Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was an avid calligrapher. He is quoted as saying “In shodo, I have encountered a very wonderful thing”. His Aikido calligraphy is famous worldwide. Later in his life he brushed hundreds of calligraphies; most of them given to his students.

The late Fumio Toyoda Shihan, one of Martinez Sensei's Aikido teachers, was also a calligrapher. His calligraphy was bold, filled with strength and carried his intense energy, balance, and grace. Because of teachers like O’Sensei and Toyoda Sensei, Shodo has been an essential element in the development of Aikido.

Aikido dojos from any affiliation or style can host a weekend Aikido and Shodo Seminar with instruction provided by Esteban Martinez Sensei. This is an excellent opportunity to explore how martial arts and calligraphy complement and enhance each other. A seminar of this type will focus on KEN ZEN SHO or Sword, Zen, and Brush: the three pillars of true Budō. The concepts Martinez Sensei teaches in the Aikido portion of the seminar will then be brought when using the brush as a method of unifying mind and body.


A typical Aikido / Shodo seminar consists of 4 three hour sessions split within Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Friday - 6pm - 7:30pm - Introduction to Shodo 

7:45pm-9:00pm - Aikido

Saturday - 10am - 1pm - Aikido

1pm - 3pm - Lunch

3pm - 6pm - Shodo

7pm - Group Dinner

Sunday - 10am - 11:20 pm - Aikido

11:30 pm - 1pm - Shodo - final piece/ demonstration

Aikido seminars are popular and widely available throughout the world by many experienced Aikido instructors. However, the integration of Japanese calligraphy with Aikido training, something deeply cherished by founder Ueshiba Morihei, is rarely discussed or taught in a cohesive manner. Martinez Sensei recognizes the benefits of Japanese Calligraphy practice with Aikido training and he is committed to teaching the importance of connecting these two traditional arts offering a truly unique experience for Aikido students. 

If you’re interested in hosting an Aikido / Shodo Seminar with Martinez Sensei you can contact him via email below.