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D O J O

Our History

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In the first 3 billion years in Antarctic history, nothing much happened.

This continued for another 1.4 billion years or so, but colder.

Then came the Great Warming, or the Great Electric Blanketing, which most of us slept through, but more comfortably.

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There wasn't any Martial Arts in Antarctica, outside of the odd pecking and a short stint with the Seals. Then, in 1934, Byrd Sensei sledded in. Some say Nanook Sensei was first instructor, but he was unaffiliated. Byrd Sensei had studied at Hombu dojo and was often affectionately referred to by O'Sensei as, "That really weird looking bird in the tuxedo."

Byrd Sensei was a very strict teacher, not allowing a squawk during class. He had trained in the pre-ice age style of Hombu Dojo, with an emphasis on proper waddling and a beak forward stance. The training was quite severe with no thermal hakamas and right on the bare ice. But you try telling it to the young chicks of today!

The First Dojo
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He opened his first dojo, which he named, "First Dojo". It was as hard as ice, being mostly ice, and there was a tendency for the ukes to skid off the edge into the sea, which they really enjoyed as it afforded them with a little break for a nosh. The Kamiza was dedicated by a passing Llama from Peru in an ancient Shinto ceremony with offerings of vegetables and fish, which were promptly eaten by one of the sliding ukes.

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It melted during the period know as the "Great Aerosol Underwing Deodorant Ozone Depletion".

The Schism

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After a few years of peaceful practice, there was a schism within the dojo between those who thought that the right hanmi waddle was more classically correct and those who followed the path of the left hanmi waddle. Two seperate dojos were started and they slowly drifted apart. One drifted towards Tierra del Fuego and the other was last seen disrupting traffic on the M1.



The Dojo Today

Our group, the Antarctic Aikikai, in the spirit of harmony, chose the middle ground; just standing there and letting the snow pile up around until you're hidden from sight. We try to keep the tradition of Byrd Sensei alive and squawking here in the land of the 15 minute summer.


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We have recently affiliated with the Aikido Society of the Memphis Zoo as our waddling style exactly fits that of Jim Baker Sensei. With his wide bottomed stance, slightly glazed stare and his most attractive layer of blubber, he is an ideal which, given our innate penguin limitations, we might actually achieve. As AaaRk Sensei is always saying, "Soar high; crash hard. We're flightless birds, remember!"


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