Thanks for the Memories



Dear Friends and Members of Chicago Aikido Club,

After careful consideration, the decision has been made to close the club. Due to declining membership and other factors, we can no longer continue operation in our current form.

However, please note that Joe Takehara Sensei will continue to teach his Sunday morning 11:30 am – 1:00 pm class at the Tohkon Judo Academy location. The focus will be Takehara Sensei’s particular take on the internal aspects of Aikido. New and experienced students of all ages, experience levels and aikido affiliation are welcome to attend for however long Takehara Sensei is able to offer instruction.

We would like to thank parent organization, Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) for having made us part of its extended family. Several club members will be transferring to Chicago Aikikai and continuing their affiliation.

We would also like to thank Doug Tono Sensei of Tohkon Judo Academy for having provided us a home these past several years (and for supporting Takehara Sensei for the foreseeable future). We have enjoyed being part of their annual Kagami Biraki event, and introducing aikido to his judo students.

Also thanks to Japanese American Service Committee (JASC), where Tohkon Judo Academy is based, as well as Chicago Wushu (led by Dan Pesina Sifu) and Design Dance for having past provided space when we were starting up.


Dwight Sora, Manager

Chicago Aikido Club

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2018 Midwest Aikido Bridge Seminar this month!

Reminder that this year’s annual Midwest Aikido Bridge weekend seminar will be held this month, March 23rd to 25th at Milwaukee Shobukan (9450 N. 107th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53224). This year’s lineup has Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, Hawk Durham, Lisa Tomoleoni, Mike Ellefson, John Boland and Nicole Di Bernardo (Art Wise was originally schedule but had to withdraw).

Seminar fees are $200 for the full seminar and $50 per session. A 15% student discount is available.


In addition, there will be two evening dinner events on Friday and Saturday night that may be attended at additional charge ($15 Friday, $25 Saturday).

Milwaukee Shobukan asks that attendees print and fill out their registration forms in advance. Visa, Mastercard, check, and cash payments will be accepted at the door.

Lodgings for the seminar are available at the dojo, or at Holiday Inn Express – Mequon.  Holiday Inn rooms feature 2 queen beds that are great for attendees to share and split costs. Additionally, the hotel features an indoor heated pool, fitness center, and a breakfast bar/buffet.

Midwest Aikido Bridge 2018


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Tuesday Weapons Classes at Chicago Aikikai

Andrew Vitale (3rd dan, ASU) is teaching a special class focusing on aikido weapons work the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of every month at the Chicago Aikikai. Classes will start at 7:30 pm following regular training.

This month’s class will be held on Tuesday, March 13 and 27th.

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Kagami Biraki Class with Joe Takehara Sensei



Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) will host a 2018 Kagami Biraki Class with Joe Takehara Sensei on Sunday, February 11. Class will be held from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, followed by a potluck. Friends, family and newcomers welcome.


at Japanese American Service Committee (JASC)

4427 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60640

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San Cubed

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Images from Tohkon Judo Academy Kagami Biraki 2018

Some pics from Tohkon Judo Academy‘s Kagami Biraki celebration at Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) on Saturday, January 13, 2017.

Clockwise from left: Rice cookers steaming away in JASC kitchen; Consul General of Japan Naoki Ito taking a turn at pounding; the finished product; Visiting members of Aikido of Northwest Kansas helping out; CAC member Kat Guzman taking a break from pounding; CAC member Dwight Sora hard at work.

Left to right: Setting up dojo for the audience; All the pieces in place for the ceremony; CAC member Dwight Sora representing for the club.

Left to right: Alexander Hindley and Daniel Braithwaite watch while Qin Zheng and Dwight Sora demonstrate paired bokken kata; Demonstration of basic teams by the entire team; Joe Takehara Sensei offering an explanation of aikido’s basic concepts; Takehara Sensei inviting judoka Felix Lanier up on stage to demonstrate.

A video excerpt of the demo may be viewed here on Youtube.


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Kagami Biraki at Tohkon Judo Academy

Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) will once again be participating in Japanese American Service Committee (JASC)‘s and Tohkon Judo Academy‘s annual Kagami Biraki event on Saturday, January 13.

Doors open at 8:00 am with mochitsuki (rice cake-making), followed by the day’s program. Included are a traditional purification ceremony, a taiko (Japanese drum) performance by Kokyo Taiko of Buddhist Temple of Chicago (BTC), an aikido demonstration by CAC, and a judo demonstration by members of Tohkon. Everything concludes with a community potluck luncheon starting around 2:00 pm.

The event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there.


Happy New Year!


JASC and Tohkon Judo Academy Annual Kagami Biraki

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Japanese American Service Committee (JASC)

4427 North Clark Street, Chicago

8:00 am – 12:00 PM Traditional mochitsuki (rice cake making)

12:00 pm – Tenrikyo Oharai purification ceremony by Rev. Kuni Fumioka

12:40 pm – Kokyo Taiko Japanese drumming performance

1:10 pm – Demonstration by Chicago Aikido Club

1:30 pm – Demonstration by Tohkon Judo Academy

2:00 pm – Potluck fellowship luncheon


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AIKIDO – El arte de la paz

Spanish card

New Spanish-language promotional postcard. Art by Ivan Lee. Translation and editing by Marlon FadragasSol HMJose Nateras and Blanca Estela Lopez. Thanks everyone!

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Promoting Peace with Urban Warriors



Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) will be partnering with Urban Warrior Fitness in Rogers Park to present two free Monday night introductory aikido workshops on October 30 and November 13. Both workshops will last 90 minutes and start at 7:00 pm.

The workshops will emphasize the use of aikido to develop mindfulness through movement, breathing and balance, as well the self-defense aspects of the art.

Both groups hope these workshops may be helpful to the local community, which is still dealing with the aftermath of a fatal shooting incident that took place on October 13.


Aikido Workshop at Urban

Monday, October 30 and November 13

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

at Urban Warrior Fitness

1546 Howard St, Chicago, IL 60626

For more information, call (773) 754-7351, Ext. 0

Facebook event page:


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