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Aikido of Scottsdale (AOS), also known as Aikido Family Martial Arts Center, offers traditional Aikido training for adults and children age 6 and up. The chief instructor is Glenn Brooks, 6th degree black belt.
Aikido of Scottsdale was founded in 1996 by Glenn Brooks Sensei. AOS is a member of the United States Aikido Federation originally under the direction and support of Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th degree black, until his passing in July 1999. After which AOS came under the guidance of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, 8th Dan. AOS is affiliated with the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Anyone can train in Aikido. Regardless of your background or experience level, people of all ages and fitness levels can learn and benefit from Aikido training and its principles. Classes are open to students of all levels and beginners may start at anytime. Newer students receive individual instruction from senior students in exercises, falling safely and basic techniques.
All members are encouraged to practice as often as possible. However, each student determines how often and how rigorously he or she will practice.
AOS dojo and its members are a strong, dedicated and fun community and represents diversity in all of its aspects, reflecting the universal appeal of Aikido. Practice is the most important part of membership but not the only part. All members participate by training as often as they are able, helping new beginners, caring for the dojo and each other as well as participating in seminars, to name just a few examples.
Please feel free to stop by to observe any class or ask questions without appointment.
We are always available to discuss your specific needs, concerns or interests.
Glenn Brooks, 6th Dan Shidoin
Chief Instructor Aikido of Scottsdale
Glenn Brooks hails from Chicago, IL. He graduated from Chicago Medical School, is a licensed Physical Therapist, holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido and is an avid Crossfitter.
In 1996, Brooks Sensei relocated to Scottsdale, AZ to continue his career in Physical Therapy and open an Aikido school to give back to his beloved martial art. Brooks Sensei has studied Aikido for over thirty-six years beginning under the direct instruction of Akira Tohei, 8th degree black belt and one of the last direct disciples of Aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
In 2000, upon the passing of Akira Tohei, Brooks was appointed to the Midwest Aikido Federation technical teaching and examination committee to carry on the Tohei legacy thru teaching seminars and conducting promotional testing for its vast membership.
In 2003, Brooks Sensei was promoted to 5th degree black belt and awarded the title of Shidoin 'professional instructor' by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, 8th degree black belt and also direct disciple of Aikido founder. Brooks was then appointed [by Yamada Sensei] to serve on the US Aikido Federation Board of Directors.
In 2009, Brooks Sensei was promoted to 6th degree black belt.
Brooks has trained throughout Japan and the US under the most senior Aikido instructors in the world, most notably the founding family at the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Brooks Sensei also provides Personal Security services for the music and entertainment industry. His clients include Linkin Park, Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas.
He has fulfilled his dream of opening an Aikido school and humbly gives back to his beloved martial art every day.
Giorgio Mariani, 4th Dan Fukushidoin
Assistant Instructor: Adult program
Giorgio is an electrical engineer working on chip design. He started his martial arts training in Europe at the age of 15 practicing judo.
In 1990, he began his aikido study under Nobuyoshi Tamura sensei.
In 1994 he moved from Europe to Arizona where he continued his aikido training in Phoenix under The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.
In 2009, Giorgio received his rank of 3rd degree black belt from Aikido Schools of Ueshiba through Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan.
Then in 2013, Giorgio began training at Aikido of Scottsdale under Brooks Sensei. Giorgio was promoted to 4th degree black belt by Brooks Sensei in October 2016.
Giorgio has a special interest in Aikido weapons training and has instructed regular weapons classes for more than 7 years. He has attended numerous weapons camps and seminars both internationally and abroad.
Tal Yardeni, 2nd Dan
Assistant Instructor: Adults
Instructor: Kids and Youth Classes
Tal began his Aikido training in 1996 at Central Illinois Aikikai, affiliated with Akira Tohei Sensei, when his roommate saw a flyer for a beginners class and convinced Tal to come try it out with him. Tal moved to Arizona in 2000 and began training under Glenn Brooks Sensei.
In 2006, Tal began teaching the Kids and Youth Aikido program and loving every minute of it, especially since his own son started training.
He was promited to 1st degree black belt in December 2011 and 2nd degree black belt in October 2016 by Brooks Sensei under the direction of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei.
When not in the dojo, Tal works as a software engineer.
Stuart Pieloch, 2nd Dan
Assistant Instructor: Adults
Instructor: Kids and Youth Classes
Stuart began his study of Aikido in Atlanta in 1995 shortly after graduating from Georgia Tech with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics. While in Atlanta, he also performed with an improvisational comedy troupe which he finds particularly useful when leading the children's classes.
Later his career as a lighting controls specialist took him to Oregon for 13 years where Aikido study combined with rock climbing and hiking.
He was promoted to 1st degree black belt on May 4th 2013 by Shihan Claude Berthiaume under the direction of Yoshimistu Yamada Sensei.
Soon after, Stuart relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona where he continues to now train regularly under the direction of Glenn Brooks Sensei and was promoted to 2nd degree black belt in August 2017.
Elise McGrath, 1st Dan
Assistant Instructor: Kids and Youth Program
Coming from a Tae Kwon Do background, Elise was intrigued by the defensive nature of Aikido. "It's one of the few arts I can think of where your skill is measured by how little harm you inflict on your opponent."
Elise started training under Glenn Brooks in 2011, and quickly fell in love with the art. She travels at least once a year to various Aikido seminars across the country. Elise was promoted to 1st degree black belt by Brooks Sensei in December 2016.
Elise was instructed on how to teach children's Aikido under the direction of Brooks sensei and Tal Yardeni.
Elise leads her classes with respect, energy and enthusiasm while placing a strong emphasis on the basics.
By day, Elise is a CPA and currently does tax work for a national construction company.
Ira M. Schwartz, 1st kyu
Assistant instructor: Kids and Youth Program
Ira Schwartz is an intellectual property attorney in Phoenix, with over 30 years' experience in technology law. He began studying Aikido in 2003 and currently holds the rank of 1st Kyu.
Prior to joining Aikido of Scottsdale, Ira had no martial arts training. As he would tell you, "I literally started at the beginning - I had to have one of the senior students teach me how to tie my belt the first day."em> He has now studied under Sensei Brooks at Aikido of Scottsdale for nearly 14 years and he has progressed through the ranks from the beginning.
Ira generally teaches the Kids and Youth classes. "It is a great joy to watch the younger members of the dojo learn aikido. While they learn how to practice Aikido, we hope they also learn other things, such as the benefits of exercise, discipline, self-awareness, and the responsibility that goes along with using the skills they have learned."
Akira Tohei, 8th Dan Shihan
Chief Instructor Midwest Aikido Center
Chairman, Midwest Aikido Federation
Tohei Sensei was born in 1929 in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. He began his practice of Aikido in 1946 under the direct instruction of Aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba.In 1963, Tohei was asked by the Aikido founder to accompany his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba on a three-month tour of Aikido dojo in Hawaii, after which Tohei was asked to stay and teach Aikido throughout the Hawaiian Islands for nine months. In 1964, he returned to Japan and joined the teaching staff at Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo).
For the next eight years Tohei, in addition to his teaching at the headquarters, was also an instructor at Asia University, Akita Economics University, Keio University, Nihon Women's University, the Ground Self-Defense Forces, and the Naval Self-Defense Forces.
In 1966, Tohei Sensei was awarded the title of Shihan (Master Instructor, 'teacher of teachers') by the Aikido founder. Tohei was then dispatched to Chicago in 1972 where he founded both the Midwest Aikido Federation, and in 1975, the Midwest Aikido Center. Shortly thereafter the MAF became the Midwest Region of the USAF.
Tohei Sensei was promoted to 8th dan in 1989 by Aikido Doshu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He also served as Chairman of both the USAF Technical Committee and North American Shihankai. Through Tohei Sensei's guidance and leadership, the Midwest Aikido Federation grew to over 50 dojo throughout the Midwest. Up until his death on July 2, 1999, he was the most senior Aikido instructor in the United States.
Yoshimitsu Yamada, 8th Dan, Shihan
Chief Instructor New York Aikikai
President, US Aikido Federation
Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan was born on February 17, 1938.
In 1955 he entered the Hombu Dojo as an uchi deshi (live-in student), receiving instruction from the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.
As a 4th dan in 1964, he traveled to the United States to give an Aikido demonstration at the 1964 World's Fair. Soon after he assumed the role of Chief Instructor at the New York Aikikai.
Yamada Sensei has dedicated his life to the dissemination of Aikido throughout the world.
Yamada Sensei is the Chairman of the United States Aikido Federation and president of the Latin American Aikido Federation, which has over 400 dojo in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. He leads the technical committee for North America and is a member of the Supreme Council of the International Aikido Federation.
Yamada Sensei is known for his clear and strong basic technique. He teaches seminars worldwide and thousands of students have attended his classes.
"We must keep the spirit of budo no matter how we practice," he says.
Aikido is an excellent art for children. It can provide them with benefits of personal safety, confidence, and respect for themselves and others that extend beyond the dojo and into the rest of their lives.
Training in Aikido provides children with self-confidence in several aspects: the ability to deal with stressful situations while remaining calm and collected, the ability to empathize with others, and the ability to defend themselves from physical aggression. All of these skills help children to develop both physically and mentally into confident adults respectful both of themselves and of others.
Children should know how to remove themselves from danger. The first things someone is taught in Aikido are how to fall without injury and how move to a safe place when attacked. Techniques are designed to ensure the safety of the defender and all techniques can be performed to control the attacker without harming them. This allows children to resolve physical conflicts in a way in which neither party is hurt, a valuable skill with today's zero-tolerance policies in schools which limit how a child may respond in self-defense in bullying situations.
Aikido uses an attacker's energy against them, changing the interaction so it is not always in favor of the "biggest and strongest" person. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, created the art as a means to resolve conflict in a peaceful way through control of the attacker's movements. With roots in the Samurai arts of Jujitsu (grappling and locks) and Iaido (swordsmanship), Aikido is a circular art that is efficient in it's movements and effective regardless of the size and strength of the attcker or the person being attacked.
Aikido is different from other martial arts such as Karate and Tae Kwon Do in that the focus is not on punches, kicks and offensive movements but rather how to respond to such movements through blending with them and controlling them. There are no kata or solo exercises to perform and all training is hands-on. All techniques are performed with a partner, taking turns between attacking and defending from attack. Practicioners at different levels of experience are encouraged to train with each other to experience each technique in different scenarios. Applying a technique results in the attacker either being thrown or being pinned and under the defender’s control.
Aikido of Scottsdale offers two programs for children:
- The Kids' program is for ages 6-9 and provides a foundation in Aikido movements, how to fall safely and focuses on the basic techniques.
- The Youth program is for ages 10+ and focuses on refining the basics and learning more advanced variations of techniques.
Within the classes all experience levels work together as in the adult classes to provide students with a variety of partners and situations. Please review the Q & A page for more information as to what a class is like.
Please contact us for pricing information.
Monthly Option: Membership dues are remitted on a monthly basis.
Annual Option: 12 months for the price of 10 remitted once a year.
- Take the Shea Blvd exit west
- Turn RIGHT into the shopping center, immediately after 74th St (before Scottsdale Rd).
- What is a class like?
- Aikido classes are made up of both beginners and advanced students. Beginners receive individual instruction from senior students in exercises, falling safely, and basic Aikido techniques. Students with varying levels of experience practice together to the best of their ability, and newer students learn from their seniors.
- What do I wear to my first class?
- It is customary that students wear a white practice uniform (Keiko Gi). We have gis available for purchase at the dojo or you can bring one from elsewhere as long as it is unmarked.
- Can I bring a friend?
- Yes, members are encouraged to invite their family and friends to observe or try out any class.
- Will it hurt?
- By learning how to fall safely and move correctly, there is minimal risk of injury. In Aikido, one harmonizes, or joins with an attack. The Aikidoist does not block or fight against an attacker. Rather, the Aikidoist moves with the attack, and redirects it so that an aggressor is felled by his own energy. Then, instead of using potentially crippling kicks or punches, the Aikidoist trains to apply various wrist locks, pressure points, arm pins, or unbalancing throws to neutralize aggressors without serious injury.
- What if I'm out of shape?
- Aikido techniques move the body and joints in ways they naturally bend. Thus, the body becomes stronger and more flexible. However, Aikido is more than self-defense and physical techniques. Aikido improves not only your physical conditioning - stamina, balance, flexibility, coordination and strength, but your mental conditioning as well: self-confidence, concentration, alertness, and overall well-being.
- What if I have no martial arts experience?
- Great! Aikido is like no other martial art. Each class focuses on developing the basics and fundamentals as a key to advanced training.
- How often do I have to come?
- All members are encouraged to practice as often as possible, but each student determines how many times per week or per month they are able to attend class. Classes are open to students of all levels. In any case, the pace of each class, whether relaxed or more vigorous, is also determined by the individual student.
- Who is the teacher?
- The chief instructor is Glenn Brooks, Shidoin, 6th Degree Black Belt. His study began in 1980 under one of the world's greatest teachers, the late Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th degree black belt. Tohei sensei trained in Japan directly under Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
- Where can I learn more about Aikido?
- There are resources and other good information on our links page.