We write this in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Charleena Lyles, Che Taylor, Manuel Ellis, and too many others. Individual and systemic racism is real, is violent, is here in Seattle, and it must stop. Black. Lives. Matter. Until the actions of individuals and society demonstrate this to be true, we need to recommit ourselves to this pledge every day.

A central tenet of Aikido is caring, not just for others in the dojo, but also for the world. To quote our founder Morihei Ueshiba:

Aikido “is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.” — Morihei Ueshiba (O Sensei, Founder of Aikido)

Seattle Aikikai’s core mission is the study, practice, improvement, and promotion of Aikido. Through Aikido training we each find self-mastery, develop non-violent conflict resolution skills, and improve our physical, mental, and emotional strength. We believe Aikido training offers this and more to people at every level of ability, and that the practice has more impact when we bring together a diverse group. Indeed, we can only do this honestly and successfully as a more diverse group.

Despite our efforts, Seattle Aikikai has historically been almost all white. While we have at our core a mission of inclusion and inclusivity, we have not lived up to our desire to diversify our membership. Although we have done much to create an inclusive community, we could do more to become truly diverse. We owe it to our community to do better.

Being continually exposed to vivid violence while managing the fallout of a pandemic, we recognize this as a time to act, and by acting we will learn, grow, even blossom. Seattle Aikikai is re-committing to the core principles of Aikido in ways that will extend our values of inclusion and diversity.

What we have done

  • Created a diversity and inclusion statement which has been in place for two years
  • Implemented a zero-tolerance harassment policy
  • Raised awareness among our instructors and membership around race and gender diversity issues
  • in Aikido and in our dojo
  • Reduced race, gender, and age inequities on our board of directors

What we plan to do:

  • Add classes in locations that are easily accessible to communities of color
  • Provide more subsidies and scholarships to students who need financial assistance
  • Direct outreach and invitations to communities of color to learn about Aikido
  • Diversity and Inclusion training for the board
  • Create ongoing opportunities for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other persons of color to instruct in classes and seminars
  • Review, update, improve and report on this list as we continue to enact it
LEARN MORE

About Aikido

"To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace."
– Morihei Ueshiba

Aikido is a modern martial art developed in the late 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O Sensei (“Great Teacher”). Translated, Aikido (合気道) means "the way of harmonizing with energy." O Sensei realized that winning at the expense of another's defeat was not a victory. Aikido blends with an attack, using timing and momentum. The attacker's momentum is redirected or evaded, leading into into a throw or pin.  In this way, the aggressor's physical safety is maintained, and they learn that they can only harm themselves. Aikido has no sparring or competition.

In a relentlessly fast-paced world, Aikido provides a place where you can practice mindfulness, develop mental and physical strength, and flexibility. Aikido boosts concentration, learning capability, and leadership skills.

Community

Seattle Aikikai is fortunate to have a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes everyone with the desire to practice. Aikido requires commitment and discipline, but our members will challenge you to be your best, and will do all we can to support your practice. Our local aikido community is part of a larger community, in the Pacific Northwest and Internationally. The Aikido family can be found in every corner of the globe, and our members often travel to seminars in the U.S. and abroad, including Japan, Spain, and more. 

"As a longtime Aikido practitioner and a newcomer to Seattle, I knew the best way to get a feel for the city (and make new friends) would be to join a dojo. While there were a handful of choices, Seattle Aikikai really stood out for its warm welcome, acceptance of students coming from different training backgrounds, and its study of Aikido as both a physical and spiritual practice."
– Mahika R.

Instructors

"When you walk into a dojo you cross a threshold. You are walking into a space that is unique and special. You feel that you will find something in the dojo that was missing from your life — something that you have been looking for. My job as an instructor is to help facilitate that experience."
– Malory Graham

Graham Sensei began training with Paul Sylvain Sensei in 1988. She has been professionally teaching since 1997. She received her 6th Dan from Y. Yamada Shihan in 2014. She travels around the country and around the world to teach and to further her own training. She has a close affiliation with Okamoto Sensei and Mulligan Sensei of Aikido Kyoto.

Our instructors are certified in first aid, CPR, and AED through the Cascade Training Center.

Dave Becker
Roy May
Faith Lumsden
Daniel Top
Wini Hamilton
Tom Lee
Amanda Page

Inclusivity

Seattle Aikikai is fortunate to have a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes everyone with the desire to practice. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination or harassment of any kind. We take feedback seriously, and any given will remain confidential.

We believe that diversity greatly enriches the practice of Aikido. Its success as a martial art depends upon a foundation of a wide range of experiences and perspectives. We are committed to the inclusion and support of all members regardless of race, color, age, culture, ability, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation, veteran status, citizenship, or socioeconomic status.

We recognize that dojos can reflect the inherent inequity in our society and all members come with implicit bias. Cultural understanding and humility in the delivery of accessible, inclusive programming is a core value of our dojo.

We support diversity in our membership by:

  • Practicing non-discrimination at home and at seminars
  • Encouraging awareness of appropriate, welcoming language
  • Working to reduce physical, social, and economic barriers to practice
  • Reducing barriers to participation in classes and events by providing scholarships

Seattle Aikikai is a 501(c)3 non-profit dojo, and we provide training for anyone though a scholarship program funded by tax-deductible donations.