What is Aikido?

Aikido "the Way of harmonious spirit" is a Japanese martial art founded  by the late Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) in the 1920s and 1930s. The founder's goal was to create a martial art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido movement is known for it's circular & harmonious nature.  It's foundation of movement stems from older arts such as Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu and the sword. Aikido movement is about optimizing ones own body power and defusing the effectiveness of the attacker by using the basic mechanics of the body. There is atemi (strikes), grabs, joint locks, & ukemi (falling/receiving).  There is empty hand throws and take-downs, multiple attacker scenarios, as well as weapons kata and weapons takeaway. The three main "weapons" used in Aikido are the tanto (knife), bokken (sword) and Jo (staff).

Aikido is originated from Budo principles and the basic laws of nature. It is not a sport but a martial path. Rather than fostering a competitive spirit, through pair practice it nurtures a spirit of harmony and mutual assistance. There are no competitions in Aikido, your greatest competitor is yourself. The main focus of Aikido is self reflection and refinement  through the physical and mental practice of a martial art.

There is no quick and easy way to become proficient in the art. It is only through consistent, training, dedication, self refinement and an open mind does one grow. It takes years and decades with only the end goal being never ending improvement in oneself & technique.

An Aikido dojo is not a gym. It is a place where you wash and polish your spirit and technique. Your enter and leave with respect. You help clean and maintain it as though it is a reflection of how your are refining yourself and your technique.

Anyone can practice the art of Aikido, regardless of gender, age, race, size or religion. All that is required is a positive attitude and willingness to learn. We have a demographic of students ranging from 15 to 79 years old. We have students that weigh less than 100 lbs to over 200 lbs. We have bilingual students. We have students from at least four different ethnic backgrounds.  Everyone is welcome!

Mission Statement


The fundamental mission of 12th Street AIKIDo is to cultivate an environment in which students can learn the principles and foundations of the martial art Aikido, while fostering a harmonious spirit within themselves and others. To create a community based on mutual respect and a desire to grow as individuals.