Aiki Principles Class

Aikido is a modern day martial art that emphasizes peace, love, healing and the resolution of conflict through mutually collaborative efforts.

Aikido has two powerful components. One is its vast repertoire of techniques.The other being the Principles that support the peaceful embodiment of these techniques. Additionally, these Principles are a code by which to live one’s daily life.

Practicing and mastering these Aiki Principles is the essence of our work here at ACI. Life is full of many different kinds of pressures. If we are not practicing having healthy responses to these pressures, our stress levels rise. When we practice and embody these Aiki Principles while under pressure, we find that we can respond rather than react. We can relax instead of struggling or fighting. We can learn how to work directly with our fear or other strong emotions. And, we can choose to be spacious and compassionate which allows our hearts to soften and open to feelings of wellbeing and mutual collaboration.

In essence, everything that is taught through ACI is in support of utilizing these Principles to enhance the quality of our Presence, our Life and the World in which we live.


Saturday: 9 – 10 am


Please contact Sensei prior to attending your first class.

Due to the Coronavirus shelter in place orders, we are currently holding our classes online. The Aiki Principles Classes are being combined with the Aiki Waza Classes on Saturday mornings 10:30 – Noon.

Aiki Waza

Our focus in these classes is the integration of Aiki Principles with Aiki Waza (technique). The main goal of any Aikido practice is to be fully Present with mind, body and spirit functioning as one integrated system. To this end, we are slowing all aspects of the technique down enough so that each practitioner can have the time and the space to observe how they are functioning while under these pressures. With this kind of focused practice, we are able to engage that which is essential in the practices. We can see where we have gotten off course and quickly correct ourselves to be better aligned with what is being asked of us (Katsuhayahi-Swift Victory).

As O’Sensei said, “It’s not that I don’t get off center, I just correct so fast that nobody notices!”.

It is said that if you can do something really well, slowly, you can then do it well quickly. If you can only do something quickly, you are probably speeding past some mistakes or misunderstandings.

While we do work with some throwing and falling, the emphasis of these practices is placed on Presence, Quality of Being, Energy Flow, Connection, Placement and Timing. If all of these Principles are properly embodied, the technique will be successful regardless of whether or not a throw has taken place.


Emphasis on Connection and Flow

Always with Aiki Principles as our foundation, this class engages movement, flow and connection with self and universal energies. Partner practices support the grounding of our experiences in reality and real time.

Tuesday: 6-7:30 pm

Thursday: 6-7:30 pm

Saturday: 10:30-Noon


Please contact Sensei prior to attending your first class.

While we are holding our practices online during the shelter in place orders, the Saturday morning Principles Classes and the Aiki Waza class are being combined and being held from 10:30 – Noon.

Essential Aiki Modules

Throughout the year, we will be offering stand alone theme based classes, seminars and retreats. The purpose of these offerings will be to assist people in learning, experiencing and integrating these powerful Aiki Principles into daily life. Doing so will direct us towards fulfilling the founder’s vision of creating a harmonious, beautiful and awake world.

Currently offered Modules:

Past Modules:

  • Living an embodied life
    • Mondays 6 – 7:30 pm September 16 thru October 7, 2019

Any of our offerings can be especially tailored for:


Small groups

Work Teams


Please check in regularly for new and updated course offerings!

Essential Aiki Coaching

Many of us live with a sense that we could be living life more fully by being better aligned to who we are and what our Purpose is in life. We long to feel more free and at ease within.

Here at ACI, we teach that freedom can be found through discipline and practice. These are the key components to the path of Mastery. Mastery in this sense, is coming into alignment and harmony with our true nature. When we become aligned with our true nature, living a life of Purpose becomes much easier. Knowing what our purpose is in life, becomes more clear. From this place of clarity and ease, inner peace is at hand, thus allowing us to open our hearts more fully and compassionately.

Aligning to our Purpose and taking steps to manifest this Purpose is the path to Freedom. Freedom is not found through an absence of structure or commitment, but through a commitment to waking up to ones habitual way of living and struggling.

Essential Aiki Coaching is a process that when actively engaged, allows us to not only be more present in all aspects of life, but to fully become (embody) the qualities of being that best match who we are and what we value.

At any given moment, we have the possibility of choosing how we feel. This does not include any form of denial of reality so much as it expands our awareness of all the feelings and thoughts that are simultaneously taking place within us.

Essentially, the process includes engaging all aspects of our being and integrating them into one unified presence. Mind, body, spirit, heart, energy flows, etc., all functioning in harmony with each other and in harmony with the Universal energies.

This process always begins with noticing where we are relative to the present moment, relative to ourselves and relative to the world we are in (our current situation). We assume that for any meaningful change to happen, being present in and through the body/mind system is the ground for sustainable personal development.

O’Sensei said that in order to heal, we have to “eliminate the discord within ourselves”. This means centering ourselves and connecting with our true or essential Self . This part of us is inherently whole. When we are able to experience this feeling of wholeness, healing can occur. Discordant experiences such as anxiety, confusion, self-doubt, self criticism, impatience or a sense of purposelessness, tend to dissolve into feelings of ease, calm, confidence, spaciousness, patience, purpose, peace, gratitude and love.

Once we learn this process and then engage it as a practice; especially during challenging times, we will find that we have cultivated some mastery and as a result can feel more empowered and free. 

Being willing to let go, is a critical element of this work. It involves the Aiki Principle of non-resistance. When we practice from a place of non resistance, change comes quickly and easily. It is easy to feel better with the right tools and practices!

During an Essential Aiki Coaching session of any length, we will engage a variety of practices that can quickly and easily identify and release that which is in the way feeling more internally peaceful, whole and at ease.

Practices include: 

Aiki Principles

Somatic Presence 


Essential Language Practices



Coaching sessions are tailored for each individuals and small or large groups. They can take place in person or online. A typical session will run either 60 or 75 minutes. They can be purchased singularly or in packages of 5 or 10. For more intensive or in-depth process work, a full or half day session can also be scheduled. The pre-requisite for an extended coaching session is the successful completion of an initial 75 minute session.

For more information or to book an Essential Aiki Coaching session, please email Denise Barry Sensei.


Essential Aiki Language

Always with Aiki Principles as our foundation, this class engages

Please contact Sensei prior to attending your first class.

Occasionally our schedule changes, please refer to the home page for current changes.
Please check in regularly for new and updated course offerings!

Master Classes

These special classes and seminars are designed for Aikido instructors and advanced practitioners of the Art. 

They are an opportunity to gather in the spirit of inquiry regarding O’Sensei’s core teachings. 

It is our intention here to explore the deeper meaning of O’Sensei’s teachings which go beyond that of mere technique. This is to further our understanding and commitment to manifesting O’Sensei’s vision of creating a peaceful and loving world.

These gatherings are typically by invitation. If you are interested in being included in this level of inquiry, please contact us and let us know something about yourself and your relationship to Aikido and O’Sensei’s teachings.

These gatherings happen 2-3 times per year.