Aikido Center of South Texas

Aikido Center of South Texas has been offering traditional aikido in the Rio Grande Valley of deep South Texas since 1998. Our master teacher was Hiroshi Kato Shihan. Kato Sensei(d. Dec 2, 2012) was a direct student of O'Sensei Morihei Usehiba (the founder of aikido). We are members of the Suginami Aikikai in Tokyo, Japan and members of the Texas-based Shudokan Aikido Association. Through Suginami Aikikai, Shudokan dojos relate to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Aikido World Headquarters) in Japan and our black belt certificates bear the signature of Moriteru Ueshiba, the grandson of the Founder of Aikido.

Joe Cavazos Sensei now resides in Houston, Texas where he was getting first hand teachings from Hiroshi Kato Shihan and close friend Jorge Garcia Sensei, president of the Shudokan Aikido Association.  Cavazos Sensei's top students: Tim Kikos, Sensei, has taken over as Chief Instructors for the RGV dojos with help from Serafin Padron.  Our regional group currently consists of dojos in Mission (TX), Harlingen(TX), Laredo(TX), Nuevo Laredo(Mex), Monterrey(Mex) and Cd. Valle Hermoso(Mex). Shudokan Aikido Association is the groups' not-for-profit charitable corporation in the state of Texas. Our regional group is the Mexico / South Texas Region and holds quarterly seminars to keep our group up-to-date with Kato Shihan's teachings.

Location: 319 W. Tom Landry St., Mission, TX  78572  and 516 W. Van Buren, Harlingen, Texas 78550
Phone: (281) 961-1046 or through Direct E-Mail
Chief Instructor: Joe Cavazos, 4th degree Society of Aikido Centers (SAC) & Tanakaha Aikido; 3rd degree Aikikai

Head Dojo Instructor: Tim Kikos, 2nd degree Aikikai; Serafin Padron, 2nd degree Aikikai
Adult Classes: (Mission) Tuesday & Thursday 8 pm - 9:30 pm and Saturday 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm (Harlingen)Monday 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, Wednesday 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm and Saturday 2:üü pm - 3:30 pm. 
Children's classes: currently no classes.
Cost: $50 per month. Family discounts are available. No contracts - pay as you go!

What is Aikido?

Loosely translated, Aikido means "the way of harmonizing with energy." 

At the core of Aikido are at least two fundamental threads:  a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible and a commitment to 
improvement of the human-spirit through Aikido training.

Aikido emphasizes evasion and circular/spiral redirection of an attacker's aggressive force into throws, pins and immobilizations as a primary strategy rather than punches and kicks.

The primary strategic foundations of Aikido are:

  1. moving into a position off of the line of attack
  2. seizing control of the attacker's balance by means of leverage and timing
  3. applying a throw, pin, or other sort of immobilization (such as a wrist/arm lock)

Strikes (atemi) are not absent altogether from the strategic arsenal of the Aikidoist, but their use is primarily (though not exclusively) as a means of distraction. A strike is delivered in order to provoke a reaction from the aggressor, creating a window of opportunity, facilitating the application of a throw, pin, or other immobilization.

Many Aikido schools train in varying degrees with weapons, including the jo (a staff 4 or 5 feet in length), the bokken (a wooden sword), and the tanto (a knife, usually made of wood, for safety). These weapons are used not only to teach defenses against armed attacks, but also to illustrate principles of Aikido movement, distancing, and timing.

Staff Members

Joe Cavazos is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Aikido Center of South Texas and currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) through SAC and Tanakaha Aikido as well as a Sandan (3rd degree) through the Aikido World Headquarters (Aikikai) - directly from Moriteru Ueshiba. Cavazos Sensei is a direct student of Hiroshi Kato Shihan, Hachidan (8th degree black belt) from Japan. Kato Shihan is the founder and director of the Suginami Aikikai and is a member of several Internation Aikido Federation boards.  Cavazos Sensei considers himself an aikidoka despite having trained in several styles of the martial arts.

Joe was recognized by the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame on May 15, 2004 and was also recognized in 2004 by Who's Who in Martial Arts for his contribution to the martial arts. Joe was also inducted into the Hawaiian Martial Arts Society Hall of Fame  and the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tim Kikos is the head instructor of ACST, ranked nidan (2nd degree black belt) through the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan (Aikikai). Tim Kikos Sensei travels frequently to Shudokan Aikido Association seminars and visits the Mexican dojos. 

Upcoming Events

 Aikido Seminar with Sakahara-san
September 6-8, 2013

Houston, Texas

Shudokan Aikido Association / Hiroshi Kato Juku in Houston Texas is hosting a seminar with Yashuhuro Sakahara, 5th dan Aikikai.  Please bring your bokken, jo, and tanto.

Location: 17111 Kieth Harrow, Houston,TX  77084
Friday, Sept 6:  7pm - 9pm

Saturday, Sept 7:   10am - 12noon; 3pm - 5pm    
Sunday, Sept 8:    10am to 12 noon; 

Seminar Fees:   Please contact Jorge Garcia Sensei

Morihei Ueshiba
Morihei Ueshiba

The History of Aikido

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) in Tokyo, Japan in 1942. Ueshiba was born in a rural area of Japan near Osaka and left home in his late teens for Tokyo to seek martial arts instruction. Ueshiba was heavily influenced by Daito Ryu AikiJu-Jitsu - a traditional martial art that dates back 1200 years and by the religion Omotokyo. In 1942, Ueshiba called his art "Aikido".

Largely because of his deep interest in Omotokyo, Ueshiba attempted to cultivate a "spirit of loving protection for all things" rather than techniques for achieving physical domination over others. He organized Aikido; his own system, and established the principle of nonresistance, the non-violent way of self defense. The name Aikido means "The Way of Harmony with the Ki" (life force) and stresses the harmony between mind, body and spirit.

He then began teaching selected pupils, some from noble families, others from the armed forces. He continued his instruction until World War II when he returned to the countryside. Witnessing his countrymen turn their interests from spiritual to material matters, Ueshiba eventually decided that he could encourage a rebirth of the spirit through the medium of Aikido. With that thought, he selected his finest students and sent them to spread Aikido throughout the world. 

AikiWeb: Aikido Information

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