Congratulations to Nathan on 9th Kyu!

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Congratulations to Nathan for achieving 9th Kyu Green Belt.  In addition to demonstrating proficiency in the curriculum for 9th Kyu as well as 10th kyu (https://www.rfaikikai.com/kidstests/), Nathan's been helping out in the little kids' classes and has been active in adult classes as well.  Nice work Nathan!

Roaring Fork Aikikai joins United States Aikido Federation

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Roaring Fork Aikikai (RFA) is excited to announce our acceptance as a member dojo of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF)!

Inspired by the early leadership of Shihans Yoshimitsu Yamada, Akira Tohei, Mitsunari Kanai and Seiichi Sugano, USAF now boasts a remarkable 49 Shihan who are actively teaching.  USAF is recognized by Hombu Dojo, the international aikido headquarters in Japan.  As a USAF member dojo, RFA can test its kyu-rank students according to the USAF test curriculum, and these belt ranks will be recognized throughout the USAF aikido community.  RFA black belt candidates will be invited to test for dan ranks at annual USAF events in the US in front of the USAF Technical Committee.

RFA's senior instructors Mike Jones Sensei and Chris Bergerud Sensei have studied within the USAF family throughout the US, and aspire to bring USAF's integrity and quality of teaching to the Roaring Fork Valley.  We also hope to bring some of these exceptional teachers out to Colorado so our students can experience for themselves the power and beauty of the instruction we've received.

Dojo Link:  http://usaikifed.com/dojos/roaring-fork-aikikai/

First Live Streaming Aikido Class

Thanks for all who participated in our first Facebook Live streaming video of Roaring Fork Aikikai's Saturday Aikido class.  Over 1700 views and counting, with comments from friends watching live from Ireland, Morocco, Cyprus and Japan!

A couple highlights from class:

At approx 1:12:00 Mike Jones Sensei performs a powerful demonstration of Katatetori Nikkyo with a Tenshin opening.  This is followed at approx 1:23:00 with a very fast Henka Waza from Nikkyo, shifting the technique into a knee-drop breakfall.

Click on the Facebook icon on the video to open to allow viewing in full screen.

Welcoming C-pher to Lead the Kids' Class Program for Ages 8-14

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We're very happy to announce that C-pher Bair is now leading our ages 8-14 Kids' Aikido program.  A couple years ago C-pher decided that to help build a strong aikido program in the valley, he'd just develop them from childhood!  Some of his students are now training with us and looking awesome.

Buildout nearly complete!

It's starting to feel real.  Buildout is days from completion now.  A thousand loose ends, but Mike and I took our first rolls and breakfalls on the new foam-padded plywood underfloor we built, and it felt pretty good!  Put some mats on top, we've got a dojo...  Highlights in the space are the bigassfan, which is MORE than enough to cool down the space, the backlit 'lantern' wall above the kamiza, wood paneling on the kamiza wall developed in the manner of the traditional Japanese charred cedar technique of shou sugi ban, and a sweet (!) reception desk / bar, which will get much use after class.

Thanks to the entire crew of contractors and volunteers, especially Steve DeClute, an exceptional general contractor and owner of Independent Construction Group, who has guided us each step of the way.  And thanks to Studio B Architects, who took on this little job in much part due to Design Principal Scott Lindenau's appreciation for aikido as an art form.

- Chris