What is Aikido?
Generally known as a non-violent art of self-defense, Aikido was originated by Master Morihei Ueshiba after many years of training in both weapon and free hand arts. It is one of the most modern of all Japanese Budo (way of life through the principles of martial arts). The name Aikido was adopted in 1942 to shift the emphasis from martial art to a way of life, by removing the word Bu which means martial. The word Aikido comes from "Ai", meaning harmony, one.ness, agreement; "Ki", meaning nature, spirit, or universal energy; and "Do", meaning road, path, or way of life. Aikido then is a WAY OF LIFE THROUGH HARMONY WITH NATURE. Its outstanding features are its refinement from a physical martial art to an ethical but highly efficient art of self-defense and way of life that people, young and old, can practice and enjoy.
Benefits of Aikido training include:
· Promotes Health
Develops stamina and endurance as well as balance – both mental and physical.
· Unifies Body, Mind and Spirit
Heightens mental concentration as the body and mind are trained to work together in a focused and efficient way.
· Develops Character
Promotes honesty, kindness, self-respect and respect for others. Improves interpersonal relations. Nurtures the growth of self-discipline.
· Teaches Self-Defense
Trains the student to use effective self-defense techniques that neutralize an attack without causing serious injury to the attacker.
· Provides Alternatives in Conflict Resolution
Aikido, used as a metaphor, illustrates numerous alternatives to the use of force in resolving conflict.
Seidokan is a system of Aikido which emphasizes the balanced study of the principles and arts in accordance with the founder's teachings. One of the pri.mary objectives of Seidokan is to study the founder's sayings in Japanese, analyze them thoroughly, and relate them to the practice of Aikido techniques. Also at Seidokan, we are dedicated to developing methods to apply the founder's teachings in our modern way of life.
At Seidokan Aikido Dojo, students and instructors grow together. The students learn the basics from the instructors and the instructors gain deeper understanding of Aikido while sharing their knowledge with the students. Through earnest, realistic, and sincere training, we can realize the true meaning of Aikido.
Although Seidokan is independent from Japan, it was recognized by Master Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the late Doshu and Chairman of the Aikikai in Tokyo, Japan (Aikido Hombu Dojo).
Seidokan founder and former director Rod T. Kobayashi Shihan taught at California State University at Fullerton and at California State University at Long Beach and was a member of the Honor Society for International Scholars.
Kobayashi Sensei passed away in 1995. The Seidokan Organization continues with the assistance of the Kobayashi family and dedicated students of Seidokan Aikido.
Mark Crapo, O.M.D., D.Ac., B.S., C.A., L.Ac.
Dr. Mark Crapo currently holds the rank of sheichidan (7th degree black belt) and the title of Shihan Bucho in Seidokan Aikido. He started training in Hombu style Aikido in 1973 under Harry Ito Sensei in Hawaii. Ito Shihan is today one of the oldest and most respected living Aikido Instructors in Hawaii. At that time Mark was already a brown-belt in Judo and had been the
One of the two most influential of Dr. Mark’s instructors was Tri Thong Dang Shihan. Mark studied with him at his headquarters dojo: The Budo Education Center, while stationed at Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA. Tri Sensei was the Founder and President of the Vietnamese Judo Association, the Vietnamese Aikido Association, as well as a high ranking Karate instructor and a Master of several styles of Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qi Gong. Tri Sensei had studied Aikido in Japan as a live-in student (uchi-deshi) of O Sensei and with Nakazono Shihan in France, South Africa and South America.
After practicing at a number of dojo in Los Angeles Dr. Mark finally settled at the Aikido Institute of America. Here he began an almost 20 year relationship with Seidokan Aikido Founder: Rod Kobayashi Shihan who quickly became the other major Aikido influence in Mark’s life.
In addition to studying across the States Mark has studied in both Hombu style and Ki Society (Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido) dojo in Tokyo, Kyoto and Chiba Japan. In 1989 he became a certified instructor in the Aikido Association of America under Fumio Toyoda Shihan. In 2000 he was recognized as Shihan by Ki Aikido International. Dr. Mark is currently a Seichidan or 7th degree black belt in Seidokan Aikido. He is listed in Who’s Who of Aikido published in Japan and has been inducted into the World Christian Martial Arts Hall of Fame and awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
551 E. Michigan Ave.
Battle Creek, MI 49014
8534 Portage Rd.
Portage, MI 49002