2019 Fee Changes

As a reminder, Aikido Olympia will be increasing our fees in January 2019. Our Dojo remains 100% volunteer and non-profit, but we still have to pay our rent, electric, water, and for some ongoing maintenance. 

Monthly Annual Dojo     Maintenance Drop In 
Adults $90 $60 $20 per visit
Students and
$80 $40 $20 per visit
Senior Center/
Parks & Rec.       Evergreen
As described in    flyerNone – though   donations are   welcome N/A

*To continue supporting families who participate in our dojo, we’re simplifying things and taking $15 off for each additional family member.  

Aikido in Daily Life: December 2018

We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.

At the  end of the year we reflect on the previous year and on our practice. There are many ways that we can all do this.  For some it will be quietly considering what we have appreciated and what we hope to continue in the coming year.  Others will take some time to evaluate the year and make plans about how they’ll conduct their life in 2019. Regardless, as cycles come to an end, it is human nature to contemplate how we are affected or how we have made an impact on the events in which we were involved. For Aikidoka, we should recognize that the natural cycles of the year are greater than ourselves and, although we may play a role, it’s most important that we are present and alive as we move along our path. From a certain perspective this is applying the S.O.F.A. approach, that we discuss in class, to life more broadly – Show up, Observe, Focus, and Accept the outcomes. 

Approaching life from this perspective doesn’t require a plan or a strategy. Instead it requires a quiet confidence in our own resilience and a willingness to open our hearts and minds to whatever comes next. These characteristics emerge as we become more disciplined and expand our awareness to new levels. Moreover, they are the very things we develop and hone through our Aikido practice.

We have enjoyed another wonderful year practicing together, and may we continue this journey together in 2019!

By Nate Weed


The kanji that hangs on the shomen at Akido Olympia is Kokoro. Kokoro means heart! but not just the internal organ of a heart (though it can mean that too, and if you look at it, it looks like a heart but usually when used this way the kanji is called “shin”).  Native Japanese speakers tell us that kokoro is well understood in Japanese, but that it’s very difficult to translate in English. As Aikidoka we have a bit of an advantage in understanding this because it aligns with our concept of integrating mind, body, and spirit (which we learn are not different things) as whole human beings. 

As we move into the holiday season, we hear a lot about opening our hearts, giving of ourselves, and love. These are aspects of kokoro and aspects of Aikido that should apply at all times, but we can certainly use this time of year, and the many opportunities it brings, to learn more about how we have integrated our mind, body, and spirit as we spend time in our community and with our families. 

By Nate Weed

Holiday Schedules

    • Basic Adult Aikido: Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 – 6:55 PM
    • General Adult Aikido: Monday and Wednesday beginning at 7:00 PM and Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 6:30 PM
    • Zazen Meditation: Monday from 7:50 – 8:40 PM 
    • Youth Aikido: Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 – 6:25 PM
    • Bell Misogi: Saturday 7:00 – 8:00 AM
    • Instructor’s Class: Saturday 8:00 – 9:00 AM
    • Introduction to Aikido: Saturday November 17th from 10:00 – Noon
    • No class November 22nd – 24th for the Thanksgiving Holiday
    • Winter Breath Training: December 3rd – 7th every morning 5:30AM to 6:15AM.
    • Promotional Demonstrations: Friday December 14th, 5:30 – when we’re done (and a “snack-luck” to follow)
    • Annual Dojo clean up event: All are encouraged to participate… Saturday December 15th 9:00 – when we’re finished
    • Winter Break: December 15th – 31st
    • New Year’s Water Misogi: January 1st… Meet at the Dojo at 7:00AM
    • First class of 2019: January 2nd

Aikido in Daily Life: November 2018

We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.

In our practice we struggle to figure out how to live in harmony with the world around us. As we begin this process, we must assess how willing we are to extend our trust to others as we allow them to use our bodies to practice techniques. Eventually we become more comfortable with extending that trust and we increase our confidence that things will usually work out well. As our practice continues, we must learn to apply this reinforcing cycle to extend trust off the mat. This may be extending trust in our personal relationships, maybe in our work relationships, and possibly in all of our interactions with others. The key ingredient in moving from one level to another is optimism. 

When we can look at the world with positivity and confidence that even the things that can hurt or injure us will work out pretty well, then we can more easily extend trust to others. Ultimately, our practice is that we can extend this trust to everyone. This does not mean that we don’t make sure we can take care of ourselves but it means that we can truly show everyone respect and that we can approach everyone with a positive bias. At this level in our training we assess what we need in order to truly realize that aspiration.

By Nate Weed

The Essential (Aikido Olympia) Martial Arts Book List

As we approach the holidays, Aikido Olympia will have some extra spaciousness for spending time family and friends, and perhaps some introspection. During this time, we know that some of you will want to continue practicing in different ways and some of you may choose to invest in some reading time. Here are some tried and true suggestions. 

#1  The Book of Five Rings or the “Go Rin No Sho” which was written in 1643 by the famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. This book focuses on strategy in martial arts but provides strategies that apply to many aspects of life. 

#2  The Art of War. This book is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu and was written in about 500 BC. In this text the author (or probably authors) provide a number of concepts worthy of contemplation for both martial practices and life in general. 

#3  The Unfettered Mind. Perhaps you’ve heard of the daikon radish? Well, Takuan Soho, the same Zen monk that developed that radish also wrote a foundational martial arts text in about 1630. This book focuses on the cultivation of the mind and intention. 

#4  The Life Giving Sword. Right above, the work of Takuan Soho is recommended. In fact, that book is the result of Master Takuan’s relationship with Yagu Munenori, the author of The Life Giving Sword. Yagu Munenori comes up in class on a not infrequent basis because it provides insight into the 500 year old process of turning people into complete human beings through martial practice. 

A web search conducted prior to writing this article resulted in several lists of essential martial arts books. Many of them are focused on books about techniques or styles. This list focuses on books that shaped the martial arts themselves and influenced martial artists for hundreds of years. There are several different translations available for each of these books and each one contains some of the author’s bias. The key for Aikidoka to get the most from these books is to consider the material in the context of our practices – living in harmony with the energy of the universe. 

With any recommended reading list, people will have different thoughts. This is expected, as is some discussion at the dojo about these books and others (and there are so many others that could be considered essential reading for martial artists). Additionally, if you’re looking for perhaps more specific reading ideas or possibly some lighter reading material, don’t hesitate to ask. 


By Nate Weed

Aikido in Daily Life: October 2018

We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.

Ma’ai… Time, options, and our decisional space. The practice of aikido emphasizes relationships in space and in time. We strive for a harmonious spacing or ma’ai when we’re practicing in the dojo. Our goal, however, is to take that concept and use it in our daily lives. Ma’ai is a particularly useful concept when we use it to shape our decision-making. 

We’re all faced with many decisions, some decisions are relatively minor:  “Should I get another cup of coffee?” Other decisions are much more significant: “Should I engage in a violent act that may alter my life or someone else’s life forever?” Sometimes we have a great deal of time and information to use in our consideration of the options and other times we have to decide in a split second. Regardless of the situation or the decision, we have a set of options that decrease over time. 

By focusing on proper ma’ai in this context, we can grow our ability to make decisions early and when we have many options available to us. This leads to a couple of things. First, it helps us respond sooner, or be more responsible. Second, it shapes how we apply our personal power in our lives by being intentional and effective with our influence.  


By Nate Weed

Reflecting Practice in Demonstrations

This month many of us will have opportunities to participate in demonstrations. The Fall Arts Walk occurs on October 5th and our dojo will hold promotional demonstrations on October 12th.  Because of this, I want to share a couple of thoughts about what makes a good demonstration. 

First, those demonstrating their practice have to have a clear sense of what they’re demonstrating. This may sound funny but there are different aspects of our practice that can be highlighted in a demonstration. Technique, centeredness, calmness under pressure, moving in harmony with a partner, moving in harmony with a group of partners, reflecting the rhythm of the universe while moving in harmony with a bunch of partners. Ok, the last one’s a little aspirational but you should have the idea. 

Second, demonstrations typically elevate the connection between uke and nage. Similar to dancing, when people watch aikido it becomes obvious how well the two (maybe more) partners are connected with one another. 

Third, we can see a broader awareness of the space and timing. Working through demonstrations, it’s important to have awareness of the space, the people in the space, the area around the space, and the timing of the techniques and falls that you’re presenting. A big part of a demonstration is to let the people watching see what you’re doing. Big throws are exciting and engaging; complex joint locks are hard to see from across the room. 

Finally… Joy! Everyone wants to see you having a good time. 


By Nate Weed

Aikido in Daily Life: September 2018

We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.

The harder things are often the right things to do. Perhaps this is giving an apology, giving a co-worker uncomfortable feedback, or getting up early so that we have enough time to get ready for work without racing around. There are many examples of situations where we’re faced with a difficult option and an easy option. So, how does our practice help us choose the harder thing/ the right thing?

The practice of Aikido in daily life is generally about applying the fundamentals of relaxing completely, focusing on our center, and extending ki as much of the time as we’re able to. If we diligently practice doing this, it becomes easier and we spend more of our time living in this capable state. Additionally, we develop our ability to maintain relaxed, centered, awareness when circumstances become challenging.  Through that, a couple of things tend to happen – first, in being relaxed and centered we generally do a better job of making the right decision, and, second, by being centered and extending ki we are more easily able to enter into the harder choices.  As a bonus to our practice, we learn to approach challenges and obstacles with an open heart – both considering the well-being of others and having compassion for ourselves. This provides a unique advantage in our personal resilience as we choose harder things and learn from them.


By Nate Weed

Aikido Olympia Dojo Fee Changes in 2019

Aikido Olympia has carefully evaluated our fee schedule as we move into 2019. As an organization, it is important for us to keep costs low and to make Aikido accessible to as many people as possible. We do this by working to negotiate the lowest rent that we can, minimizing our use of utilities, relying on all of our non-profit board members to contribute to the overall upkeep and operations, and, of course, continuing a tradition of our instructors volunteering. And, we also appreciate the training space in downtown Olympia that we’ve developed over the years.  

To continue operating the Aikido Olympia dojo as we have, fees will have to be increased in 2019. The plan is to increase the monthly dues by $10 for adults and students. The drop-in rate will also be increased from $15 to $20. Finally, we will increase the Annual Dojo Maintenance Fee by $10 for adults and $5 for students. To continue supporting families who participate in our dojo, we’re simplifying things and taking $15 off for each additional family member. 

Beginning January 2019


Annual Dojo Maintenance








$20 (per visit)


Senior Center/Parks & Rec/Evergreen

As described in flyer

None – though donations welcome

These fees will go into effect on January 1st, 2019. If you have questions or would like to provide feedback on this, please let an instructor know. 


By Nate Weed