… our Dojo
At Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai (“AASBK”), we practice traditional Aikido with a teaching paradigm emphasizing the underlying principles taught by O-Sensei (Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba). For this purpose, we have incorporated Dan Harden’s Sangen practice of internal power and aiki into our Aikido. You’ll find in our dojo a caring community of martial artists who maintain a friendly and genuine environment of sincere training.
AASBK was founded in 2007, when Marc Abrams Sensei had decided to explore the principles underlying Aikido and new teaching paradigms for more complete and rapid transmission to students. He opened the first AASBK dojo in Bedford Hills, New York, that year, under the Shin-Budo Kai (“SBK”) umbrella, headed by Abrams Sensei’s teacher, Shizuo Imaizumi, Shihan. We have been carrying on this tradition of exploration and in-depth teaching ever since.
We are fortunate at AASBK to have a very direct lineage from Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, (“O-Sensei”). Only three of O-Sensei’s direct students remain in the United States, and one of these is Imaizumi Shihan, who teaches classes daily in the New York City SBK dojo. So AASBK’s teachers are second- and third-generation students of Aikido benefiting from a direct transmission.
Our dojo students enjoy a genuine camaraderie, and we each strive to improve the level of practice, both in ourselves and our fellow dojo members. As we all learn from each other, our students strive to be good teachers to fellow students. Our students are of all levels. For some, Aikido is their first experience in the martial arts, while others start at the dojo after many years of prior experience in Aikido or other fighting arts or sports. We adjust the level of our practice according to each student’s ability.
Our senseis also bring their wealth of experience, complementing the Aikido training with experience from, for example, other martial arts and real-life law enforcement. We teach genkido (traditional Aikido movement exercises) and have an extensive, traditional-weapons curriculum that incorporates bokken, jo, and tanto. We also conduct and host special classes and seminars on such topics as personal protection, meditation, and special subjects in Aikido and internal power, for example.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art with roots in the battlefields of 14th century, feudal Japan. As such, Aikido is practiced against both armed and unarmed attackers, utilizing the attacker’s energy to negate differences in height, weight, age, strength, and gender.
This martial art is primarily defensive. The founder of the art, Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969), referred to deferentially as “O-Sensei,” was a deeply spiritual man. He came to believe that Aikido had a higher purpose beyond being an effective form of self-defense. O-Sensei saw Aikido as a means to make the world a more peaceful and safer place and to make us more peaceful people. He developed the traditional arts from which Aikido derived into a peaceful martial art, focusing on throwing or immobilizing opponents without having to injure them.
While a person does not have to be spiritual for Aikido to be effective, Aikido can be a powerful transformational tool. Practitioners learn how to be relaxed, present, and fluid in stressful situations. The ensuing calm focus and increased awareness often lead to positive changes in the sense of self of practitioners and in their relationship with others — in addition to improving their situational awareness and personal safety.
… Imazumi Shihan and Shin-Budo Kai
Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei, 7th Dan, is the founder of Shin-Budo Kai Aikido. He began his Aikido career in April of 1959 while attending Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. He trained at the headquarters ( Aikikai Hombu Dojo) of Aikido in Tokyo, Japan and founded an Aikido club at Waseda University.
In 1965, with the rank of Sandan (3rd dan), became an apprentice to the teaching staff and his career as a professional Aikido instructor began. During this period he frequently took ukemi (receive techniques) from O-Sensei during the early morning classes when O-Sensei would demonstrate and teach. After O-Sensei’s death in April of 1969, Imaizumi Sensei was chosen to accompany Waka Sensei (the son of O-Sensei) and his wife to enshrine the remains of O-Sensei at the Ueshiba family graveyard in Tanabe, Japan.
Koichi Tohei Sensei, 10th Dan, was the Chief Instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo until he created his own organization, Ki-no-Kenkyukai (Ki Society) in 1974. Imaizumi Sensei followed Tohei Sensei in this new organization. Imaizmumi Sensei came to New York in 1975 to establish the New York Ki Society. He was also Chief Instructor in the United States for Ki Society. Imaizumi Sensei resigned from Ki Society in September of 1987.
Shin-Budo Kai was founded in October of 1988. Imaizumi Sensei continues to follow the teachings that he received from O-Sensei and other top instructors during his formative training years in Japan, while developing and offering his own perspectives on techniques, form and philosophy of Aikido. His weapons instruction draws from a variety of traditions, including the Itto Ryu and Shinkage Ryu, Aiki kenpo and Nihon Kendo styles of swordsmanship, and the Muso Ryu and Aiki Joho style of Jo (wooden staff) training.
Imaizumi Sensei continues to teach weekday evening classes at the New York City dojo (Shin-Budo Kai Hombu Dojo). Shin Budo Kai has affiliate dojos in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, Bedford Hills, New York, Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut, and Durango, Colorado.