Heaven and Earth Aikido

Heaven and Earth Aikido


Great Class, good reading. Thanks Sensei Anthony Breda
Sorry Ethan and I missed out today. Paige, we owe you one!
I realized that I will be in Spain when Harvey Sensei is visiting. Like a bad penny, however, I will keep showing up here and there.
Missing my Heaven and Earth brothers and sisters.....:(
It doesn't look like I'll be able to make it up for your Mountain Training, but I wanted to wish you the best. Hopefully I can make it to the next one. I thought I'd share this short video about "Mountain Training" in my place.
Great Kids doing Great things.

Great Kids doing Great things!

Excellent instructors and aikido training!
All, I am sharing this in support of one of my dojo mates and his fight. It was started by one of his high school friends.

Please see below.


I’m sending this link to all of you, asking for help to raise money for my Light the Night Team! This walk is to support and raise money that helps to fund individuals and families who suffer from Lymphoma and Leukemia.
I’d like to share a little bit about my team. Team Bryan! Bryan Harrison and I met the first few weeks of my freshmen year at Centreville High School back in 1999. Bryan and I became fast friends and I sort of became the sister he never had, while he became a wonderful addition to my ever growing “family”! We saw each other through a lot of silly, young adult trials and tribulations. And while we both went on to live our own adult lives, we never lost touch! In March of 2017, exactly one day after Bryan’s 33rd Birthday, he was diagnosed and hospitalized for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Bryan began a fight that no one ever expects to have in their lifetime and it continues to this very day. After two stem cell transplants, endless chemotherapy and almost a year away from home for the best medical care he was able to find for his unique situation. Bryan is back at home with his beautiful wife Zaya and adorable dog Baxter! Although he is feeling much better and his spirit has never once wavered, the fight still continues everyday to prevent relapse.
So...Now comes the time I ask you to please open your hearts and your wallets and donate to the link below, so that we may raise as much money, awareness and support for every single person who has a family member or friend fighting for their life everyday!
Vivian and I will be proudly carrying our lanterns with Team Bryan on October 20, 2018 in D.C. on the National Mall! Thank you for taking the time to read this email and show your support!


Love and Regards,
Rachel & Vivian Tancredi

P.S. Please feel free to forward this link to anyone you feel may want to join the fight!

I miss my Aikido family....
Posting this per Brian's request. . . . :)

Sensei Blue Spruell, Chief Instructor @ Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta, is teaching Iaido and Aikido at Raleigh Aikikai this weekend-- Friday and Saturday, December 1-2.

William and I will be there. It's a pretty easy drive.

A traditional Aikido dojo practicing O'Sensei's art of peace through the lineage of Yamada Sensei an

Heaven and Earth Aikido is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation and the Aikikai World Headquarters in Japan. Our purpose is to provide quality instruction in the martial art of Aikido according to the principles of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6-830 and Saturday 10:15- 12:30 pm,.

Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 03/16/2023

Great class tonight with Dave Norton Sensei from Pax River Aikikai. Thank you for bringing some Long Island Flare to us.

Yamada Sensei Memorial | NYC February 25th, 2023 03/01/2023

Yamada Sensei Memorial | NYC February 25th, 2023

Yamada Sensei Memorial | NYC February 25th, 2023 Hundreds of Aikidoists gathering together at the Memorial for Yamada Sensei in NYC.


FREE Online Course

This is a good resource for those seeking a more internal path in Aikido. I have taken it twice and it helped me. It is worth the time.

Miles Kessler was uchideshi to Saito Sensei for years and teaches in Tel Aviv. Donovan Waite used to teach there often.


New dojo space, new dojo door. Special thanks to Nick Nicholson for his great work.

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 3/3: Yokomenuchi 3 Techniques 01/24/2023

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 3/3: Yokomenuchi 3 Techniques

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 3/3: Yokomenuchi 3 Techniques

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 3/3: Yokomenuchi 3 Techniques Sensei Yoshimitsu Yamada's final class. Taught New York Aikikai Christmas Seminar, December 17, 2020. 3 techniques from Yokomenuchi. Uke Eran Vardi.


Looking forward to a great seminar.

Classes at Heaven and Earth will be cancelled on March 25 to allow instructors and students to attend.

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 2/3: Shomenuchi 3 techniques. 01/23/2023

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 2/3: Shomenuchi 3 techniques.

Yamada Sensei’s Last Class 2/3: Shomenuchi

Yamada Sensei's Last Class 2/3: Shomenuchi 3 techniques. Sensei Yoshimitsu Yamada’s final class, taught at New York Aikikai, December 17, 2022. 3 techniques from Shomenuchi attack. Uke: Robert Luis Velez.

Yamada Sensei’s Last Class: Morotetori 3 techniques 01/22/2023

Yamada Sensei’s Last Class: Morotetori 3 techniques

Yamada Sensei’s Final Class: Morotetori.

Yamada Sensei’s Last Class: Morotetori 3 techniques Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei final class taught at New York Aikikai Christmas Seminar, Dec 17, 2023. 3 techniques from Morotetori two hand grab. Uke: Kevin Kanesaka


Let Brian Sensei know if you would like to go.

A Memorial for Yamada Shihan
When: Saturday, February 25th, 2023
Where: Manhattan, more details forthcoming
Time: TBD

All are welcome!

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hotel Beacon NYC, 2130 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 at a special rate for those who need a place to stay.

Please call Reservations Manager Dawn Matthews at the direct line of 646-277- 3203 or via [email protected] to book the special group rates for the New York Aikikai. The second option is our in-house reservation team at 212-787-1100, ext 2 or via [email protected].

Photo credit Jaime Kahn.


Dear USAF Members,

As you now may know, Yamada Sensei passed away Sunday morning. He suffered from complications from his recent surgery and suffered cardiac arrest, which lead to his death. There are so many shared condolences being expressed by aikidoka within the USAF and around the world, through social media, texts, emails, and phone calls. This is a strong and loving community, and we will continue to do our best with everything we have learned from Yamada Sensei and the Shihan we sadly lost before him, to keep aikido and the USAF growing and strong. We hope this letter helps to answer some of the questions we have been receiving.

On Sunday evening the USAF Board, consultants, administration, Technical Committee and the New York Aikikai Board met together on Zoom. We discussed some immediate concerns, but most importantly we knew that we must allow the Yamada family all the time they need to navigate their way through their terrible loss. There have been many requests for information about donations, memorials, funerals, etc. We kindly ask that you please be patient. We will keep you posted as this process unfolds so we can best honor the family’s wishes and needs. While word has spread rapidly through social media, we also want to make sure we remain respectful and properly notify Hombu Dojo and Doshu of Sensei’s passing.

Many questions lie ahead, some we are already asking and others we do not yet know. We want you to know how proud Yamada Sensei was of the USAF and all the instructors and members who make up each dojo. He always said the USAF has the best aikido in the world, the strongest organizational structure, the most supportive members, and the tightest community of friends. His favorite week of every year was the USAF summer camp, when we all gathered as one big family to enjoy our practice together with time both on and off the mat. It was a week for him to truly relax and enjoy watching everyone around him, seeing the results of his years of hard work, and sharing his humor and warmth. He said teaching a class was like being an orchestra conductor, paying attention to all the instruments and helping them to create the most beautiful music together. He was happiest when he was on the mat conducting his symphonies.

Please know that we will approach each question and challenge as best we can and will keep you informed as much as possible. We ask that you share this with the members of your dojo, so they too know that the USAF is united in our efforts to get through this sad and difficult time together, and to keep the path he forged directed forward to the future. We must take the time to mourn our loss as individuals, dojos, and as an organization. And as Yamada Sensei would most want, we should keep training. He believed everything can be resolved on the mat.

With warm regards and heartfelt sympathies,


Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 01/17/2023

Truly one of the hardest moments. Took down Yamada Sensei’s brown wood frame and replaced in the black bordered frame signifying death. It is the end of an age.


Yamada Sensei


The end of an Age. Rest in peace, Sensei.

Photos from Aikikai Foundation 公益財団法人合気会's post 01/01/2023

Photos from Aikikai Foundation 公益財団法人合気会's post


Merry Christmas from our family to yours. All blessings in the holidays and New Year.

aikidoofgreaterphila on Instagram: "Donovan Waite Sensei Hanmi Hadachi kokyunage Keeping the memory of Donovan Waite Sensei alive and carrying on his teaching and traditions. Please like, follow and share. Check out our YouTube channel as well... 12/24/2022

aikidoofgreaterphila on Instagram: "Donovan Waite Sensei Hanmi Hadachi kokyunage Keeping the memory of Donovan Waite Sensei alive and carrying on his teaching and traditions. Please like, follow and share. Check out our YouTube channel as well...

aikidoofgreaterphila on Instagram: "Donovan Waite Sensei Hanmi Hadachi kokyunage Keeping the memory of Donovan Waite Sensei alive and carrying on his teaching and traditions. Please like, follow and share. Check out our YouTube channel as well... aikidoofgreaterphila shared a post on Instagram: "Donovan Waite Sensei Hanmi Hadachi kokyunage Keeping the memory of Donovan Waite Sensei alive and carrying on his teaching and traditions. Please like, follow and share. Check out our YouTube channel as well link in bio #合気道 ...


Good words. Why we must train hard in Aikido.

A mindset all Aikidoka should think about.

I remember all my senpais and Sensei saying this when training "Relax, Do not force the technique". My three senseis (Saito Sensei, Marelli Sensei, Gibson Sensei) said this "Blend- Awase-it's Aikido".



Jonas Wilson's shodan test.

Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 12/18/2022

Congratulations to Jonas Wilson on attaining Shodan yesterday testing with Yamada Sensei at New York Aikikai. Well done. You are now officially a beginner.


Prayers to Yamada Sensei.

“Dear members,

I hope you and your families are enjoying the holidays. I’m also kind of enjoying it, however, not completely.

Several years ago, if you remember, I told you a story about one homeless person who ended up staying in my room without my permission. It was my way of saying that I had an unwelcome medical condition. Well, it has happened again.

I have a very early stage of bladder cancer. My doctors have recommended I have it removed by surgery as soon as possible. I have the best doctors in the nation so I am listening to them and they tell me I should be cancer-free after the surgery. My recovery time will be short and I will be able to start teaching again.

I understand that this is bad news for you and I’m sorry I’m telling the news during the holiday season. I know you are kind enough to pray for me and I appreciate it. I must tell you that I’ll be ok and am hoping to see you again soon on the tatami.

Have a happy new year!

Y. Yamada”


Good article from Sensei Yahe Solomon. Peter Wilson- here is your answer from class.

I tend to emphasize principle over technique. My reason is as follows; I truly believe that anyone’s aikido can be drastically deepened by the correct use of principles regardless of style.

As I mentioned previously, Chiba sensei is my strongest influence technically, yet I’ve studied with pretty well all the Japanese first generation teachers. Masters Nakazono M. And K. was where I began this path at the age of six. Had some great practice from Saotome Sensei as well in my teenage years. Arikawa, Yamaguchi, Tada In Hombu Dojo along with K. and M. Ueshiba Doshus as uchideshi at Hombu. Was blessed to have connected with M. Saito Sensei several times over the years.

The diversity of the environment in Hombu Dojo was initially a little disconcerting. I often thought to myself how do these guys, all great teachers in their own rights all look at each other without sticking out their tongue and saying, “what you do isn’t Aikido na,na”. One could hardly qualify them all as even practicing the same art. To the untrained eye in no possible universe would one classify Arikawa, Yamaguchi and Tada Sensei as doing the same art, the one everyone called Aikido. The difference was insane in their various expressions.

Yet - here’s the truth of the matter. All of these masters had art that was so radically different in appearance simply due to the fact that they truly were masters of their art. The master is by definition one whose style looks like no one else, and not only that can never in the entire history of the world or that to come express and embody Aikido in the same manner.

One of the lectures(See Sermons) that Chiba Sensei gave me on my departure for Japan was simply this; go, stay open and train sincerely. You need the input from multiple angles and expressions in order to become a master yourself.

At this point there’s something which needs to be remembered clearly about Chiba sensei. Namely his understanding and acceptance of process. His position as the “coach“ in the Aikido world was established in stone throughout multiple generations I quickly realized. The then younger generations teachers such as Yokota Miyamoto Osawa, all said Chiba sensei is the best teacher. Even Arikawa sensei one time said “oh Chiba he’s the coach.”

There is to some extent an idea out there of a “ Chiba Sensei style of Aikido“ as much is there is a Yamaguchi or Saito style. At a quick glance this observation is accurate in that they all have certain inherent agreements. Yet the observation itself is actually only half true at best as it misses the greater truth which is that these men were masters who express themselves in a manner which is simply suitable,enjoyable and at the end of the day interesting to them as their own personal path.

Chiba Sensei had his traits,this is for sure. Martial relevance, that was one i.e. unbalance your opponent, don’t move in front of an opponent who is planted, connectedness, sticky Ukemi etc. If there was a central theme of his I would say most principles were exaggerated a bit. After all he was a teacher and his main focus was imparting correct Aikido to his students. Correct as in one which would eventually lead to its own sense of mastery in each of them. This was even more important to him than his own practice.

So at the end of the day mastery is its own goal, one which is very fascinating to me, as much now as it was when I was 20 actually.

There is something inside of me which always wanted to be free, I think it’s a deeply held human sentiment. Some express it through politics,some through adventure skiing or dirt biking. Or gaining a deeper understanding of the world either in a given field or just in general none are wrong all are good.

My obsession has always been physical, to feel what is actual in my own very body through space movement and rhythm in relation to others. It’s elemental, it’s real, it’s alive and I can touch it and live it. In a word -mastery.

Its freedom to to me as I understand it, and it is my love.

My entire intent is to help you on a path to your own mastery of this wonderful art. To a position where when someone looks at your practice they’ll not really be able to even say who your teacher is as you just look like yourself. If they happen to have be very astute they may feel simply feel there is just something fundamentally right or alive about it.

I won’t lie to you, it takes work, it takes practice and it takes committing to a process. I have been in circumstances where It was all Aikido all day and all night. Chiba Senseis Kenshusei program comes to mind. In that setting we all did the same thing, a lot of practice under a master who truly was the teacher’s teacher. Yet even then sadly some got their sense of mastery and others did not. I do not know why.

When I ran a Dojo in Connecticut for many years, I had students who showed up for class twice a week and had done so for years simply because it was who they were and was on some level deep inside of them simply what they were about. They would put in the same number of actual practice hours in a year as most of us in our old Kenshusei days did in a few weeks. Yet some of these folks absolutely had their mastery of the art. It was stunning and gorgeous to see. Again I still don’t know why.

All of this has led me to the point I am at now which is a point of hope for you and everyone practicing this art. That you can be masters of this art of Aikido and all that implies in the way of joy and depth of being in what I feel is a very universal understanding of some principles that exist in our world as we know it.

I I hope you will join me on this journey.

Photo with Chiba Sensei, 1992

Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 11/30/2022

Christian Magnus standing hamni after working Sugano Senseis Ichi-no-ken for a few minutes.
And just being a boy.

Continuing Sensei’s knowledge forward.


Congratulations to Brian Tarallo for earning the rank of 6th kyu!


Good message on the heart of Aikido.

Aiki Dojo Message - Give Compassion

A good martial artist always gives compassion. In Japanese, jin (仁) can be translated as “benevolence” or “compassion” but as with most things Japanese, there isn’t really a one to one translation. Jin may mean benevolence and compassion but the two are not quite the same. Benevolence is the “disposition to do good” while compassion is “the deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.” Thus, they both have the desire to help or do good but only compassion has the awareness of suffering. In the beginning of one’s training, the natural course of development is to focus on the physical. Hardening our bodies and acquiring technical skill leads to a certain type of ego as most people over identify with their strength and defeating others without any type of moral deliberation. This can be the understanding of satsujinken (殺人刀) or “the sword that takes life.” Later, as we develop and mature, we realize our own humanity and discover katsujinken (活人剣) or “the sword that gives life.” At this place, we come to understand another definition of jin - humanity. Humanity is to have “compassion, sympathy, or consideration for all living beings.” With this understanding of humanity, a martial artist learns that in order to get compassion or humanity, they have to be willing and able to give it. The Japanese say, “nasakewahitonotamenarazu” (情けは人の為ならず) which means “By doing good for others, we do good for ourselves.” The literal translation is “Compassion is not for other people's benefit.” We see this same understanding in the movie Seven Samurai as Shimada Kambei says, “This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself.” All martial artists have the ability and temperament to destroy others. Therefore, because the potentiality to destroy or hurt others exists, we need to temper it with compassion. Today marks the third anniversary since my friend and student Michael Stinson took his own life. Many of us trained right alongside Michael and never knew how much he was suffering. It is not that his problems are any of our business but rather that as martial artists, we train to be aware and perhaps we should have at least suspected it. Michael’s passing reminds us that in order to give life, we need to be aware of what is happening around us. John Watson once wrote, “This man beside us also has a hard fight with an un-favoring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us, we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.” Understanding this, the best martial artists know that to destroy others is to destroy oneself and thus to get compassion, we need to give it. That is why a good martial artist always gives compassion.

Today’s goal: Remember Michael today and “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Su***de Prevention Lifeline at 988 or dial 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online. Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741

This post appears in a slightly different form @ www.aikidocenterla.com/blog


Waka Sensei....

2022/04/29,合気神社例大祭、植芝守央道主と植芝充央合気会本部道場長 05/09/2022


Doshy and Waka Sensei.



This is how to do handmi handachi....

Video of Waka Sensei

Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 04/23/2022

Very cool to have the senior students all together today for SenseiBrian's class.

Silence - Upside down inside out 04/19/2022

Silence - Upside down inside out

Beautifully written piece by Ismail Hasan Sensei on silence in training.

Silence - Upside down inside out A couple of years ago I was watching a fascinating film, Into great Silence filmed at La Grande Chartreuse, a Carthusian monastery in the French Alps. The most striking thing about the film was the absence of any music or narration. The viewer only sees and hears the daily life of the monks at work....


Tammy's Nidan Test.


Super proud of Brad Thomas for passing his 1st kyu test today. Great job Brad!


Huge thank you to John Chiarolanzio, Victor Garcia, Jonas Wilson, Juan Pablo Berrizbeitia, and my teacher Brian Ericksen for being my ukes today. I greatly appreciate all your support. ~ Tammy Bowcutt

Photos from Heaven and Earth Aikido's post 04/09/2022

Hope you can join us at Bear's Den today. It will be a great day of training and we will remember our dear friend and Sempai Tony Breda.


Our annual Mountain Training Seminar starts this Friday! Register now if you have not already. It takes just minutes to register for this rare seminar featuring Harvey Konigsberg Sensei, so don't wait!

If you're planning to stay for Saturday evening stone soup potluck, be sure to bring something for the soup or sides to share.




I'm getting excited! Come out and celebrate spring, life, and aikido with us at Bear's Den.... bring something for stone soup Saturday night.

Please plan to join us for a special weekend of training intensive with Sensei Konigsberg.

The Story of our Dojo

Heaven and Earth Aikido is a traditional dojo led by chief instructor, Brian Ericksen Sensei. Ericksen Sensei is a Shidōin, and currently holds the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt).

Anthony Breda Sensei, currently ranked Nidan (2nd degree black belt), is our second instructor and enjoys teaching weapons training (with the jo and bokken)

HEA is affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) in New York, and the Aikikai World Headquarters in Japan. Our purpose is to provide quality instruction in the martial art of Aikido according to the principles of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.

We also share our dojo space with a second aikido school, Shin Ryu Aikido.

Videos (show all)

Jonas and Brad teaching rolling at New York Aikikai’s Childrens class. Peter Wilson
New York Aikikai, Aikido, Children’s Martial Arts, Kids life lessons
9th kyu tests.
Tammy's Nidan Test.
Breda sensei and his nidan testing 🥋
Seminar video
Winter Solstice meditations
Zendo Meditations
Solstice Meditation
Saturday Class



688 Spring Street
Herndon, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 6pm - 8pm
Tuesday 7:30pm - 9pm
Wednesday 6pm - 8pm
Thursday 7:15pm - 9:15pm
Friday 6pm - 7pm
Saturday 10:15am - 12:30pm

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