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Proof of COVID vaccination and well-fitting masks
are required for participation in dojo classes and events.

Explore Aikido With Us

The Guiding Principle of Aikido is Harmony

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art founded in the mid-20th century by Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei. Essentially nonviolent and noncompetitive, aikido aims to achieve harmony with others, the environment, and oneself.

Roughly translated as “way of harmonious spirit” or “path to unifying with universal energy”, the word “aikido” consists of three kanji characters:

  • - ai - harmony, unity, joining
  • - ki - spirit, life-force, universal energy
  • - - path, way

Aikido’s techniques form a peaceful adaptation of some of the Samurai arts from prior centuries. With original roots in jujutsu (grappling), kenjutsu (sword), and bojutsu (staff), O’Sensei developed and expanded his art well beyond these. By the time he passed away in 1969, the founder of aikido had coherently synthesized some of the ancient “arts of war,” into what is often now dubbed “the art of peace.”

Rather than fighting or opposing, aikido trains us to meet the force of an attack with relaxation and a sense of center. Using fluid, spiral movements, the aikidoist blends with and redirects an attacker’s energy so that it defeats itself. Aikido requires no physical strength, and has the added, compassionate aim of protecting the attacker from injury.

If you are interested in trying Aikido, sign up here. We will contact you about the next available class and the location. Proof of vaccination should be sent at least 24 hours before the first class. Photo ID is required upon arrival.

Aikido Offers Numerous Benefits

Aikido is a multifaceted discipline for physical, mental, and spiritual growth. It attracts different people, across all ages and physical capability, for its variety of benefits, which include:

  • Self-defense
  • Exercise
  • Graceful movement
  • Equanimity
  • Centered relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Philosophy or spirituality
  • Improvisation
  • Interpersonal respect and confidence
  • Conflict Resolution

Our dojo constitutes a community of aikidoists, who meet together on the mat to practice and study this partner-based movement art. Our members span a broad range of experience: some have trained for many years, others only a few months.

"Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter." ~ Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei

We are committed to social justice

Connection is a central principle of Aikido: connection to ourselves, each other, and to all living things. We recognize that we are all impacted by oppression and injustices, such as systemic racism, sexism, economic inequality, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.

As a martial art, Aikido implies action. We are committed to self-reflection, to listening to each other, and to building community relationships in order to create a diverse and equitable Dojo.

"[The] purpose of Aikido is to build a heaven on earth by bringing people together in friendship and harmony. One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace [Aikido]." ~ Founder of Aikido, O-Sensei

Shomen at the Heart of San Francisco Aikido DojoPhoto by Beau Saunders

Dojo Location:
1622 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
Chief Instructor:
Penny Sablove, Godan (5th degree black belt)
General Classes:
Open to all levels of experience
Visiting Aikidoists are welcome to join a class by completing this form in advance.
Mailing Address:
3041 Mission Street #125, San Francisco CA 94110

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