidence in several aspects: the ability to deal with stressful situations while remaining calm and collected, the ability to empathize with others, and the ability to defend themselves from physical aggression. All of these skills help children to develop both physically and mentally into confident adults respectful both of themselves and of others.
Children should know how to remove themselves from danger. The first things someone is taught in Aikido are how to fall without injury and how move to a safe place when attacked. Techniques are designed to ensure the safety of the defender and all techniques can be performed to control the attacker without harming them. This allows children to resolve physical conflicts in a way in which neither party is hurt, a valuable skill with today's zero-tolerance policies in schools which limit how a child may respond in self-defense in bullying situations.
Aikido uses an attacker's energy against them, changing the interaction so it is not always in favor of the "biggest and strongest" person. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, created the art as a means to resolve conflict in a peaceful way through control of the attacker's movements. With roots in the Samurai arts of Jujitsu (grappling and locks) and Iaido (swordsmanship), Aikido is a circular art that is efficient in it's movements and effective regardless of the size and strength of the attcker or the person being attacked.
Aikido is different from other martial arts such as Karate and Tae Kwon Do in that the focus is not on punches, kicks and offensive movements but rather how to respond to such movements through blending with them and controlling them. There are no kata or solo exercises to perform and all training is hands-on. All techniques are performed with a partner, taking turns between attacking and defending from attack. Practicioners at different levels of experience are encouraged to train with each other to experience each technique in different scenarios. Applying a technique results in the attacker either being thrown or being pinned and under the defenderís control.
Aikido of Scottsdale offers two programs for children:
- The Kids' program is for ages 6-9 and provides a foundation in Aikido movements, how to fall safely and focuses on the basic techniques.
- The Youth program is for ages 10+ and focuses on refining the basics and learning more advanced variations of techniques.
Within the classes all experience levels work together as in the adult classes to provide students with a variety of partners and situations. Please review the Q & A page for more information as to what a class is like.
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- Take the Indian School Road exit west
- Continue past the first light.
- Turn RIGHT immediately into the shopping center before Granite Reef Rd.
- What is a class like?
- Aikido classes are made up of both beginners and advanced students. Beginners receive individual instruction from senior students in exercises, falling safely, and basic Aikido techniques. Students with varying levels of experience practice together to the best of their ability, and newer students learn from their seniors.
- What do I wear to my first class?
- It is customary that students wear a white practice uniform (Keiko Gi). We have gis available for purchase at the dojo or you can bring one from elsewhere as long as it is unmarked.
- Can I bring a friend?
- Yes, members are encouraged to invite their family and friends to observe or try out any class.
- Will it hurt?
- By learning how to fall safely and move correctly, there is minimal risk of injury. In Aikido, one harmonizes, or joins with an attack. The Aikidoist does not block or fight against an attacker. Rather, the Aikidoist moves with the attack, and redirects it so that an aggressor is felled by his own energy. Then, instead of using potentially crippling kicks or punches, the Aikidoist trains to apply various wrist locks, pressure points, arm pins, or unbalancing throws to neutralize aggressors without serious injury.
- What if I'm out of shape?
- Aikido techniques move the body and joints in ways they naturally bend. Thus, the body becomes stronger and more flexible. However, Aikido is more than self-defense and physical techniques. Aikido improves not only your physical conditioning - stamina, balance, flexibility, coordination and strength, but your mental conditioning as well: self-confidence, concentration, alertness, and overall well-being.
- What if I have no martial arts experience?
- Great! Aikido is like no other martial art. Each class focuses on developing the basics and fundamentals as a key to advanced training.
- How often do I have to come?
- All members are encouraged to practice as often as possible, but each student determines how many times per week or per month they are able to attend class. Classes are open to students of all levels. In any case, the pace of each class, whether relaxed or more vigorous, is also determined by the individual student.
- Who is the teacher?
- The chief instructor is Glenn Brooks, Shidoin, 6th Degree Black Belt. His study began in 1980 under one of the world's greatest teachers, the late Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th degree black belt. Tohei sensei trained in Japan directly under Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
- Where can I learn more about Aikido?
- There are resources and other good information on our links page.