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The Dojo

West Seattle Aikikai is associated with Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, through Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), under Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.

The Chief Instructor is Darren McKee Sensei, who began his Aikido training in 1980.  He has been teaching Aikido since 1982, when he was asked to take over responsibility for the Cal Poly Pomona Aikido Club.  Subsequently, he has taught regular classes at many dojo around the country (including Los Angeles, Boulder, Mill Valley, Kirkland, and even Kalamazoo).  He is currently Godan (fifth degree black belt) in Aikido, and Nidan (second degree black belt) in Iaido.  He has trained directly under Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan and Mitsugi Saotome Shihan for many years, in addition to many other Shihan and Sensei from around the world, most notably, Shoji Nishio Shihan.

Training is conducted in the best tradition of a traditional Japanese dojo and therefore becomes an excellent introduction to Japanese culture.

How to join

Come to the dojo and fill out a registration and release form.  With that, and your membership fee, you're ready to go.

If you do not yet have a dogi (training uniform), be sure to wear loose fitting clothes, like sweat pants and a t-shirt.  No shorts though; your knees need to be covered.

The classes are ongoing, so you can start right now.  They cover the basic exercises and techniques, rolling and falling, etc. all the way up through advanced technique.

The student should also acquire a Bokken (wooden sword) and a Jo (wooden staff) for weapons training.

You are always welcome to stop by the dojo to watch class, or have any questions answered.


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