After almost four decades of dedicated teaching, Parker Sensei, the senior instructor of Mumonkan-Do Aikido, retired from teaching and the dojo formally closed its doors in June 2021. We have left some links active for our dedicated students should they want a way to reflect on their experiences at the dojo. And we have left some links active so that others may have a way to experience the spirit of Mumonkan-Do Aikido even though they may have never had the opportunity to train here. Click here to read what some students said about their experience at Mumonkan-Do Aikido.
Here is what some students have said about their experiences at Mumonkan-Do Aikido
Mumonkan-Do is a positive environment:
"On my first day of Aikido training, I felt out of place, and I was incredibly nervous because to date, I had never experienced any kind of martial arts training. But my nervousness started to dissipate almost immediately (when I realized how nice my fellow students were, and how incredibly supportive and positive the senior students were). The instructor, Parker Sensei, has a way of captivating the class and she provides a very strong, safe, and comfortable presence. Having lived my life surrounded by emotionally volatile people, it is a real comfort interacting with someone who provides the stability that Parker Sensei does." -T.B.
Students learn more than martial arts techniques:
"When I first started my Aikido training, I enjoyed it, and it soon became clear that the instructor was very good . Nonetheless, a healthy skepticism remained. I continued to question the effectiveness and practicality of the techniques. But then one day, I was working with my partner on one of the most basic techniques when one of the senior assistants intervened. His intention was to demonstrate how I might refine my technique, but what he really did was demonstrate true Aikido.
"As he rotated my arm above my head and took my balance, it was a surreal feeling. I felt safe, like I didn't have to worry about being hurt, but at the same time, I knew there was no possibility of resisting him. Within seconds, I was on the ground and I was subdued. My arm was locked into place with a perfect balance of pressure and control and yet I felt no pain in that process. In that moment, I knew I wanted to develop that ability.
"I continue to train at the Mumonkan-Do Dojo because I have come to realize that effective physical technique (and, trust me, it is effective), is not the only result of my training and perhaps, not even the most important result. The more important result for me, has been the ability to create balance in everything I do. I can honestly say that I have never felt better." -H.B.
The benefits are diverse:
"If you train at this dojo, you WILL get an incredible workout! But you may find, as I did, that you get much more than that. My strength has increased and my focus and coordination have improved. Both my body and mind have been challenged to learn in new ways. I also seem to have an increased ability to slough off the stress and negativity that I accumulate in daily life. Most importantly, perhaps, I am learning to improve my interpersonal skills, and I am continually discovering many things about myself that I did not know." -J.M.
The Mumonkan-Do experience can be life-changing:
"Your teachings have completely changed my life. Sometimes I feel a happiness and lightness that I have never before experienced... Because you have taught me the importance of living life to the fullest, I now try things even if I am scared." -S.J.
Mumonkan-Do Aikido is unique:
"Despite the move and other changes in my life, I continue to cherish your teachings like precious gems. I have looked all over Northern California for Aikido dojos. Nothing compares to Mumonkan-Do. Your students truly have a tremendous opportunity at their fingertips." -G.B.
The instructors teach more than just physical technique:
"My growth up to this point is directly connected to you through Aikido. Teaching, speaking up in class, self confidence, self-awareness ... and much more. Thank you for helping to awaken my sleeping spirit." -T.B.
The instructors are dedicated to excellence:
"Your teaching has been so awesome, in my opinion, that it makes it difficult finding a dojo in comparison. Thank you so much for everything you have taught me." -D.R.
The impact of teachings extends beyond the dojo:
"Thank you a thousand times for your tireless efforts on behalf of your students and the people whose lives they affect everyday. It's strange to think how far your teachings go beyond the dojo and your respective students. You're changing the world, one person at a time." -K.W.