Founder of Aikido World Alliance to teach seminar at San Jacinto College

06.30.2016 | By Calyn Hoerner

PASADENA, Texas – Andrew M. Sato, Chief Instructor and founder of the Aikido World Alliance (AWA), will be at the San Jacinto College South Campus in late July to host an Aikido seminar. Members of the Aikido World Alliance will come from dojos in Louisiana, Oklahoma and several other states to work with him.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed in the 1920s as a peaceful resolution to an attack. “You learn to take an attacker’s momentum and redirect it,” said San Jacinto College Martial Arts Instructor Charles Woodby. Practitioners are meant to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Sato has been training in Aikido since 1977 as a member of the Aikido Association of America (AAA). Sato founded the AWA in 2005 to further his own understanding of Aikido and to provide leadership to students seeking his knowledge.

“My journey with Aikido started when I came back from Japan wanting to study something to keep in touch with my culture,” noted Sato. “I soon found Aikido and the rest has been a non-stop of understanding this wonderful art.”

“It’s a privilege for a high ranking official such as Andrew Sato to come down and teach this seminar,” said Woodby. The College has not seen an Aikido Seminar of this significance since the 1990s. Sato will teach participants and spectators open handed, weapons and defensive techniques. San Jacinto College professor of Physical Education Judy Harrison is hosting the seminar and encourages the community to attend and learn about the martial art.

“We want to fill up that gym,” said Woodby, adding that the College would like to make this seminar an annual event. The seminar will be held in the gymnasium on the San Jacinto College South Campus, Friday through Sunday, July 22 through 24. On Friday the event will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday’s event will take place from 10 a.m.  to 5:30 p.m., and on Sunday it will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The seminar is free to all spectators, but participants must pay a $100 fee to participate in all three days. San Jacinto College students can participate at a discounted price of $75 when they present their San Jac ID.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.