New classes starting! Jodo, Art of Jo or short staff, Sunday 3-430 pm and Monday 8-9 pm Zen Meditation.

Heaven and Earth Aikido

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.

Aikido Weapons

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.

Chief Instructor

Ericksen Sensei with young students 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 organization 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 Iraqis, 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.


Dojo Hours

  • Mon
    • Aikido 5:30PM to 6:30PM
    • Misogi Aikido 6:45AM to 7:45AM
    • Zen Meditation 8:00PM to 8:45PM
    • Misogi for Veterans 6:45PM to 7:45PM
  • Tue
    • Aikido 6:00PM to 7:30PM
    • Kids Aikido 4:45PM to 5:45PM
    • Aikido 7:30PM to 9:00PM
  • Wed
    • Aikido 6:00PM to 7:30PM
    • Beginners Aikido 4:45PM to 5:45PM
  • Thu
    • Aikido 6:00PM to 7:30PM
    • Kids Aikido 4:45PM to 5:45PM
    • Aikido 7:30PM to 9:00PM
  • Fri
    • Aikido 5:30PM to 7:00PM
  • Sat
    • Aikido 11:00AM to 12:00PM
    • Misogi Aikido 9:45AM to 10:45AM
    • Ukemi/Weapons 12:15PM to 1:15PM
    • Aikido 8:30AM to 10:00AM
  • Sun
    • Jodo 3:00PM to 4:30PM
    • Qi-gung and Breathing Class 4:30PM to 6:00PM

Misogi Aikido

Misogi Aikido

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.

Kids Aikido

Young students at Cherry Blossom Festival demonstration 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.


Shindo Muso Ryu is an art is built around using a staff a little over four feet in length matched against a sword. In addition to the jo, Shindo Muso Ryu incorporates teachings from five other schools: Shinto Kasumi Ryu kenjutsu (sword), Uchida Ryu tanjojutsu (walking stick), Ikkaku Ryu juttejutsu (truncheon and fan), Isshin Ryu kusarigamajutsu (sickle and chain) and Ittatsu Ryu hojojutsu (rope-tying art).

Shindo Muso Ryu was kept for three hundred years as an art restricted to retainers of the Kuroda clan in Fukuoka City, Kyushu. Approximately 80 years ago, Shimizu Takaji Sensei was invited to come to Tokyo by Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, to teach at Kano's dojo as well as at other prominent dojos around Tokyo. The art of jo so impressed authorities, that they began to arrange teaching for the police. After the war, jodo was one of the first martial arts allowed to be practiced again by the occupation authorities, primarily for study by police.

Shimizu Sensei also taught jodo at the Rembukan dojo in Tokyo. Among his many famous students was the American, Donn Draeger Sensei (who received a posthumous menkyo kaidan or certificate of full transmission of the art). Upon retiring from the Tokyo Police, Shimizu Sensei was succeeded by his protege, Kaminoda Tsunemori Sensei, as instructor of the 4th division of the riot police, which is charged with guarding the Imperial family. Kaminoda Sensei also succeeded Shimizu Sensei as instructor at the Zoshukan (which became the new home for the Nihon Jodokai when the Rembukan was demolished) upon Shimizu Sensei's passing. Kaminoda Sensei was a close friend of Draeger Sensei and they learned the art of jodo together.

Today, there is no longer a recognized headmaster for Shindo Muso Ryu . Instead, the art is directed by a handful of senior Japanese instructors. We follow the teachings of Kaminoda Sensei of the Nihon Jodokai in Tokyo. He is Menkyo Kaiden, hachidan hanshi, chief instructor at the Zoshukan Temple dojo in Tokyo and the recognized headmaster of Isshin Ryu kusarigamajutsu. He is also the author or coauthor of authoritative volumes on kusarigama, jutte, kenjutsu, tanjo and the definitive jodo volume, Jodo Kyohan.

Capital Area Budokai

For more detailed information on the art, please visit the Capital Area Jodokai's website.

Qi-gung and Breathing Class


We offer morning, afternoon, and evening Aikido classes.

Grand opening seminar

Veterans Assistance Program

We invite you to watch our video, then consider donating to our GoFundMe campaign to support Heaven and Earth's Veterans Assistance Program.

Donate Here!


9/27, 11:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

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


Christmas, New Years Charity- Iraq and Cornerstone's DetailsDec 16 2014

Dear All,

Here are more details on the Christmas charity we are doing:

Food. Goes in box up front for Cornerstones.

Clothing. We are putting in women's changing room to give to The Closet.

Time. Cornerstones is full up with volunteers for now. Anyone still interested we will try to assist them in January.

Money. Tammy is collector of the funds so please give to her. Tony is very generously matching all donations received. 100% of funds will go to refugees from the ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide against Christians and Yezidi's in Iraq. We are assisting Father Douglas Bazi who is working in refugee camps to assist war survivors in the north of Iraq. Here is information on the Father and his story:

  1. Article. "Ainkawa, Iraq — During his days in Baghdad, Father Douglas Bazi survived a gunshot to the legs, a kidnapping that lasted nine days, and three explosions aimed at the Christian community. He watched his church shrink from 2,600 members to only 250, some of his flock perishing and many more fleeing. So when Bazi ministers to hundreds of refugees living in flimsy tents in his Ainkawa churchyard in Kurdistan, he can relate to their suffering."
  2. Wikipedia.
  3. Facebook.

We are doing the charity as a way to make the ideals of Aikido- giving, generosity, peace, acting in harmony with others around- real. If you can give something great and if not, please don't worry. We are assisting Iraq with funds as I know the suffering of those people well from time in service and with US AID and the State Department. To open a small part of this story, I was once responsible for the delivery of all school supplies from the US government to the Iraqi schools. Like so many of our soldiers and civilians I risked my life many times in the now vain hope that we were building a new and better country. Once I knew Baghdad better than any American as I visited hundreds of schools with supplies, sat in classrooms and talked to teachers and students about what they hoped for in a better Iraq. And like so many Iraq veterans it has been difficult to watch the terrible things happening recently. So this is a chance to in a small way to make a difference. Appreciate any contributions you can give. We are working out the details on how we will get funds to Father Bazi and I will give all details on how this will be done shortly. I have attached some pictures from the Father's work here.

And don't forget- Christmas Party Friday. Practice 530-700 and party after. There is a chance some of our friends from Shin Ryu Dojo in Ashburn will be visiting. Please make them welcome.


-- Brian Ericksen

Veterans Seminar Video and November O'Sensei ReadingNov 16 2014

Dear Heaven and Earth Dojo,

  1. The Veterans Seminar footage with Sensei Waite is on line-

Please watch. This is the ukemi we will be using in HEA. Technique is only understood through ukemi. Please watch carefully and so that it can augment the ukemi training we will be doing in the dojo.

I want to thank again Sensei Waite for coming down for the seminar, Southern Maryland Aikido Center for hosting and all for coming out. When all was said and done we were able to raise about a 1000 dollar that will go toward making the dojo a non-profit. Thanks to all who made out out. A great day of training.

  1. The November reading is attached. If you are interested in coming to the discussion group on the reading it is recommended but not necessary that one has read the chapter. Please try to pick out one passage that meant something to you from the reading though if possible.

Sincerely, Brian Ericksen

The Secret Teachings of Aikido Ch1

Contact Us

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:

Heaven and Earth Aikido

Address 688 Spring Street, Herndon VA, 20170 Open in Google Maps
Phone 703-629-1451

Background images for the Aikido and Classes screens credit Vincent van der Pas, 2010.