As the country begins to open up we still have a challenge. How do you practice Aikido without touching your partner? It’s difficult but there are ways we can continue and grow in the art.
The most obvious is to continue training with your jo and bokken. These weapons can work wonders for your technique. They are the template for our taijutsu, body art. Our buki waza, weapons art, trains you to move energy. As we study these forms you’ll start to see the similarities.
My current concern is the potential for more outbreaks due to the international protests. Proximity to others is the danger. Fortunately we have physicians who practice Aikido and can give us sound advice.
I have received messages from two of them warning us to take great care in reopening the dojo (see our FAQ below.
Russell Alvey Sensei
Dojo Cho/Chief Instructor
Rokudan/6th Dan, Aikikai
Join us to practice aikido in peaceful surroundings near the shores of Lake Lavon.
For over 30 years, North Texas Aikido has served the community with Iwama-Style Aikido in a safe, friendly atmosphere that fosters learning and development at a pace tailored to each individual student.
Join us for serious training in the peaceful and effective martial art of Aikido, at our free-standing dojo set back amongst the woods and plains of our eight-acre oasis away from the noise and distractions of city life.
The pandemic Coronavirus is spread principally by respiratory droplets, with a contribution from contact spread.. The virus is introduced into the nose or mouth by either breathing it in, in the case of droplets, or by touching the nose or mouth with an object contaminated with virus.
The danger zone for respiratory droplets depends upon many factors, but is generally agreed to extend at least 6 feet from the person exhaling virus.
It is important to understand that people infected with the virus can manifest no symptoms at all, or minimal symptoms easily attributed to some other noninfectious condition, and that neither coughing nor sneezing are required to expel infectious droplets. The mere act of breathing produces infectious droplets, and with each breath millions of viruses are excreted into the air.
Under the conditions of unrestrained empty handed aikido practice, where everyone trains with anyone, and where prolonged close physical contact occurs, the transmission of the Coronavirus by both the droplet route and by physical transfer will be maximized if an infected person participates in class. As a consequence, depending upon the peculiarities of who trains with whom in a given class, it is easily possible for a substantial fraction of attendees to that class to be successfully exposed to the Coronavirus and acquire the illness, potentially 100% of attendees. As such an infected person might attend multiple classes during the 2 weeks s/he is infectious, potentially the entire dojo membership could be successfully exposed. Depending upon the age and underlying health of the dojo members, there could easily be hospitalizations and deaths.
In short, no.
A screening program will minimize the number of such individuals participating in class but cannot achieve 0 such individuals. This is, in particular, due to the significant percentage of individuals who are infected and contagious but lack any symptoms. The problem is compounded by the lack of widespread, affordable, and rapid testing, which could identify infected individuals in a timely manner, as well as the many infected individuals who may have symptoms, just not cough or fever, and who may escape symptom based screening. As a result, no screening program ever implemented has, in fact, been successful in keeping an infected individual from, sooner or later, escaping detection and exposing others.
Probably not, if it is meant to mean it is impossible to be exposed as a consequence of attending modified aikido practice. If, instead, what is meant is that it is highly unlikely, given that the rules are followed, to be exposed, then the answer is yes. Unfortunately, that will mandatorily require discontinuation of one-on-one taijitsu, as no such close contact is possible without a substantial risk of exposure. Only individual practice, with individual weapons, is possible, employing the out of doors, distancing and, ideally, mask-wearing. The use of the dojo bathroom, and the dojo, will have to be interdicted, and socializing before and after class discouraged.
Once a vaccine is routinely available all of this changes.
Once every dojo member (and individual likely to be exposed as a natural result of being in the dojo) who wishes to attend open handed class has been infected, and survived, this can change.
Until one of those two outcomes has occurred, participation in open handed one-on-one aikido class risks exposure to the coronavirus and all the attendant consequences.
David Buhner, M.D.
David spent years as the chief epidemiologist for Dallas County. This coupled with achieving Dan rank in our dojo and beyond puts him in a unique position to comment on our response to the pandemic.
Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere. Morihei Ueshiba, O-Sensei
Iwama Style Aikido is the style of aikido that was taught at the Iwama dojo by the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, the lineage of which passed on through Morihiro Saito Shihan, a close student of O-Sensei, who was given responsibility over the Iwama dojo after O-Sensei's death.
The NTA dojo is open for Aikido classes Tuesday through Saturday of every week. Supervised open workout is available on Sundays. The dojo is closed on major holidays.
Visitors are always welcome to observe an Aikido class.
Afternoon 12 PM - 1 PM
Evening 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Evening 6 PM - 7 PM
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Afternoon 12 PM - 1 PM
Evening 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
11 AM - 12 PM
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
1:30 PM -
2 PM - 4 PM (when pre-arranged)
No classes on Monday
North Texas Aikido is located on the shores of Lake Lavon between Lucas and Culleoka on East Lucas Road (FM 3286), 8.5 miles east of Central Expressway (I-75).
From North Central Expressway (I-75), head east on Bethany Road towards Lucas. Continue east as Bethany turns into West Lucas Road (County Road 263). At the intersection of West Lucas Road, East Lucas Road, and Southview Drive (look for the Lucas Foods “BAIT SANDWICHES” store) turn left and head east on East Lucas Road (FM 3286). After you cross the first bridge over Lake Lavon, our driveway is 1/4 mile on your right.
Many GPS and map programs fail to correctly direct you to the dojo's driveway in the last mile.
The dojo driveway is located at 33.093127, -96.541227 (2150 East Lucas Road).
If you are having trouble finding the driveway entrance, please do not hesitate to call the dojo: 972.390.9600.