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Eric Chason
01-14-2009, 12:04 PM
I'm interested in Aikido and am looking for a dojo in Williamsburg, VA. The only one I've found is the martial arts club at William and Mary (http://web.wm.edu/so/martialartsclub/about.php). I think I'm eligible to join the W&M club as I work at the College. I'm curious, though, if anyone knows of any other Aikido in Williamsburg. I've found two other places, each about 20 miles away. They are Five Rivers Aikido (http://www.5riverskiaikido.org) in Gloucester, VA and Tidewater Aikikai in Newport News, VA (http://www.angelfire.com/va3/aikido/aikidowp.htm).

Other than that, it the closest I could find is Norfolk or Richmond, which are too far (at least for me). The W&M club looks very good because it is a lot closer to where I live than Gloucester or Newport News.

I'm curious, though, if anyone knows of any other Aikido in Williamsburg, VA or the peninsula. Also, I would appreciate any feedback on the three dojos that I listed. Thank you very much.

Nathan Wallace
01-15-2009, 08:08 AM
Konnichiwa Eric,
I'm also in the great VA so I thought I'd check it out for you. I couldn't get the "Five Rivers" link to work, sorry. However the other two dojo looked kool. I've never heard anything about them and I don't recall meeting any of there students though I'm sure I have at some point worked with them at seminars. My teacher, Sensei Mark Hopkins, taught me to always respect a connection to the Aikikai Headquarters in Tokyo which the "Tidewater Aikikai" dojo claim to hold. The other doesn't seem to focus on Aikido but simply has that as part of their curriculum so if your interested in Aikido specifically I'd suggest "Tidewater". However in my personal opinion I'd work with both, but do what you gotta do.

Eric Chason
01-15-2009, 09:50 AM
Thank you very much Nathan. Based on the W&M website, it seems that training Aikido only is OK (http://web.wm.edu/so/martialartsclub/join.php), but I've put an email with them to make sure. The Five Rivers website must have been down when you tried it. Here is how they describe themselves.

Welcome to Five Rivers Ki Aikido, where we practice Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (link to glossary in About Aikido section). Our dojo's name refers to the many rivers in southeastern Virginia where we train. Rivers suggest energy and flow, which are essential to the practice of Aikido.

We are members of Virginia Ki Society and Ki Society International. We practice at the Riverside Wellness and Fitness Center in Gloucester, VA on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We are a club, and every member pays dues ($35/month). If you are interested in trying Aikido, you are welcome to observe or participate in your first class at no charge.

Our instructor is Sensei Steve Zimmerman [photo], who has the rank of shodan. Classes are conducted for all levels of training.

Eric Chason
01-15-2009, 03:19 PM
Being new to the forum, I didn't see an edit feature. Anyway, my due diligence uncovered another Aikido opportunity. It is offered by the Newport News Park department. I thought I'd list it in case anyone in the future is looking for Aikido in the area.

Fee $42 8 Week Session Ages:18 and up
Aikido offers practical self-defense, and teaches self improvement. Aikido improves not only your physical
conditioning - stamina, balance, flexibility, coordination, strength, and resilience - but your mental
conditioning as well. The instruction is in the traditional style of Hombu Aikikai.Throwing and falling are
stressed equally; you acquire the technique while being thrown and practice the techniques by throwing.
I231.301 DCC 6:30 to 8pm January 26 -March 17 M Tu Crosby, Patrick

odudog
01-18-2009, 01:39 PM
I started taking aikido when I was at ODU in the 80's. The W&M aikido is under the same organization. From my semi-first hand experience, I would say go to W&M. I learned from the guy {Hamada Sensei - the organization top dog} that taught the guy at W&M and if everything is still the same, then you will definately be in good hands.

Eric Chason
01-18-2009, 09:06 PM
I started taking aikido when I was at ODU in the 80's. The W&M aikido is under the same organization. From my semi-first hand experience, I would say go to W&M. I learned from the guy {Hamada Sensei - the organization top dog} that taught the guy at W&M and if everything is still the same, then you will definately be in good hands.

Thanks, Mike. I've been in contact with the W&M club and am going to go with them. Anyone who knows of Aikido in Williamsburg or the peninsula might still list the club here. It might help someone else down the road.