Bill Doi, Kupuna Aikido Hawaii

Kupuna Aikido Hawaii

Summary of Services:

The mission of Kupuna Aikido Hawaii is to empower all KUPUNA with Aikido-based principles to preserve and protect their mobile independence.
Kupuna Aikido Hawaii offers two Safe Falling courses:
- The FOUNDATION course is for first-timers and teaches basic application of our safe falling principles.
​- The CONTINUATION course is or students who have completed the FOUNDATIONS course but want additional training and practice on safe falling. You MUST have completed the FOUNDATION course to sign up for the continuation course.
​In general, the course goals and objectives are as follows:
Fall Prevention Through Situational Awareness.
  • Surroundings – scanning for potential hazards and avoid them
  • Terrain and footwear – footwear adequate and appropriate to the terrain
  • Use of Available Aids – walkers, canes, rails, etc.
  • Distractions – remain focused on surroundings, movement and foot placement
  • ​Aikido-related breathing/stretching/warm-up exercises
  • Leg/core strengthening
  • Understanding balance/unbalancing​​
Methodology to Receive Falls Safely
  • Relaxation, lower height of fall
  • Protect head, neck and joints
  • Distribute impact across mass of body musculature
  • Stop and assess condition before getting up
​Sessions consist of a 50 minute class once a week for eight weeks progressing from awareness and stretching exercises to falling methods for various conditions. Each class would also provide breaks as needed, during which questions or anecdotal situations may be discussed.


​This class may only be taken AFTER completing the FOUNDATION Safe Falling course. You MUST have completed the Foundation course to register for this course. This continuation course will include:​

  • Continuation of exercises to improve flexibility, balance and core strength. In addition to the exercises used in the previous classes, new exercises will be added.
  • Review of front and back falls. Start with kneeling or sitting, work up to standing
  • Review dropping inanimate items carried before falling
  • Introduction of new safe falling techniques: e.g., falling without taking a step forward, and a variation of the back fall.
  • Unexpected situations that cause immediate falls.
  • Taking immediate falls safely, forward and backward.
  • Falling while using a walking aid.
  • Introduction to Low Impact Aikido.
  • Philosophy and principles of Aikido
  • Maintaining balance and moving from the center.
  • Escapes from grasps
  • Practicing Aikido defensive arts and safe falling. (e.g., one partner defends against a basic strike, and guides the other into a safe fall.)

​Sessions consist of a 50 minute class once a week for eight weeks progressing from review of key points from the Foundation course to additional safe falling techniques and introduction to Low Impact Aikido. Each class would also provide breaks as needed, during which questions or anecdotal situations may be discussed.


Bill Doi, 5th Degree Black Belt: Over 40 years of Aikido experience, started in February 1978. Received 1st Degree black belt in December 1990. Over the years, Bill has seen his practice evolve into one of finesse, careful body placement, and movements in lieu of strength. Emphasis is placed on protecting one’s practice partner instead of viewing them as an opponent. Bill has been teaching Aikido since the 90s and started the senior Safe Falling class in 2017. Bill has often mentioned, “in Aikido practice, 50% of the time is spent falling, and we believe we have a unique perspective to offer Hawaii’s seniors.”

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