Boston Aikikai Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to promoting the martial art of Aikido. All donations are tax deductible.
Developed by Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido is a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and spiritual beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying with life energy,” or as “the way of harmonious spirit.” This traditional martial art teaches physical and mental discipline as a path to personal growth.
Using its philosophy of peaceful resolution to confrontation, Aikido teaches how to redirect attacks of an aggressor. Training is demanding, and can serve as a platform for both physical and spiritual development.
The primary objective of our dojo is to cultivate physical and mental well‐being fostered through physical training, self-development, and community engagement.
At Boston Aikikai, classes are open to all, regardless of race, gender, age, or ability.
Please donate, if you can! Your support will help our training to continue, and our community to flourish.
New to Aikido?
If you’re interested in checking us out, drop by for one of our classes – we have them seven days a week. Just come in and take off your shoes when entering the dojo. You’re welcome to sit and observe class at any time. If you want to meet the members, all you have to do is arrive 10 minutes before class or stick around afterwards!
Ready to give it a try? Bring some gym clothes for a free trial class. Just contact the dojo (email@example.com) first expressing your interest and what day you’d like to come in!
Want a free gi (uniform)? We have a great beginner’s package! It covers 10 basics classes and comes with a gi.
Like what you’ve seen? Sign up for our traditional membership. This gives you unlimited access to our entire class schedule!
See here for more information on what you can expect when visiting us, here for some general rules of conduct when practicing with us, and here for directions to the dojo.
Aikido etiquette remains deeply influenced by traditional Japanese martial arts values (budo). A centerpiece is Rei, which means “appreciation and respect.” Practitioners show Rei to O-Sensei (Founder of Aikido), to the sensei (instructors), and to training partners.
In the dojo (place of practice), students express respect in the form of bowing, which is part of traditional martial arts culture. Bowing in the dojo is a purely cultural, non-religious, expression of respect.
A picture of O-Sensei and that of other late grand masters are displayed in the shomen (front of the dojo). Students express respect and gratitude to O-Sensei for his legacy in the form of bowing.
- Bowing occurs on multiple occasions in the dojo, including:
- Upon entering or leaving the dojo: the bow is executed standing up, bare head, arms along the side of the body and facing towards the shomen.
- Upon stepping onto or off of the tatami (mats): kneel down in seiza (sitting on the heels with the back straight), and bow to the shomen with both hands on the mat in front of you.
- At the beginning and end of class: everybody will line up facing the shomen, sitting quietly; then bow together to the shomen and to the instructor.
- Before and after practicing with a training partner (during or after class): bow to each other in seiza.
The dojo opens about 15 minutes before the beginning of a class. If you wish only to observe a class, come in to the dojo and someone will greet you. Upon entering the dojo, remove your shoes in the front area (at the top of the steps). The day of your first class, allow for at least 15 minutes to register and get acquainted with the space.
Classes begin with warm-ups customized to the practice of Aikido or Iaido. Before class, take time to calm and settle yourself to prepare both physically and mentally for practice.
Do not be late. But if circumstances arise and you must arrive late to class, get changed as quickly as you can, stand by the edge of the mat, and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you, at which point you may bow onto the mat.
Better than adversaries, your partners are critical to your improvement and they are happy to help you if they are more advanced. Lacking respect towards your training partners goes against the spirit of Aikido and is unproductive. Remain humble and sincere. During class or free practice, overcome your aggressiveness and competitiveness. Before and after practicing with a partner, show respect and bow to her/him.
The dojo has no employees. The dojo needs to be maintained and kept immaculately clean. This is every member’s responsibility. Tatami need special care and must be cleaned at least once a day, usually after class. All members are expected to help keep all parts of the dojo neat and orderly at all times–including the mat, floors, entrance area, bathrooms, and inside the locker rooms. No permission is required to help with cleaning. Observe and ask questions to the sensei or senior students, who will be happy to guide you through the cleaning process.