Aikido of Santa Cruz

True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

Aikido of Santa Cruz
306 Mission Street,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
fax: (831) 423-6156
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Aikido Summer Camp for Kids

The regular young people's classes at Aikido of Santa Cruz take the month of August off, but the Aikido Summer Camp for Kids takes place every year in the first full week of August. It is five days of fun, filled with Aiki games, practice with the Japanese wooden staff and wooden sword, a lesson in Japanese brush calligraphy, an outdoor training day (at DeLaveaga Park), and sushi to eat on Friday! (Alternatives will be provided for students who do not like sushi.) And of course, lots of training in Aikido techniques, rolling, "blending", and centering. Students learn non-violent resolutions to conflict while having fun in a safe environment.


2019 Aikido Summer Camp at a Glance:

Dates: August 5 - 9
Times: Monday - Thursday:
    New students: 12:00 - 2:00 pm
    Experienced students: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
    All students: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
Place: Aikido of Santa Cruz (306 Mission St.), and DeLaveaga Park on Wednesday
Ages:6 - 12


New and experienced students welcome
Aikido games
Outdoor training day
Calligraphy day
Sushi day


"Think of the world as one true family, without limits, without end. Be a light in the world.
The past, present, and future, countless generations, millions of years, are all within you."

--Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei, founder of Aikido (1886 - 1969)


New and Experienced students welcome

Both new and experienced students are welcome. On Monday through Thursday, new students attend from 12:00 - 2:00 pm, and our ongoing Aikido of Santa Cruz students attend from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. During the overlap hour of 1:00 - 2:00, new and experienced students train together, and the experienced students take on a leadership role in helping the newer students learn. Then, during the final hour, the experienced students will have their own advanced practice. Friday is sushi day, and everyone attends from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.

Besides learning Aikido techniques and having fun, the camp is an introduction to Japanese culture and traditions, including etiquette and mutual respect.


Aiki games

Camp is fun, so we play a lot of games. Aiki games are designed to emphasize some aspect of the training, such as awareness, agility, or centering. Aiki games


Outdoor training day

outdoor training On Wednesday, the camp meets at DeLaveaga Park. We will take advantage of the extra space to work with the Japanese wooden staff and/or wooden sword.
The beautiful setting at DeLaveaga Park also helps us to renew our connection with nature, which was one of O-Sensei's principles of budo. In this picture, the group, at DeLaveaga Creek, is practicing shin kokyu, a meditation and centering practice that O-Sensei did at the beginning of every Aikido class that he taught. O-Sensei called on those who practice Aikido to take on the role of protectors, not only of people, but also of the natural world. shin kokyu
“Those who practice the Art of Peace must protect the domain of Mother Nature, the divine reflection of creation, and keep it lovely and fresh. Warriorship gives birth to natural beauty. The subtle techniques of a warrior arise as naturally as the appearance of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Warriorship is none other than the vitality that sustains all life.”


Calligraphy day

teaching calligraphy

On Thursday the camp breaks into smaller groups, and each group receives a lesson in Japanese brush calligraphy (approximately one hour). New students learn to write one of the characters Ai (harmony), Ki (energy), or Do (the Way) which make up Aikido: "The Way of Harmonizing Energy". Experienced students may take on a more advanced task.

We study calligraphy at Aikido Camp because it is a part of Japanese culture, because O-Sensei and many of his students studied calligraphy, and because the study of Shodo (calligraphy) developes the kind of focus and flow needed for Aikido techniques. You will see many beautiful pieces of Japanese calligraphy displayed on the walls at Aikido of Santa Cruz.


Sushi day

On Friday the entire group meets from 12:00 - 3:00, and we continue our exploration of Japanese culture by having sushi for lunch! We will serve organic vegetarian sushi from the Staff of Life, a local business. (Alternatives will be provided for students who do not care for sushi; please let us know about this when you register for camp.) During lunch, we will break into small discussion groups, with one adult in each group, and talk about Aikido and our camp experience.

(Please note that other than Friday we do not serve lunch, so students should have someting to eat before coming to the dojo.)

After lunch on Friday there will be time for more practice, and at the end of the day there will be a presentation ceremony in which the students will be awarded a certificate similar to the one at right.



Click here to register online for the Aikido Summer Camp for Kids.

Click here to learn more about the ongoing young peoples' classes at Aikido of Santa Cruz.

Click here to learn about adult classes at Aikido of Santa Cruz.


Aikido of Santa Cruz is a non-profit, public benefit, educational organization, serving the community since 1982. We welcome sincere students of any race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnic background.

Questions? Call us at 831-423-8326 or email


"The true purpose of the martial way is not just self-protection
but the cultivation and happiness of others and the mending of society.
It is for this reason we are practicing Aikido."
- O-Sensei

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