USA Martial Arts, the Retsushinkan Dojo, is part of an international martial arts family that traces its roots to the founder of Aikido, O Sensei Morehei Ueshiba.

Our head instructor, Van Bushnell is director of the Aikido Association of Alabama. He is an active member of the USA Aikido Association and the Chudokai Aikido Federation International. These direct associations allow USA Martial Arts' students and instructors to have both national and international certification. Bushnell Sensei trains under his immediate Aikido instructor, Roger A. Jarrett, who is the director of the USA Aikido Association.

Both Bushnell Sensei and Jarrett Sensei have trained with the founder of the Aikido Association of America, Fumio Toyoda Shihan (deceased) and now train with Kevin Blok Shihan.  Blok Shihan is the founder and director of the Chudokai Aikido Federation International which was formed, under the direction of Soke Gozo Shioda and Hitoshi Nakano Shihan, to promote the development of Yoshinkai Aikido in North America.

In comparison to the "kick punch" techniques of striking arts, such as Karate and TaeKwonDo, Aikido is a very traditional Japanese martial art of the mind and body. It incorporates joint locking and nerve control techniques together with dynamic throwing techniques to dominate and subdue an opponent.

Aikido teaches students to blend with their opponent. Initially it would seem a less effective means to defend oneself. However, in actuality, Aikido is considered the most popular martial art studied within law enforcement and other defensive tactic programs. The world renown Yoshinkai style is taught to the Tokyo Riot Police, female police officers and their forces throughout Japan.

By definition, Aikido means the way of harmony or way of blending energy. Aikido teaches not to confront force with force, but to simply blend or harmonize with force. Aikido encourages students to grow both mentally and physically. Students learn to harmonize with everyday life experiences. They become more flexible and improve their cardiovascular fitness.

Aikido training includes three traditional weapons: the jo (4 foot staff), the bokken (wooden sword) and the tanto (knife). The skills learned through weapons practice - timing and distance, dynamic movement, focus, intensity and energy extension, etc. - are invaluable to empty-hand technique.


O Sensei - Great Teacher      Sensei - Instructor      Shihan - Master Instructor     Soke - Founder


645 Shades Crest Road Hoover, Alabama 35226