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Aikido Classes

Grace, control, power, and compassion.

​Aikido is a Japanese martial art which promotes mind and body coordination, awareness, physical conditioning, a calm mind and effective self-defense all in one package.

Aikido has its roots in Daito-Ryu Aikijujitsu. The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, O-Sensei, transformed the Aikijujitsu form into a flowing, subtle, and dynamic martial art form.

Aikido dynamics take years to develop, and Aikido may not be for those who expect instant results in the self-defense part of the art. Through sincere training, a student will gain self-confidence and a different view of the world around him or her.

The dynamics of Aikido allow the defender to deal with an attacker in a way that gives the defender the choice either of doing damage to the attacker, or turning the confrontation into something controlled and less violent. The defender uses the attacker’s energy -- along with his own relaxed and blended energy -- for an efficient self-defense form that can be used equally well by men, women, and children.

There are three traditional weapons taught:  

the Jo, a short staff; 

the Bokken, a wooden sword; and

the Tanto, a knife.

The weapons are taught along with the open hand forms in order to help teach students correct body positioning and movement.

About the Arts: Services

Tai Chi Classes

How You Can Benefit at Any Age.

It's a Classic Martial Art.

A Chinese martial art, Tai Chi was used by the Taoist warriors to disarm an opponent by gently redirecting his own force against him. It was developed by a monk who observed that the soft and pliant endure, while the hard and rigid break and die. Tai Chi is an internal martial art. Each movement has a practical self-defense function.

It's a Meditative Art.

Tai Chi is meditation in motion. It clears the mind and reduces stress. Tai Chi is practiced slowly, softly and with complete relaxation. By focusing on the present moment, the student gains increased concentration, awareness, and the ability to learn. 

It's a Healing Art.

Tai Chi promotes the circulation of chi, or life energy, in the body, encouraging wellness and vitality. It improves immune functioning and develops strength, flexibility and balance. It has been proven to reduce blood pressure and increase bone density. A study by the National Institute of Aging found that participants, all over age 60, who completed 15 weeks of Tai Chi, reduced their risk of falls by more than 50%.

About the Arts: Services


So Effective, Doctors and Hospitals Recommend It

  • Qigong for Health.

Chi-Lel™ Qigong is the natural healing method used at the Huaxia Zhineng Center in China for the treatment of chronic illness. Chi-Lel™ Qigong consists of visualizations combined with a series of gentle movements which people can learn easily to improve and sustain their health and wellness.

Sensei Frank McGouirk is a certified Chi-Lel Qigong instructor. He trained intensively at the Huaxia Zhineng Center where more than 130,000 patients with 180 different diseases achieved an overall effective cure rate of 95%. This self-healing art is easy to follow and effective.

The practice of Chi-Lel™ Qigong dissolves blockages so that chi energy can flow vigorously throughout the body, bringing life energy to every cell. Without blockages one becomes balanced, healthy, happy, and full of energy and vitality.

We offer three Qigong classes which are taught by instructor Meg Rottman, 3rd degree black sash, who is dedicated to Qigong practice. Meg has personal experience with qigong's real healing capabilities (as do many other people in the dojo) so she is passionate about teaching Qigong.  

  • "Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down," is a 25-minute session available on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. 

  • Tuesday's Qigong class is a 45-minute session teaching several qigong exercises. It is held on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

  • The Full Moon Qigong is once a month, on a selected Sunday at 5:00 p.m. This meditative healing qigong is 60 minutes deep and can be done standing or sitting.  

The Qigong classes are included in Full Membership. They are also available through the Whittier Community Recreation catalog of classes.

The Full Moon Qigong is open and free to the public. There is a prerequisite: participants are to attend one of the shorter "Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down" classes at least once before attempting the Full Moon Qigong. There is a free class on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. 

About the Arts: Services

Zen Practice

Meditation, Dharma Talks, and More

  • Great Zen Master Seung Sahn's Description of Zen

Zen is very simple. "Who are you?"

In this whole world, everyone searches for happiness outside but nobody understands their true self inside. Everybody says; "I". "I want this, I am like that..." but nobody understands this "I". 

Before you were born, where did you come from? When you die, where do you go? If you sincerely ask, "What am I?" sooner or later you will run into a wall where all thinking is cut off. We call this, "Don't Know" mind.  Zen is keeping this mind always and everywhere. 

Sound interesting? Come discover mysteries about your world and yourself.

We do not currently offer Zen practice on a regular schedule. Occasional seminars will be announced in our newsletters.  When Zen practice is offered regularly, it is included in Full Membership.

Dress comfortably so to sit quietly for the class. Seating is available on your choice of floor cushions, chairs, or benches. 

About the Arts: Services

Extra Classes

Aikido Ai seeks to benefit our students' lives physically, mentally, and emotionally. These unique classes serve the needs and interests of many of our students. We host expert instructors in classic Yoga and stretching, and also in exciting Taiko drumming.  

General public is welcome to attend! 

These classes are not included in our membership plans.

Schedules and prices are subject to change without notice.

Yoga Pose


Keep everything moving!

Marc Gregory is a certified yoga instructor who is also well trained in all of our martial arts. He teaches beginners through advanced students, and he tailors the yoga sessions to match the class attendees. Yoga is excellent to improve strength, balance, flexibility, and range of motion. His class includes the mental focus, breathing techniques, and restful centering exercises that make yoga so beneficial for students of all ages.

Marc supplies yoga equipment such as foam blocks, supports, and straps. Students may bring their own yoga mats or simply work out on the dojo's padded floor mat. 


Classes are 30 minutes on Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. and 60 minutes on Friday at 10:15 a.m.

Fee: $5.00 per class. 


Learn to play classic Japanese drums in exciting group sessions.

David Wells and Liz Ishida teach our Taiko group the fundamentals of drum rhythms and techniques. Our Taiko group practices on three sizes of drums, learning traditional songs and modern festival and performance pieces.

David Wells trained at Kenny Endo's Taiko Center of the Pacific in Hawaii before becoming a performing member of TAIKOPROJECT. He is a dedicated researcher of taiko pedagogy and coaches a variety of courses at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute.

Come join us for a healthy workout and great fun. Classes are on Saturdays 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.

Adults:  $120 for eight weeks.

Kids:  $80 for eight weeks. 


For more information on services offered at Aikido Ai, contact us.

About the Arts: Services
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