Safety Protocols

Given continuing public health concerns, classes will operate a bit differently than they have in the past.

Read More

Reserve A Spot

For current members: please make sure you book your spot ahead of time, as well as cancel if you can’t make it so that others can participate. There is a waiting list in case the class gets fully booked. Accurate booking is also essential for contact tracing.

If you are not currently a member and interested in attending a class, contact the dojo.

Dojo Etiquette

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.

Bowing
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.

Classes
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.

Partners
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.

Dojo Tasks
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.

Donations

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.

Contact Instructor To Try A Class

Anyone interested in trying aikido is welcome to a free class. Please contact the chief instructor so that we will be prepared to welcome you on the day you will visit.

Contact Dojo

Instructors

Vu X. Ha

Chief Instructor

Vu X. Ha, Rokudan (6th degree) has been a practitioner of aikido since 1989 and was a close and direct student both of the late Akira Tohei Shihan in Chicago, IL, and Mitsunari Kanai Shihan in Cambridge, MA. Throughout the year, he continues training with master instructors (Shihan) from the U.S. Aikido Federation Technical Committee and Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu), nationally and internationally. He is also practitioner of Iaido, (Godan; 5th degree) the Japanese martial art drawing and cutting with the sword.

Fiona Blyth

Instructor

Fiona Blyth, Godan (5th degree), has been a practitioner of Aikido for more than 25 years in the U.S., England, and France. A close and direct student of the late Mitsunari Kanai Sensei at New England Aikikai in Cambridge, MA, she was an integral part of developing and teaching the beginners curriculum with Kanai Sensei. She taught beginner and mixed level classes for many years at the New England Aikikai. She has taught seminars in the United States and England, and continues to train in Europe and the States.

Catherine Lefebvre ready for iaido

Catherine Lefebvre

Instructor

Catherine Lefebvre (2nd degree Aikido; 4th degree Iaido) started practicing Aikido and Iaido in Quebec City (Canada) in 1999. She then studied under Claude Berthiaume Shihan at Aikido de la Montagne, Montreal (Canada). Since 2020, she joined Boston Aikikai and is assistant instructor for the Iaido program.

News & Events

Vu Ha Sensei doing tai no henko
03 May

The Dojo Is Open

Classes are 7 days a week.

01 Jul

Weapons

Aikido movements originate from weapons work, and therefore, even in a pandemic we are able to continue our aikido training through bokken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden stick) practice. Class consists of drill exercises with the bokken and jo, followed by partner work (kumi-tachi and kumi-jo). Masks are worn at …

24 Apr

Reserve A Spot

Because classes are limited to 10 students, if you wish to attend a class you need to reserve a spot.