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Due to the coronavirus, all classes are currently being held online and outdoors, with masks and physical distancing.

For Members

January 2021

Dear Students,

Aikido is a joyous practice. It is also a practice of facing challenges, incessant challenges, dead serious challenges.

We have been mightily tested this year. Meeting the moment has required us to let go of familiar forms of practice and to be willing to explore the unknown. To resist hardening into modes of doing things that don’t work anymore. To resist despair and passivity.

Congratulations to all of you for meeting this challenge. For responding with flexibility in the face of loss and hardship, and continuing your Aikido practice via Zoom and outdoor distanced classes. (This is in keeping with O-sensei’s own process during WWII*, when he adapted his practice to the restrictions of those times.)

I am overflowing with gratitude. I started the dojo in January 1995, as a means for me to continue practicing. And now, 26 years later, your willingness to join me in exploring new approaches has allowed me to continue on my own path of Aikido.

It’s not only that we have found new ways to practice. Meeting the challenge of COVID has been a training in itself, necessitating a deep dive into the foundational principles of Aikido in order to discover other ways of expressing them. Connection. Center. Ground. Extension of spirit and energy. Joining the continual flow of ki in the universe. And understanding that we are a part of that, of the divine, and recognizing the divine in others.

The new year, 2021, will also hold abundant challenges for us. I look forward to continuing our travels together on the path of Aikido. With joy. And with an open spirit.

Domo arigato gozaimashita,

* During the last years of the war and the few years after, while dojos were officially closed, O-Sensei was basically on retreat in Iwama. O-Sensei was able to train with a few people to some extent in those last war years and afterwards, but he did not have his Tokyo or other close students with him.

O-Sensei focused even more than before on his own training and his own inner development during that time. After the war, he emerged with a much more developed form of Aikido, and Aikido spread rapidly after that. And thanks to our flexibility and dedicated personal practice during these current times, we may also find our Aikido practice much more developed when we emerge from the current crisis too.

"The secret of Aikido is to cultivate a spirit of love and protection for all living things." ~ Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, Founder of Aikido


This lower pandemic rate is temporary, and changing circumstances may necessitate us switching back to our standard dues. For now, I’m glad we can offer this to make training together a little easier.

Temporary reduced rate: $75 per month

The regular dues payment options are still available below. We will continue to offer the two options available since April:

  1. Donate button for people who are able to pay more than the regular dues amount to help us maintain and retain the dojo space.
  2. Pay Now button for people who are hard hit financially by the virus and need to reduce their monthly payment during this crisis.

We ask you to do whatever you can to ensure the future of the dojo. Together, we can balance things out and keep the dojo going.

Pay by Credit Card or PayPal

Members pay dues monthly, either using the Paypal or credit card option or by sending checks.

LevelDescriptionOne MonthThree Months
Member $125 per month
$375 for three months
Low Income $115 per month
$345 for three months
$125 per month
(12 automatic monthly payments)
Low Income
$115 per month
(12 automatic monthly payments)

Annual dojo subscriptions may be cancelled through your PayPal account.
Please read Paypal's instructions for cancelling a subscription.

Donate to help maintain the dojo during the COVID-19 crisis

If you are able to make an additional donation, this will help offset those who are too hard hit financially by the coronavirus to pay their regular dues amounts.

Other monthly rates for those experiencing financial challenges

As we continue to train during this coronavirus pandemic, please continue to pay your dojo dues as best you can. If you are unable to pay the reduced or full monthly dues and need to pay less, please choose an amount you can afford.

Please pay what you are able:

Pay by Check

You may also use checks to pay dojo dues. Most people sending checks do so via their online banking service, arranging for the checks to arrive about 5 days before the first day of the month. Checks should be sent to our mailing address:

Heart of San Francisco Aikido
3041 Mission Street #125
San Francisco, CA 94110

Dojo Classes & Events

Due to the coronavirus, all classes are currently being held online and outdoors, with masks and physical distancing.

Aikido Terms Glossary

The practice of Aikido uses many Japanese words and phrases. This glossary is a brief introduction to some of the terms you will learn in your practice at our dojo.

Guidelines for Kyu and Shodan Exams

Remember there are guidelines - use them to aid your practice.

Review the exam guidelines >

On a test, you may be asked to demonstrate techniques which are not on this list. For that, the only preparation is to train regularly.

Dan Essays

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