Ueshiba Aiki Budo is a traditional Japanese non-competitive mixed martial arts system consisting of throws, pins, and techniques of evasion and escape. It is derived from samurai battle field combat.  Ueshiba, a military trainer and legendary sword and Jujitsu master developed the system for physical and mental development, as well as self-defense. Aiki Budo includes ground work, edge weapons (tanto) defense, as well as training with sword and staff. 

There is a strong focus on defense against multiple attackers and weapons attacks which make it the preferred system of defensive tactics for many law enforcement and security agencies. Training follows Ueshiba’s rigorous mental and physical development exercises which includes Misogi and Zen meditation to develop control over ones breathing – heart rate – and emotional balance.  Students learn violence de-escalation skills as well as and tactical decision making.

This is “old style” martial art which has little in common with modern MMA sport fighting.  Although physically intensive Aiki Budo students are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of their training partners.  We train hard together to safely become stronger and more skillful.  Winning means developing oneself physically and mentally and “winning over your own mind of discord.” (Ueshiba)



Anyone over age 18 in reasonably good physical condition may take an introductory class and apply for admission to the program.  Criteria for admission includes the ability to make a commitment to trtaining goals, strictly follow instructor directives and train safely.

INSTRUCTOR: Tom Colling began martial arts in the 1960’s studying Okinawan Karate and Tae Kwon Do.  After earning this Black Belt in 1976 he moved to Japan for intensive study with the son and grandson of Aiki Budo founder Ueshiba, and his closest student Morihiro Saito.  Since moving back to the US he has made four return trips to Japan and China for further study. He received san-dan from Morihiro Saito in 1984. He received his 5th Degree Black Belt from Kisshomaru Ueshiba in 1997, and 6th Degree from Moriteru Ueshiba in 2007. He is author of the book “Searching for O’Sensei-Learning and Living the Wisdom of the Warrior,” as well as numerous martial arts magazine articles and blogs.  He is a 26 year veteran law enforcement officer and Certified NY State Police Trainer.


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