To study Aikido Martial Art in a harmonious and joyful setting.


Dojo's Aikido Master:

Hiroshi Isoyama Shihan, 8th Dan

  • Aikikai H.Q. Grand Master
  • The head of the All Japan Aikido Federation
  • International Aikido Federation expert member
  • Aikikai Ibaragi Branch Deputy Dojo-cho
  • Ministry of Defense Aikido Federation Advisor

Our Dojo is very fortunate to have Isoyama Shihan as our Aikido Master for whom our Dojo is named. Isoyama Shihan resides in Japan and gives our Dojo Aikido instructions and also invites our students to Japan for Aikido training. Isoyama Shihan's Aikido instructions are sought after around the world which keeps him busy with his travels and his official Aikido duties in Japan. Isoyama Shihan has sixty years of Aikido experience with twenty of those years under the direct teachings of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (O'Sensei). All Black Belt testing will be examined by Isoyama Shihan.


Dojo's Chief Instructor:

JAMES L. PAULSON Sensei, 4th Dan

  • Retired Special Agent, FBI
  • Formerly Chief Instructor of Defensive Tactics Instructor's Course, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA.
  • Taught by and Assisted Hiroshi Isoyama Shihan in Chitose, Japan
  • 1st American to achieve Aikido Black Belt in Japan (1959).

Our Dojo is also very fortunate to have Paulson sensei as Chief Instructor. Paulson sensei's Military and Civilian Law Enforcement careers has given him many years of practical Aikido experience and applications from which he passes on to his students. Paulson Sensei has great dedication and compassion for his students and exemplifies the teachings of Aikido.


Our Dojo's lineage:

Paulson sensei is student of Isoyama Shihan who was taught by O'Sensei.


Isoyama American Aikido Academy has:

  • Strong connections to Japan.
  • Dedicated and caring instructors.
  • Adult and Children's day and evening weekday and weekend classes.
  • Over 20 years of teaching Aikido in Santa Clarita Valley to people of SCV and the greater surrounding areas.
  • Large 1,400 square foot workout area with Swain Gold Medal Mats.
  • Free introductory lessons and Family discounts.
  • Ample parking with wheelchair accessible entrance.




Paulson sensei invites those interested in Aikido to observe a class and then accept two free lessons without obligation. Sweats or other comfortable clothes are fine for your first lessons after that students will need a white gi (uniform) which can be purchased through the school. Hope to see you soon!





We begin with bowing. In Martial Arts, bowing is not a sign of servility but of respect and a greeting. Please bow when entering the Dojo ("The Way Place") and when entering or leaving the mat area. Before beginning to practice with a partner, both of you will bow to one another from a sitting position. Please ask your partner "Onegaishimas" ("Please practice with me") When ending the practice with your partner, once more bow and thank each other ("Domo Arigato Gozaimas") We use the same phrases at the beginning and end of the hour long training session.


Good news for the beginning Aikido student! Aikido is unique in that it is possible to greatly reduce the speed at which a partner falls. This means that the beginner can start to safely practice techniques in the first training session (after having a short falling/rolling practice) rather than having to spend many sessions just rolling and falling before practicing throws.


There is virtually no solo practice in Aikido. Training consists of being the thrower ("Tori") half the time and being the one thrown ("Uke") the rest of the time. As indicated above, the beginner will be thrown slowly and with control. As one advances in rank, one will have the experience and training to land safely after a hard throw.


The only way you can successfully learn to apply the joint locking neutralization and pinning techniques is to have them applied to you in an effective manner. As soon as you reach the beginning of the pain stage, you tap the mat or cry "itai!" ("Ouch!") The neutralization techniques are not wrenching movements, the pain is basically psychological. As you progress, your tolerance levels naturally increase.


Our school does not charge test fees for lower rank advancement, nor is there formal testing. Sensei's observation and judgment of the student's level of understanding will determine advancement. Upper level advancement will involve examination by Isoyama Shihan.