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About Us: Aikido of El Paso

In Japanese, the term “aikido” translates to “the way of harmony with the force of nature.” Although the roots of aikido date back to feudal Japan, the present incarnation of the martial art was created by Morihei Ueshiba, now known as O’Sensei (great teacher). O’Sensei developed aikido early in the 20th century where it evolved in the history tradition of Japanese warrior arts, growing out of the “hardstyle” combative arts such as judo and jujitsu. Yet aikido offers more. It is a studied, earnest path for perfecting the spirit. A way towards spiritual growth. This is what appealed to Aikido of El Paso’s founder, Paul Forhan. He established Aikido of El Paso as a non-profit school in August on 1997. It continues to provide a place for the El Paso and Juarez community to practice the self-defense instruction provided by aikido training.

Head Instructor Paul Forhan

Head instructor Paul Forhan began studying martial arts in 1965. In 1990, his study of aikido began at UTEP with Medina sensei. In the fall of 1990, Paul began attending classes at the New York Aikikai, headquarters for the United States Aikido Federation. This gave Paul the ability to associate with numerous senior Federation instructors, leading to a close working relationship with Yamada (Yoshimitsu) sensei, 8th Dan, Shihan, a direct student of the founder of aikido and Donovan Waite sensei 7th Dan. Paul currently holds the rank of Rokudan, 6th degree as well as Shidoin, senior instructor and examiner, from the World Aikikai Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Paul Forhan has traveled across the United States and the world. He has attended numerous seminars with senior Shihans. He is a former member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the USAF, now an advisor. Paul continues to study and practice at the New York Aikikai while instructing full time at Aikido of El Paso.

Instructor Mario Marquez

Instructor Mario Marquez began aikido training in 1997 at Aikido of El Paso. He currently holds the rank of Sandan, 3rd degree from the World Aikikai Headquarters through the United States Aikido Federation. Mario continues his study of aikido and attends major seminars throughout the United States, taught by the leading Shihans of the USAF.

How Aikido of El Paso Serves the El Paso Community

The art of aikido provides balance and flexibility to those who practice it. Aikido of El Paso strives to provide this balance the Border community. We achieve this by supporting other surrounding nonprofits and by providing scholarships for children in the community. Aikido also serves as an excellent therapy for individuals with combat-related PTSD. It’s much more than a simple workout regime, it’s a way of life.

The Martial Art of Aikido in the Life of the Student

As a martial art, aikido teaches both self-defense and philosophy. Students will learn to defend themselves without exerting harm to others. This mental attitude translates to the life of the student. The importance of instilling character traits of responsibility, respect, discipline, self-confidence and wise choices permeates throughout each lesson. Aikido is the way of nonresistance. For this reason, it is undefeatable from the start. Students walk the path of nonresistance on their daily lives, even outside of the dojo. For over 20 years, Aikido of El Paso has been providing the Southwest community with a reliable place to practice the nonresistant art.

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