PE 1 - Kokikai Aikido
Fall 2017

Instructor: Brian Osserman

Time/Location: TR 10:00-10:50, ARC 249 (Martial Arts Room)

CRN: 54631

Office: MSB 3218, e-mail:

Note: This is a 10-day-drop course. The deadline to drop the course is October 10.


Kokikai Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art which teaches coordination of mind and body through self defense. We practice responding to a variety of attacks with throws and joint locks. Our emphasis on balance and timing enables us to minimize an attacker's power, making Kokikai ideal for people of all sizes.


In the context of learning basic self defense techniques, the class also teaches calmness, how to maximize your power, and how to fall and roll without hurting yourself. The class is designed to accomodate beginners, but practitioners of all levels are welcome. If you enjoy practice, you are strongly encouraged to continue the class over multiple quarters, as there are limits to how much can be learned in a single quarter.

What this isn't

The following are not the focus of the class, and will arise at most incidentally:

  • Getting a workout
  • Learning how to attack people
  • Competing in mixed martial arts
In addition, while the class is certainly oriented towards self defense, it is a martial art. We learn a unified approach to self defense which can be developed over years or even decades of practice. As such, you should not expect a narrowly tailored self-defense course which focuses exclusively on ideas that can be picked up in an hour or two of practice.

Class Format

Each class will begin with a brief warmup, and exercises designed to teach foundational concepts of Kokikai Aikido. We will spend most of the class practicing various self-defense techniques. These will each be demonstrated briefly by the instructor, and then practiced in partners, with the partners alternating playing the role of the attackers and the role of the Aikido practitioner. Class will frequently end with an additional exercise.

Student Learning Objectives

1. Learn basic self-defense techniques in response to several different striking and grabbing attacks, and gain additional exposure to a wider range of techniques.

2. Learn how to safely fall backwards from standing, and execute forward rolls from crouching and standing, and backward rolls from crouching.

3. Learn the fundamentals of proper attack technique (in order to be able to effectively and safely play the role of the attacker in partner practice).

4. Learn how to stay calm in the face of physical conflict, and how to stand and move in such a way as to maximize our stability and strength.


Prior to the drop deadline, you may wear any comfortable and expendable clothes. Later in the quarter, a martial arts uniform is required. These can be purchased at the ARC or elsewhere; I will also coordinate a bulk order which will make it possible to buy a suitable uniform for roughly $40. If you buy your own uniform, a judo gi or heavy karate gi will work well, and white is the preferred color.


The class will be graded pass/no pass. Subject to meeting the uniform requirement described above, the grade will be based on the following:

1. Attendance/participation: students are allowed three absences during the quarter. In order to be counted as present, students must arrive no more than 10 minutes late, and participate to the full extent of their abilities. Anyone with more than 3 unexcused absences will receive a no pass grade. However, to avoid spreading illness, if you are mildly sick, you are encouraged to come to class and observe; this will not count as an absence.

2. Written assignment: you will be required to keep a log with brief descriptions of the self-defense techniques we practice during each class, for submission on the final day of class. This assignment is mandatory in order to receive a passing grade.

3. Quiz: you will have to take a 10-question quiz on Canvas, on basic terminology and related concepts. You need to get at least 70% on the quiz to pass the class, but you may retake the quiz multiple times until you pass.

Written Assignment

See this page to help you keep track of the techniques we practice during each class. You should keep a running log which lists class date, and for each technique listed, the name and a description in your own words of how it was done (including both the attack and the response to the attack). You should only write log entries for the classes you actually attend. Your log must be turned in in class on December 7.

Class Rules

1. Arrive on time, and do not leave early.
2. Sign in.
3. Show respect towards one another and towards the instructor.
4. Take care to always practice within your and your partner's comfort level.
5. Questions are encouraged, but must not disrupt the class.
6. No food or drink in the class room, and no shoes on the mat.

Safety Notification

There are risks and dangers inherent in participating in a PE activity course. Injury resulting from participation is always a possibility in physical activity. Carefully follow the instructor's guidance to minimize the chance of injury to yourself and to others.

Please notify your instructor immediately if you become injured or ill, or feel that should not participate in a certain activity.

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by the student, the assumption is that the student is in good health and is capable of participating in all facets of the physical activity related to this class.