Robert Toyama has studied Aikido since 1991 and instructed Aikido at UCSF since 2005. His studies include ballet, ballroom, belly dance, Afro Cuban, Afro Haitian, Afro Brazilian, flamenco, salsa, samba, jazz, modern, contemporary, tai chi, and yoga. All these experiences have been helpful in learning and teaching about human body mechanics and movement. He holds a certification by the Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation, Tokyo, Japan.
Sue Gorte has studied Aikido since 1994 and has been assisting Robert Toyama with Aikido UCSF since 2008.
“Aikido, ‘the way of harmony,’ is a non-violent, non-resisting martial discipline. To the untrained eye, it appears as if one has supernatural abilities in the art of self-defense. This is an exaggeration of the truth. Anyone can study and practice Aikido. The essence of Aikido technique is spherical motion around a stable and dynamic center. Aikido is known for its graceful techniques, swift, yet seemingly effortless. Aikido is not competitive. There are no competitions, contests, sparring, nor tournaments. Aikido is learned cooperatively according to the pace and skill of each practitioner. Aikido is a powerful method of self-protection studied by men and women of all ages to defend oneself without hurting others. Thus, Aikido is not a sport. The class is taught in English and Japanese for a fuller understanding of Aikido, its history, philosophy, and ethics. The friendly environment of the Aikido class makes learning Aikido a great way to meet new people and make new friends. -Robert Toyama
“This course is not only teaching me the basics of Aikido, but giving me a great cardiovascular workout. The atmosphere is fun (and frequently funny). The attitudes of the teacher, assistant black belts, and other students make the class enjoyable and challenging. This is a martial arts class without the intimidating atmosphere of a lot of other schools I’ve been at. The end result is a great workout that teaches defensive drills. Robert is not only highly skilled in Aikido, but he is a very effective teacher who doesn’t take himself too seriously. The class atmosphere is focused but not intimidating. Robert frequently uses jokes and elaborate movements to demonstrate the proper and incorrect ways of performing techniques, but he is highly approachable and personable, and makes the class something I look forward to.” -Joe Gold, Aikido class participant at Millberry