Aikido Videos, Online Aikido Courses, and Aikido DVDs

Benched with an injury? Stuck at home with a cold? Dojo closed for a COVID-19 quarantine? It can be disheartening to be off the mat for a while, whatever the reason. Watching Aikido videos can help you get your Aikido fix when you’re away from the dojo.

While there are some very good Aikido videos available on YouTube, many are short, disjointed, and sometimes just plain bad. Besides, there are only so many snarky YouTube comments a person can take. There are a few good Aikido videos on Vimeo as well. Instead of randomly poking around, watching wanna-be warriors swinging souvenir-store swords (and badly, at that), consider putting your time to good use by diving into a complete course or watching a whole-seminar video.

Here are several excellent Aikido video resources for deeper study. Check these out, then make some popcorn or hot tea, grab a notebook, flop down on the sofa, and enjoy in your own personal Living Room Aikido Retreat!

Here are handy shortcuts to detailed information below:

I have represented these resources as accurately as I could. You should rely on the sites themselves for the final word. Corrections gratefully accepted. These are not affiliate links, and I have received no compensation for including anything here.

Do you know of a resource that should be included here? Please let me know at [email protected].

Aikido Journal TV, and Aikido Journal Academy

Aikido Journal offers two distinct Aikido video options:

  • Aikido Journal TV, dozens of high-quality videos, including technical content, interviews, and historic footage
  • Aikido Journal Academy, “Producing next-generation online courses and live events for the aikido community.”

As of this writing an Aikido Journal TV subscription is only $12.95 per month, or $124.95 for a full year.

Aikido Journal Academy offers several in-depth courses, each taught by a stellar instructor, including Black Belt Essentials with Patricia Hendricks, Aikido Extensions with Bruce Bookman, Ki Aikido with Koichi Tohei (10th dan), and Bulletproofing Pins, an Instructor Course. Each course is only $79.

— Streaming videos
— Aikido TV by Monthly OR Annual subscription
— Access to all TV content for as long as you subscribe
— Delivered via Kajabi (a popular online course delivery platform)
— Academy courses are purchased individually
— Some video collections are available for purchase

Virtual Dojo, with Lia Suzuki Sensei

Lia Suzuki’s AKI USA Virtual Dojo offers streaming video collections by subscription. Topic areas include:

  • White Belt Bible
  • Testing Techniques
  • Seminar Highlights
  • Interviews
  • Plus videos of classes and other teachings by Suzuki Sensei

Suzuku Sensei’s video trailer for White Belt Bible is truly inspiring. Be sure to check it out!

As of this writing a Virtual Dojo subscription is only $14.95 per month, or $149 for a full year. A 7-day free trial is available.

“Join our Virtual Dojo and get instant access to exclusive instructional videos, testing prep videos, student handbooks, interviews, and other resources!”

Lia Suzuki Sensei, 6th dan, has been training in Aikido since 1982, including a 10-year period of intensive study in Japan under Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan. She is the Founder and Director of AKI USA and the Head Instructor at our Headquarter Dojo in Los Angeles. Suzuki Sensei travels extensively, giving seminars around the world.

— Streaming videos
— Monthly OR Annual subscription
— Access to all content for as long as you subscribe

George Ledyard Sensei, on Patreon

Using the Patreon platform, George Ledyard Sensei offers several options for online study, at very affordable monthly subscriptions:

  • Articles, reviews, and other writings: $2/month
  • The above, plus all video and podcasts: $5/month
  • Remote Instructor Mentoring: $50/month

Browse his Patreon post feed to view free videos, and to see what else you could be getting if you support his work.

George Ledyard Sensei, 7th dan, is the chief instructor of Aikido Eastside in the Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle. He “believes that Aikido should be both a spiritual practice and a martial art. He is known for his work with the staff and sword and also for an innovative approach to applied empty-hand technique which brings in elements from his training in Japanese Koryu, Iaido, Filipino martial arts and Systema. He has over thirty five years of Aikido teaching experience.

— Streaming or downloadable videos, podcasts, and articles
— In-depth explorations of Aikido technique
— Monthly subscription gets access to all material, by type
— Delivered via Patreon

The Integral Dojo, with Miles Kessler Sensei

Miles Kessler Sensei of The Integral Dojo — “Your Virtual Sensei.”

These are not Aikido technique videos, but significant collections of interviews and discussions on a wide variety of topics related to our practice. Some offer between 30-45+ hours of content with dozens of well-known Aikido teachers, plus bonus materials. Others are focused mini-courses led by Kessler Sensei.

Here are the streamable courses I found when browsing the site:

There are upcoming live courses as well. You can be notified of them, and also receive a 3-part “Centering Tutorial,” free, for subscribing to The Integral Dojo newsletter.

Miles Kessler Sensei describes himself as “an American teacher of Aikido (6th Dan, Aikikai), meditation, and Integral Practice. I am the founder and director of the Integral Dojo in Tel Aviv, as well as the non-profit organization Aikido Without Borders in Israel/ Palestine.”

— Streaming+downloadable video and audio
— Teachings, interviews, discussions
— Delivered via Kajabi (a popular online course delivery platform)
— Compatible with mobile devices
— Purchase lifetime access to each course separately ($47 to $197)

Spirit Aikido Online, with Tristan Chermack Sensei

Spirit Aikido Online is a new “subscription based learning center. It includes videos of techniques, drills, and exercises to bring more reality and versatility to your martial arts training.”

Tristan Chermack Sensei started studying aikido in 2004, and teaches at Spirit Aikido in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. His background includes more than thirty years in various arts.

— Streaming instructional video
— New content every few days.
— Two levels of monthly subscription (Silver or Gold)
— Mentoring available with Gold level

The Embodiment Conference (FREE) — Live, 14-25 October, 2020

Making embodied wisdom available to everyone,
everywhere, free of charge.
“Embodiment is an antidote to the violence, disconnection and overwhelm caused by numbing, and a return to our shared humanity. For this reason, ​our goal is to make the 20’s the embodiment decade​,​ and help humanity thrive. The Embodiment Conference is a university, a fiesta and a catalyst. In a cynical age this is a bold vision, yes, but if not now when?”

Here’s one conference that won’t be canceled because of COVID-19! It’s all online, created under the passionate leadership of Mark Walsh. And if that weren’t enough, it’s FREE to participate during the live event. (Recordings will cost money.) Here are some of the main topic areas:

  • Martial & Healing Arts
  • Meditation
  • Trauma & Social Change
  • Movement and Anatomy
  • Coaching & Therapy
  • … plus many others.

Register now at The Embodiment Conference.

Mark Walsh is an Aikido practitioner with 20+ years of aikido training and teaching on five continents. Three years residential “live-in” training. . He has an extensive background in Aikido-related areas including Non-Violent Communication, Embodied Leadership at Strozzi Institute, Training with Wendy Palmer, and a Ten-year+ apprenticeship with Being-In-Movement founder, Paul Linden.

— A two-week live online event with thousands of participants Offers dozens of excellent, professionally produced videos, many of which you can order as either physical DVDs, or as downloads. I believe most are about an hour long. The price range appears to be about $30 to $60 each. Subjects covered include:

AikidoDvds.Com offers the finest in instructional  Aikido videos for sale from George Ledyard Shihan, Aikido 7th Dan and direct student of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Video titles from other top teachers such as William Gleason, Kevin Choate, Dan Messisco, Kimberly Richardson, Mary Heiny, and Hiroshi Ikeda, are also available.”

— In-depth explorations of Aikido technique
— Downloadable video files OR physical DVDs
— Pay per video, lifetime access (or shipped media)

A large collection of videos, mostly from Japan, I believe. Aikido is just one of the subjects they offer. Also iaido, Jodo/Jojutsu, yoga, BJJ, Judo, and many others.

— Instructional and seminar videos
— On-demand videos OR physical DVDs
— Pay per video, lifetime access (or shipped media) | Hiden Magazine

It looks like there are 26 on-demand videos in the Aikido & Jujutsu collection, plus BudoJapan offers content for Karate, Kenjutsu, Ninjutsu, and other arts.

  • Videos are available for purchase individually, for $20/each.
  • Articles (free) from Hiden, the “no.1 Japanese budo and bujutsu magazine.”

Several historical/cultural things caught my eye here, especially if you have want something different from technique/instructional videos. There’s an article on The Life & Legacy of Donn F. Draeger: An afternoon to remember. There are articles onJapanese matchlock rifles, an Introduction of Japanese’s OLD BUDO BOOKS: Translating Jujutsu Manuals: A Look Inside Meiji Era Budo, and many others. Several videos feature naginata, and I see a couple on jodo.

There is also a Budo Japan channel on Vimeo. At a glance I see short videos on shodo (calligraphy), Iaido, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, and other topics.

— Instructional videos, historical, documentaries, and other arts
— Stream + download purchased videos via Vimeo On Demand (VOD)
— Pay per video

Remote Aikido Dojo, with Ricky Craig Sensei

This is a very different concept. There are no pre-made videos to watch. Instead, you submit a video of yourself doing a technique, and within a few days you get a video with detailed feedback. This can be especially valuable if you do not have a sensei to ask. “Perhaps you are the sensei, perhaps you are training outside a club, perhaps it’s some other reason.” Here’s how it works:

“You send us a video of your aikido technique, we review it, determine how to improve upon it, and send it back to you with commentary, descriptions, diagrams and advice on how to improve your techniques added to the footage. You get a personal teaching video, relevant to your technique as you performed it.”

In the non-virtual world, Craig Sensei, 5th dan, is the chief instructor at Balance Aikido in Linlithgow, and the University of St. Andrews Aikido Club.

— Personalized feedback on your technique, via video.

Some Outstanding Aikido Channels on YouTube

A lot of what we see on YouTube are pretty awful examples of the spirit of Aikido: “Aikido versus whatever.” “Aikido in a street fight.” “Aikido is BS.” Just click right past all that rubbish. There are some excellent collections of high-quality Aikido videos on these YouTube Channels:

  • Richard Moon Sensei — An extensive channel with hundreds of videos and dozens of playlists featuring Moon Sensei’s teaching and that of Robert Nadeau Shihan. These videos include excerpts from classes and seminars. Nadeau Shihan and his students have been a huge influence on my Aikido. This is a excellent resource for anyone interested in looking deeper into their practice of the art.
  • Stefan Stenudd Sensei — Well over 100 cleanly produced instructional and seminar videos covering empty-hand and weapons techniques. The channel is well-organized, including some thoughtful playlists for aspects of Aikido and Iaido.
  • In addition to the above Embodiment Conference, be sure to check out Mark Walsh’s The Embodiment Channel, with hundreds of excellent videos, dozens of well organized playlists (including a playlist for Aikido), and 270+ episodes of The Embodiment Podcast.
  • In addition to the above Spirit Aikido Online, Tristan Chermack Sensei produces the Modern Aikidoist Podcast, available on YouTube. There are nearly 100 episodes (as of March 2020).
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