Joel Riggs
Joel Riggs sensei, 2010
Photo: Cindy Jackey

Hi, I am Joel Riggs, aikido sandan (3rd degree black belt). I began training aikido in 1993 with Robert Nadeau Shihan (7th dan) at City Aikido of San Francisco. I tested for my shodan in 2001, and my nidan in 2008. I was awarded my sandan in 2015.

From 2004 to 2008 I was an assistant instructor and director of the children's program at Aikido of Marin in Fairfax, CA.

In 2009 I founded Aikido Decatur here in Georgia, and we moved into a full-time dedicated space of our own in November 2010. I am still a student of Nadeau shihan, and our dojo is a member of the California Aikido Association.

I love aikido because it speaks to me on so many levels:

  • as a practical martial art, capable of helping me avoid or survive a wide range of dangerous situations
  • as a practice of relationship, which helps me in my family, in business, in my community, and in my friendships
  • as a way of making a living, for I love to share this art with others
  • as a window into more of what life has to offer, because O Sensei imbued aikido with the tools to transform war into peace, conflict into harmony, and small ego-centered lives into lives that open and allow more of the universe's energies to enter in and find room to flourish.
Joel Riggs
Joel Riggs sensei with Robert Nadeau shihan, 2006

Joel Riggs
Joel Riggs taking ukemi in Santa Cruz, 2001

I have appreciated all my training partners through the years, and look forward to training with those I haven't even met yet.

Students of O Sensei that I have trained with:

  • Robert Nadeau Shihan - 1993 to present
  • Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan - seminars
  • Mitsugi Saotome Shihan - seminars
  • Frank Doran Shihan - seminars
  • Bill Witt Shihan - seminars
  • Henry Kono Sensei - seminars
  • Mary Heiny Sensei - seminars
  • Gaku Homma Sensei - dojo visit

My senseis:

  • Robert Nadeau Shihan
  • Nick Scoggin
  • Richard Moon
  • Elaine Yoder
  • Ross Madden
  • Michael Braden

Dojos I have trained in:

  • Aikido Decatur, Decatur, GA - January 2009 to present, dojo cho
  • City Aikido, San Francisco - 1993 to present
  • Aikido of Marin - 2002-2008, assistant instructor 2004-2008
  • Aikido of Berkeley
  • Bay Marin Aikido (San Rafael, CA)
  • Aikido West (Redwood City, CA)
  • Aikido of Santa Cruz
  • Aikido of Tamalpais
  • Aikido of Fresno
  • Tenchi Aikido (Sebastopol, CA)
  • Centerfield Aikido (Sebastopol, CA)
  • Kuma Kai Aikido (Sebastopol, CA)
  • Ukiah Aikido (CA)
  • San Francisco Aikikai
  • Skidrow Dojo/Suginami Aikikai (San Francisco)
  • Aikido In (San Francisco)
  • Aikido of Noe Valley (San Francisco)
  • Heart of the Mission (San Francisco)
  • Emerald City Aikido (Seattle)
  • Aikido of Santa Barbara
  • Boulder Aikikai (CO)
  • Aikido Tenshin Dojo (Los Angeles)
  • Lokahi Ki Aikido (Honolulu)
  • Nippon Kan Aikido Dojo (Denver)
  • Aikido Center of Atlanta
  • Peachtree Aikikai