New York Still Mind Aiki Shuren Dojo

Aikido - The Martial Art of Peace

Adult Aikido Classes

Nature of Martial Arts Training: Imagine a customer walks up to the counter in a drugstore and asks, "I would like to buy some peace of mind. What aisle do you have that on?" As we all know, true peace of mind doesn't come in a bottle. It requires commitment and hard work.

What to Expect in Class

Class Sampler
Highlights from Classes and Exams
Westchester County Center Demo

Training and Community

What is Aikido - Morihiro Saito

"When asked what Aikido is, it is difficult to answer the questions in a few words. But when asked for whom Aikido exists, the question is easy to answer. The answer is that Aikido exists for those who ask for it. In a limited sense, the art exists for those who actually practice it. Among the Aikido trainees, there are those who, endowed with glibness, claim to know everything about Aikido. Their actual training, however, belies their words and is not commendable. They lack enthusiasm about their training. I prefer the opposite type. If one examines Aikido patiently for a long time, something is bound to touch your heartstrings. That something is presumably the true answer to the question “What is Aikido?” The answer, therefore, varies as you continue to refine yourself. In my opinion, the answer is sort of an unwritten law which allows all kinds of interpretations but is something which is not forced on you by others."


Sabrina - mid 20's

Starting anything can be very intimidating, especially a martial art. I had never done a martial art before but I realized it's more than just a fitness class. This martial art teaches you situational awareness. It shows you no matter how long you practice you are still learning. It teaches you respect for other people because you learn to blend with them and eventually anticipate their next move or possibly learn their intentions. The cross training of tai chi and aikido has helped me strengthen my body and root myself to the ground.

Jason - mid 40's

The benefits of training in Aikido go far beyond being able to defend yourself. It is an ideal martial art if you're looking for individual improvement and a sense of internal and external balance. One of the great aspects of Still Mind Aikido is the collaborative spirit, and the incredible support given while learning the techniques from Sensei and fellow students in the dojo...I have made life long friends, here and abroad, have travelled the country training in other dojo’s and experiencing other teachers, and have learned more about myself and about how to manage the difficult situations of life. Aikido has practical applications in my regular work day, in raising my children, and even in being a volunteer firefighter...

Rick - age 50

...Starting my 29th year in my law enforcement career I can say that it has helped me to deal with some of the stress associated with this type work. Dealing with the public and department brass is stressful. I have learned that Aikido is not only for self-defense in the physical environment but also offense when dealing with different co-workers, bosses, who sometimes create stress onto others...

How we Deliver Benefits

Self defense comes through technique and understanding - physical and mental. Without both survival is only due to luck.

Aikido as a martial art begins with the notion that one can be attacked by multiple parties from any direction at any time. Universal and continuous awareness is trained from the start. Training includes use of peripheral vision as well. Balance is needed to execute techniques and falling is taught to minimize impact and injury. These aspects - awareness, balance and safe falling - are key ingredients to prevent accidents and reduce risk of injury in the event one occurs.

The practice is designed to start where you are and build up your condition from there. We are taught to train at the ability of our partner, so no one is forced to take on more pressure than they are comfortable with. Train is done in a relaxed manner, which benefits health in more ways than merely exercise. The legs are engaged powerfully at all times while the upper body is often relaxed. As a result, leg strength is gained throughout the practice. Arm strength develops through training in weapons. Cardio vascular improvement and core strength take place through taking falls. To the extent someone needs to build themselves more first up, tai chi training uses the Traditional Chinese Meridian System to improve health

Inherently arising from the practice of martial arts are certain existential questions. In a conflict, who is it that lives and who is it that dies. Through investigation we discover our enemy is not the attacker, but our own fear or other destructive emotions. By learning to conquer this enemy within, we gain great efficacy in self defense, improve health and manage conflicts naturally. We understand that we and our enemy are the same, and the need for conflict dissolves. The student may choose their own path to answering these questions, but their importance in training is fundamental. Benefits may then become apparent in our outside relationships.

No martial art can claim their training is the same as a violent attack. No one trains by fighting to the death, and that is the only way to replicate such violence. All martial arts use a system designed to teach skills which can then be applied. The first skill is awareness so as not to be where the violence occurs. Traditional Aikido teaches roughly 250 basic techniques against strong resistance. At 3rd dan level, focus turns heavily to applying them in motion to develop timing skills. The art is stress tested with multiple attacks. Control is emphasized throughout to minimize risk of injury.