About Adult Classes

“Aikido For Everyone” Classes 
Principles, strategies, and hands-on techniques from the Japanese martial art of Aikido. 
  • Classes open with breath-oriented stretches and solo movements, followed by partner practices of Aikido’s defensive techniques. Partner training is non-competitive.
  • Beginners and Blackbelts alike are guided to move in ways that strengthen core muscles, improve balance and groundedness, and coordinate mind/body/spirit to a powerful centered whole. 
  • You can enter this class at any time. Training is customized for each person’s practice level – Beginner through Blackbelt.
  •  Aikido For Everyone classes are conducted by Mary Tesoro Sensei, 5th degree blackbelt. She has taught Aikido and self defense locally, nationally and internationally for more than 35 years. If you have questions or concerns you may contact her at [email protected] or (805) 544-8866.    
Never done Aikido?     
This is the place to start!  We invite you to come learn Aikido in a safe, supportive environment.   _MG_3601 - Version 2
  • Learn Aikido techniques and foundational skills in a step-by-step, helpful, non-judgmental training environment.
  • Practice getting out of the way of strikes or grabs.
  • Learn to move gracefully, increase balance, alignment, and groundedness
  • Start applying basic locks, pins, and throws to neutralize aggression.
  • Become more flexible and powerful as you learn to blend, flow, and use balance and gravity in new, exciting ways.
Clothing / Uniforms:  
  • Beginners may wear loose, comfortable clothes (long pants, sleeved top) for their first months of training. You are also welcome to purchase and wear a uniform right away if you prefer.  The Aikido uniform is white, and is called a dogi, or, more commonly a gi.  Call or email Sensei (teacher) at anytime to discuss uniforms.
  • Aikido is done in bare feet on mats. If having bare feet is an issue for you, speak with the Sensei (teacher) about wearing soft tabi.
Have Previous Aikido Experience?    
Train more complexly, deeply, and intensely.  Practice more complex movements and techniques, improve foundational skills, lcropped-474422_10150661125329165_1392186277_o1.jpgearn to apply techniques in new situations and further develop the ability to:
  • Move offline and blend with increasingly complex strikes or grabs;
  • Take ukemi more spontaneously and naturally
  • Increase your knowledge of locks, pins, throws, and releases;
  • Move with greater flexibility, coordination, timing, balance, flow, and use gravity and third point;
  • Use more speed, precision, power, and modulation.
  • With experience, Aikido practitioners are able to become more skillful at modulating the application of a technique by learning to feel what they are doing and how their partner is responding (somatic awareness) from moment to moment. 
  • As well-seasoned practitioners know, Aikido is a process, not a goal. Since the aim of Aikido is to neutralize aggression with the least force and harm possible, part of the challenge of developing highly skillful Aikido is to avoid getting hooked by the common egoic goal of winning (being strongest or fastest, being better than others, being invulnerable, etc). Avoiding this hook results in a much more sophisticated and powerful skill level. 
Rank Promotions and Affiliation:  
Official Aikido rank is awarded to Aikido students by Tesoro Sensei, Dojo Cho/Chief Instructor of Aikido of San Luis Obispo, through the California Aikido Association Division Two (headed by Michael Friedl Shihan, successor to Frank Doran Shihan), a worldwide organization directly affiliated with Aikikai Hombu Dojo / Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Chief Instructor: 
Mary Tesoro, Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) has trained continuously in Aikido since 1982. She and Tom Elliott Sensei founded Aikido of San Luis Obispo in 1987. Together and separately, they have instructed thousands of Aikido students, many who have gone on to become teachers. Tesoro’s primary teacher is Frank Doran Shihan.