Heaven and Earth Aikido is aﬃliated with The United States Aikido Federation and The Aikikai World Headquarters in Japan. Our purpose is to provide instruction in the martial art of Aikido according to the principles of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
Heaven and Earth Aikido is pleased to assist our Military Veterans. We invite you to read about our Veterans Assistance Program and the history of our Chief Instructor, Ericksen Sensei, which led to the dojo's founding.
Aikido is a true budo or Martial Way evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Studied in earnest, budo is more than a science of tactics and self-defense; it is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.
Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O-Sensei (Great Teacher) to more than one million students of Aikido throughout the world.
Even as a young man he was an extraordinary martial artist, a master of the arts of the sword, staff, spear and ju-jitsu. But O-Sensei also had a strong spiritual drive, and brooded over the futility of a path based on victory over others.
Leading a life of austerity and rigorous training, he struggled with this dilemma. It was resolved in a moment of profound awakening. Transformed by his spiritual insights, O-Sensei's technical mastery evolved into a martial art of refinement and astonishing power, fundamentally different from those that preceded it.
He wrote: “The secret of Aikido is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.” O-Sensei maintained that budo is a work of love, a path to overcome discord in ourselves and “to make the heart of the universe one's own heart.”
There have always been visionaries of remarkable insight, but O-Sensei taught that true awareness is not grasped by intellect alone. “This is not mere theory,” he said. “You must practice it.”
Aikido has no contests. It is based on mutual respect, cooperation and friendship. Its philosophy, ideals and ethics are inseparable from actual Aikido training.
Aikido develops an overall awareness and skill that allows the choice of a wide range of appropriate responses. It helps develop a strong yet supple, relaxed body as well as a calm clear mind. At its highest level Aikido is a welcome alternative to violence. In the words of the Founder, “Aikido is the loving protection of all beings.” It provides a powerful inner peace which can then be passed on to others.
Classes in classical Japanese weapons forms enhance and complement Aikido training. The use of the tanto (knife), bokken (wooden sword) and the jo (wooden staff) in paired practice aids the development of correct posture, timing and reflex reaction.
The Chief Instructor is Brian Ericksen, 4th Dan, Shidoin (Instructor). Ericksen Sensei has over 20 years of experience in Aikido. He was an Uchideshi (Inner student) to Sensei Yoshimitsu Yamada 8th Dan, Chairman of the USAF and direct student of Morihei Ueshiba. Sensei Seiichi Sugano was a mentor, as well as TK Chiba in whose orginization he started with and Tamura Sensei with whom he studied with France. He has taught around the world and founded a dojo in Annapolis Maryland previously. After the Iraq war he made Baghdad Aikikai teaching Aikido to Iraqi's, soldiers and civilians . He recently returned from Afghanistan where he taught Aikido to US Marines and soldiers. Aikido strengthened and sustained him throughout. He founded Heaven and Earth Aikido to pass on the martial and spiritual lessons he refined from these experiences.
Aikido should be fun while being good exercise and teaching self-control. Children respond positively to things that they enjoy. We design our classes to keep children engaged and make sure that they are having fun while they're learning. Students are taught basic and advanced skills by certified instructors, ensuring that students have an exceptional opportunity to develop. The proof is in the results with focused, happy children, who are both at harmony with themselves and their environment.
A "no impact" Aikido based movement, breath and meditation that is a gentle, no contact exercise class. Ericksen Sensei started doing this in Iraq and Afghanistan as a way to keep his Aikido in muscle memory and reduce stress. The movement includes Aikido techniques performed with and without a partner and breathing exercise. The simple and easy to learn and perform movements relieves stresses and keeps the body healthy. It is excellent for persons with physical disabilities who wish to learn and practice Aikido. This class provides persons with disabilities and unique opportunity to practice in a safe environment and experience the physical and spiritual teachings of the O'Sensei (founder of Aikido).
Military veterans with war related injuries and/or financial difficulties will be admitted for free.
We are pleased to have the world renowned Sensei Donovan Waite, 7th Dan, coming down to Heaven and Earth Aikido for his first seminar in the area in some time.
Heaven and Earth Aikido is pleased to hold the seminar with Waite Sensei in cooperation with the Southern Maryland Aikido Center (SMAC). The event will take place at 1282 Smallwood Drive West, #245, Waldorf, MD 20603. Directions can be found at smdaikido.com.
If you'd like to drop by the dojo, or if you have any questions about schedule, class particulars, or aikido in general, here's how to reach us:
Background images for the Aikido and Classes screens credit Vincent van der Pas, 2010.