Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Annual New Year's Day Class @10AM

Start 2017 off on the right foot, with Aikido! Current, past, and new students welcome! Resolve to be a better you!

Our New Year's Day Class is a Rochester Dojo tradition for decades. It's a class we use to mark our dedication to a practice which continues to be such a rich and rewarding component of our lives. Our practice is not just about learning "to boot people in the head" (Google it, it's funny) but about how our time invested in the dojo yields returns in our daily lives. Aikido practice helps manage stress but more importantly it teaches you how to process events in a more constructive manner so that the stress doesn't manifest in the first place. It's an odd thing to say that putting yourself in a dojo where people are going to attack you repeatedly lowers stress, but there is a logic to it. Your fellow students create a sort of play for you in every attack, scaled personally for your level with the goal of your personal growth. Then, you return their favor by being sensitive to their needs to grow and giving yourself to play that part in their story.

The best way to truly understand this is to experience it first hand. We invite new students and old friends to come to this New Year's Day class, or any of our classes for that matter, to start or renew that fire within.

Sunday January 1st, 10AM, Every Year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

The dojo will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thurs. 11/24.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Classes Cancelled

Classes have been cancelled tonight (Mon. 11/21/16) due to the dangerous driving conditions that have been forcasted for tonight's evening commute.

Be safe out there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Inviting all Kokikai Aikidoka

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September Announcements

There are two items of interest to announce,  first,  Sensei Judy Warner will be in town this weekend and leading practice on Saturday morning.

Second is that next Thursday, 9/29, we will have a dojo meeting at 7:30pm after an abbreviated 7pm class.  The main topic is the new Aikido Kokikai Federation USA.  Please feel free to ask me about it off you can't make the meeting.   There is also a blue folder near the sign in book with information about the federation.   Please join us if you can as this is your dojo too.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Labor day

Please enjoy the holiday.   There are no classes Monday but we'll be back on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

To The Future...

Tonight, we said a heartfelt thank you to Judy Warner Sensei for over 3 decades of dedication to Kokikai and especially to the Rochester dojo.  Judy Sensei spends much of her time these days on the west coast but is still and important part of our history and future.  Though tonight was about formally thanking Judy Sensei and bestowing the title of Sensei Emeritus, it was also about officially recognizing Marcella Sensei's role as co-chief instructor of the Rochester Dojo.  She has been serving in that capacity for some time now but it was time to officially recognize it.  Judy Sensei had written a letter to that effect several months ago, a letter that is now posted in the dojo for all to read.  Marcella Sensei wanted to wait until Judy Sensei could be with us to mark the occasion.

It is a great pleasure and honor to serve the dojo with such fine martial artists.

I'd like to also take this opportunity to make note of the progress in the dojo.  We just wrapped up a whirlwind couple of weeks for our studies.  Starting with Sensei at the 40th Annual Summer Camp, where we were treated to see the progress of the dojo embodied in the performance of our test cohort.  It continued with Sensei's annual visit to Rochester, a privilege earned by the dedication each of you puts forth every day.  This year we got an extra bonus with Dave Comi Sensei leading us in class on Monday night, giving us a look into the unique perspective of one who feels Sensei's ki more than most. These intensive periods of study reinvigorate us and our practice and the coincident results of our test candidates are a visible sign of our progress as a martial arts community.  Ours is an art that cannot be practiced in isolation.  It relies on the partnership of people who will truly test our skill with neither malice nor apology but with a grin.  We grow together.

With that, please join me in congratulating:

Ni Dan
Len Butler

Kerman Bharucha
Andrew Robertson

2nd Kyu
Jim Keeler
Bill Bechdel

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dojo Seven Day Forecast!

We have a busy week ahead of us at the dojo…
  • Tues. 8/2 - Camp Rank/Belt Promotions – 6:00 pm class
  • Sat. 8/6 & Sun. 8/7 – Seminar with Sensei at the Rochester dojo, see brochure for details including class times, highlights:
    • Fri. 8/5 - Dinner @ Shema – 7:30 pm – Please let Brian Sensei know if you would like to attend
    • Sat. 8/6 – Break/Lunch @ Location-TBD – 12:15 pm-3:00 pm
    • Sat. 8/6 - Dinner  @ Sakura Home – 7:30 pm, Party to follow at Rose Sensei & Paul Sensei’s home
    • Sun. 8/7 - Lunch @ Location-TBD – 12:00 noon
  • Mon. 8/8 - Guest instructor Dave Comi Sensei - 6:00 pm & 7:00 pm class – Genesee Brew Pub after class
  • Tues. 8/9 - Judy Warner Sensei (Co-Chief Instructor-Rochester dojo) visiting the dojo - 6:00 pm class

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dojo Update for July '16

We just finished up with our summer regional practice to get us in the swing for camp and Sensei's visit to Rochester.  We were treated to three great examples of testing, two from our friends and Eastern Sky and our own Mark Douglas.

So Congratulations to:

Paul from Eastern Sky on his 6th Kyu Test

Mark Douglas on his 4th Kyu Test

Anna from Eastern Sky on her 2nd Kyu Test.

In dojo testing for 2nd kyu and above are fairly rare events so the stakes were set that much higher.  Paul Gardner Sensei had her treat us to the first Jo and Bokken kata, some re-cap throws from previous tests, and her signature throw to up the ante.

We also took this opportunity to say farewell to Timur who is moving to Scranton.  Timur has been a great addition to our family and I am sure we will see more of him.  Timur plans to start a dojo in Scranton once he is settled in.

FYI - Next week is camp.  We will be holding almost all our classes despite many of our students and teachers going to camp.  The only cancellation is the 7pm class this Thursday.

Don't forget to sign up for Sensei in Rochester, August 6th and 7th.  If you register prior to this Tuesday, you can take advantage of the discount.  I'll take a 50% deposit to secure the discount.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nothing happened

Nothing happened on my walk after dinner tonight.  Nothing happened as the young woman of a couple ran up ahead of her male companion.   Nothing happened as he walked at my 7 o'clock. Nothing happened as I picked up my pace a half step,  still at my 7.  Nothing happened as I slowed my pace a half step, still at my 7, the girl up ahead looking back. Nothing happened as the girl started back imploring her companion to go saying "I don't like him". Nothing happened as I cut right at the next street.

Were they just out for a stroll after a few drinks or were they on the hunt?  Trouble does come in numbers,  but awareness is ki to not finding it.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Regional Practice

The Rochester and Eastern Sky dojos invite any and all Kokikai students who wish to join us for a pre-camp regional practice from 10AM to Noon on Saturday, July 23rd.

We will be "borrowing" Cecelia Sensei's June Seminar format.  Stay tuned for a detailed schedule of instructors and topics to be covered.  We will also be doing some testing, so please feel free to come and visit.  Let us know if you need a place to crash.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Camp/Test Prep Starts Next Week!

It’s time for camp/test prep! 

Summer Camp is scheduled for July 28-31 at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ and that means…

The 2016 summer session of camp/test prep kicks off next week on Thurs., June 9. 

All are welcome and as usual, we will kick it up a notch for camp/test prep classes. Beginners will be taken good care of so don't hesitate to come as well. 

Camp/test prep will run for 6 weeks, every Thursday from 6:00-7:00 pm and continued in the 7:00-8:00 pm class. 


  • A weekly challenge will be facilitated by test candidates (think Bring Sally Up/Down!) 
  • As usual, week 1 and 6 we’ll have video review for baseline and progress. However both nights filming will begin at 6:45 pm followed immediately by review. We are hoping this will allow more people to participate 

Remember, if you are not testing, we will need ukes of all types, so please come and support your fellow aikidoka. 

Camp/test prep has been a long standing tradition in Rochester which, with your support we’ll continue to enhance everyone's quality of practice. 

 Thank you, Marcella and Brian

Friday, April 29, 2016

Kokikai Events for Spring/Summer 2016

Kokikai Events for Spring/Summer 2016-

Additional details and seminar forms can be found in the dojo. Check the bulletin board or ask a black belt.

May –
5/13-5/15 - Seminar with Rick Goodman Sensei hosted by Eastern Sky Kokikai

June –
6/11-6/12 – 3rd Annual June Workshop - Seminar with various Kokikai instructors – Rowan University – Glassboro, NJ

July –
7/28-7/31 – 40th Annual Summer Camp - Rowan University – Glassboro, NJ

August –
8/5-8/6 - Seminar with Sensei hosted by Aikido Kokikai Rochester 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Testing in the Dojo

Congratulations to Aaron, Ken, and Scott on their tests this week!  Watching the dojo grow and progress is ever inspiring.

Testing on 4/21 were:

6th Kyu:

Aaron Micheau
Ken Armstrong

4th Kyu

Scott Andrews

Monday, April 4, 2016

PayPal Links

All the PayPal links should be operating correctly now.  thanks for the heads up that a couple were wrong.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Camp Testing

Please join me in congratulating Hugh and Jason on their tests this weekend at camp.  They both represented the dojo admirably.  We were also treated to Ayano's first kyu test and she was the epitome of being the perfect height.

Hugh Higgins

1st Kyu
Jason McEvoy

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Please join me in congratulating Colin on an excellent 6th kyu test tonight.  Colin was unable to make testing last week but has made an full recovery so we didn't hesitate to do his test. 

6th Kyu
Colin O'Malley

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Snow day!

Classes are canceled tonight due to road conditions.   Be safe.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Please join me in congratulating your fellow aikidoka who advanced another major step in their journey.  We had two great tests last night supported by an awesome turnout (17!) despite some typical February inclement weather. 

Congrats to:

4th Kyu
Curtis Jacobs

5th Kyu
Mark Douglas

We still have one more test to go once he is released from the evil grips of the dreaded rhinovirus.  March should also bring us some great opportunities for growth as we have a nice influx of new students in December/January. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Double Feature

Please come to the dojo next Thursday (2/11/16) for a double feature...
  • 6:00 pm - Winter Camp/Test Prep
  • 7:00 pm – Testing
Remember it takes a dojo to raise a black belt!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Speaking of Test Prep... Camp is coming

Don't for get to register!  Deposit has to arrive by February 5th, so get it in the mail before Feb 1st!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Winter Camp/Test Prep

It’s that time of year!

Winter Camp is scheduled for March 4-6 in Lawrenceville, NJ and that means…

The 2016 winter session of camp/test prep kicks off on Thursday, January 21.

All are welcome and as usual, we will kick it up a notch for camp/test prep classes. Beginners will be taken good care of so don't hesitate to come as well.

Camp/test prep will run for 6 weeks, every Thursday night from 6:00 -7:00 pm and continued in the 7:00-8:00 pm class.

As usual, week 1 and 6 we’ll have video review for baseline and progress. Please be prepared to stay a little later those nights.

Remember, if you are not testing, we will need ukes of all types, so please come and support your fellow aikidoka.

Camp/test prep has been a long standing tradition in Rochester which, with your support we’ll continue to enhance everyone's quality of practice.

Thank you,

Marcella and Brian

Friday, January 8, 2016

A moment of silence.

Please join me in a moment of silence to remember Sensei Rick Packard.  Rick was a long time member of our dojo.  Often attending nearly every class a week until suffering a stroke, which is about the only think that could stop a man of his determination and dedication.

To those that new him best, raise a glass in his honor.