Shoshinkan Dojo is the oldest running Aikido dojo in Rhode Island. Founded in 1998 and affiliated with the Aikido Association of America.
We are a community of martial artists dedicated to the study of Aikido. Our Dojo name Shoshinkan was given to us by Fumio Toyoda Shihan and can be translated as the place of the beginners mind.
This beginners mind or perspective is especially important in regards to our martial training and personal lives. How often do our minds trick us into believing we’ve learned all we can know about any given topic, pursuit or scenario? This beginners mind is fresh, open and eager to learn without fear of making mistakes.
Another interpretation provided to us by Kengo Hatayama Shihan is honest mind, correct mind. When pressed further he exclaimed shoshin is when a person finds a lost wallet and only thinks of returning it intact to its owner without hesitation. These definitions of shoshin are what we as as a dojo or community have slowly over time and patient practice matured into.
This maturity has lead us to maintain high technical standards and rebuke the commercialism often seen in American martial arts. We adhere to the traditional aspects of martial training, which requires strong emphasis on form and etiquette leading to a true understanding of the martial way.
Join us in the spirit of shoshin.
Saturday Mornings: 10 – 11am
Thursday: 6 – 7pm
Saturday: 11 – 12pm
Thursday: 7 – 8pm
Saturday: 12 -1pm
We offer your choice of either a Day or an Evening membership. Dues for adult/youth students is $100/month; dues for children is $60/month. If you would like to try Aikido it is a $10.00 per hour mat fee.
Aikido is a modern martial art developed from a foundation of Samurai arts in Japan. Techniques are applied by extending the attacker’s incoming force to a point where he/she has lost balance. From here, the practitioner applies either a throw or a pin. The techniques are based on body mechanics, and Aikido techniques can be applied without being destructive to the body. This enables people of all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities to be effective martial artists.
Breakwortk, Ki and Connection class is a new Internal Training class being offered at City Aiki.
Our weekly class focuses on developing control of our breathing through a series of exercises that concentrate on the development of diaphragmatic breath patterns. By learning to breath slowly inhaling through the nose bringing air deep into the belly we begin to experience a relaxed present state of being. This alert relaxed state is the foundation of pure martial training. Having a sense of being rooted in our lower abdomen fosters calmness and leads to being less impulsive or reactionary. Again a very important trait for a martial artist.
With ongoing practice of breath control we begin to have the option of choosing when to be assertive and clear about our boundaries and emotional states.This class is a precursor to both internal training such as Zazen and the demanding physical of aspects of Aikido training. Each week we explore: Kokyu (breathing methods), Ki (mind / body coordination exercises), and Ai (connection).
Tuesday: 6 – 7 pm
Zazen is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, to be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment.
Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.
“Zen is to transcend life and death (all dualism), to truly realize that the entire universe is the “True Human Body,” through the discipline of “mind and body in oneness.” Miyamoto Niten (Musashi) called it Iwo no mi* (body of a huge boulder—going through life rolling and turning like a huge boulder); Yagyu Sekishusai named it Marobashi no michi* (a bridge round like a ball—being in accord with the myriad changes of life). Besides this actual realization, there is nothing else.
Zen without the accompanying physical experience is nothing but empty discussion. Martial ways without truly realizing the “Mind” is nothing but beastly behavior. We agree to undertake all of this as the essence of our training.
All our students, strive diligently! Gentlemen of the Rinzai Honzan (Main Temple) in Japan, open your eyes to this and together let us send it out to the world.”
- Archbishop Omori Sogen Rotaishi,
1 October 1979
Tuesday: 7 – 8pm