The Dojo

East Lake Aikido was founded to preserve and transmit the practice of Aikido, a Japanese Budo, and related disciplines that promote physical and personal growth.

The dojo provides space and opportunity for students to participate in a community of dedicated practitioners in a focused and joyful training environment.


There are many different ways of practicing Aikido. Some styles emphasize a soft, dance-like approach, other schools of aikido teach a more linear emphasis on martial technique, while others focus almost exclusively on the internal aspects of the art.

At East Lake Aikido we strive to balance elements of softness and hardness, unifying internal organization and awareness with clear and precise movement. While at its essence Aikido is martially effective it can be practiced without sacrificing the imperatives of sensitivity, awareness and the cultivation of harmony.

The relationship between weapons and empty-handed techniques, the importance of keeping strong solid connection in taking ukemi (receiving technique), and the intrinsic value of engaging with seated meditation practice are all integral to the learning that we pursue.  

The dojo is a space dedicated to the work of self-transformation. We work and play, and then we rest. While in the dojo everything we do is considered part of our practice and is engaged with a spirit of curiosity and play. We strive to embody lighthearted seriousness and as we practice the space takes on the polish of our efforts. 

The relationship between a dojo and its members is one of interdependence. Practice is deeply personal but not possible without collective efforts of all members. In exploring our capacity for action in both physical and psychological projection we share a very genuine part of ourselves with one another. 

East Lake Aikido does not discriminate on the basis of identity and is committed to making practice accessible to all who are interested. However, if you want to remain unchanged by the practice this might not be for you, maybe.