Aikido is a traditional Japanese Martial Art that teaches compassion as the foundation for self defense. Conflicts are best resolved before violence erupts. The goal is not to defeat an opponent, but to change their spirit in a positive way. But should violence begin, Aikido teaches strategies such as returning the hostility to the attacker in the form of a throw or pin. The philosophy of Aikido can be used in all areas of life.
Aikido Westchester NY is affiliated with the main Aikido headquarters in Tokyo and follows in the powerful lineage of Morihiro Saito Sensei. Our Westchester dojo is supervised via the Takemusu Aikido Association.
Aikido Westchester NY is conveniently located with its own parking facility to serve the lower Westchester County region in areas such as Yonkers, New Rochelle, White Plains, Mount Vernon and the Bronx.
Steve Kanney is the chief instructor of the Aikido Westchester Dojo. He began martial arts training in 1972, and Aikido
in 1978. While starting with a student of Yamada Sensei, he first met Morihiro Saito Sensei at a 10 day seminar in the United States
in 1979. While he was not able to move to Japan as a formal student of Saito Sensei, he did continue to follow his seminars in the
U. S. and practice on his own in addition to his regular Aikido training. He moved to New York in 1983 and first met Seiichi Sugano
in 1989. His practice gravitated towards Sugano Sensei's approach over time, while he continued to accumulate experience with Morihiro
Saito Sensei. With the passing of Sugano Sensei in 2010, he was encouraged to reconnect with the lineage of Morihiro Saito.
The principles of Aikido can be learned through Aikido training itself, or through other forms of knowledge. Steve Kanney has trained in wrestling
(5 years), Karate (4 years), Jujitsu informally (4 years) and studied Tai Chi since 1999. He also began the study of Chinese Zen with
one of the more advanced teachers in the world from 1996 until his teacher left the country due to health in 2006. Zen and martial
arts training maintain a long history of close association: “Zen discipline is simple, direct, self-reliant, self-denying…A good fighter
is generally an ascetic or stoic, which means he has an iron will. This, when needed, Zen can supply.” - DT Suzuki Zen and Japanese
Culture (pg 62)
He also spent over 20 years as a financial professional and currently works to help individuals learn how to manage
their finances in a manner consistent with the principles of Aikido.
A typical 1.5 hour class begins with 30 minutes of basics training from static against strong grabs or strikes. It is followed by 30 minutes of application at a faster pace and then 30 minutes of weapons training.
Emphasis on Basics, Particularly Strong Hips
Extensive Weapons: Sword and Staff System of the Aikido Founder.
Gradual Progression from Basics to Highest Forms of Martial Arts Training
Class starts with exercise - push ups, attention exercises involving running,
bear crawls, etc. We then move into study of basics where the child learns to throw someone who is grabbing with resistance. We may
continue with faster techniques and then have them practice defending themselves against random/sneak attacks or multiple attacks.
We might finish with games that teach evasive movements for multiple attacks or other Aikido skills. Weapons training is an important
part of the practice as the children mature.
In response to questions from children, we might discuss the application of the principles
of non-violence in daily life or other principles. In this way children are engaged with their world and exploring how the principles
taught in class might improve their results in daily life.
Using this method the class can be loose and/or fast paced at times. Yet
every aspect of the class is designed to teach at a deep level so the function of principles can come to life in the child’s world.
By conforming to the underlying principles of Aikido as outlined above, the approach is an authentic martial discipline with a target
of profound benefits.