Letter from a visitor

A cast-mate of Dwight Sora’s paid the club a visit and was so impressed she sent this letter out to the other cast members of Family Devotions.  Here is the letter she sent out. We think it is pretty great.

Image of actress Eliza Shin

Eliza Shin

I went to Dwight’s aikido club/studio/center (sorry, Dwight, I don’t know what to call it), and it was amazing!

First and foremost, everyone was so welcoming of a complete novice.  After each exercise, they made sure that I was partnered.  Each member would then guide me through the exercise and instruct me appropriately.  Being completely new to aikido, I was initially a bit nervous and overwhelmed.  But it became clear that everyone was accustomed to novices.  In fact, there were some who would seek me out as a partner in order to take a breather between exercises.

Now about aikido – AMAZING!  I’ve been physically overpowered a few times and so assumed that to be a fact of life for someone of my size – that if push came to shove, I would always lose.  Dwight mentioned that aikido would teach me otherwise, and he was absolutely right.  True, I can’t overpower someone with muscle.  But aikido showed me that if I utilize my physique in the right ways, I can biomechanically outsmart them.  I was paired with a guy at least 14 inches taller and 100 lbs heavier, and with the right twists and turns, I was in physical control.  It’s only been one day, so I don’t yet feel the full psychological effects.  With my history, however, I’m sure that this new knowledge will leak into my psyche in confident and powerful new ways.

It’s absolutely worth trying once, especially since Dwight is there.  Not only is he a wonderful guide, but it’s enlivening to watch his mastery at something other than acting.  The video makes it look like nothing is happening and that people are just rolling on the ground.  Nothing could be farther from the truth — aikido incorporates massive physicality.  If any of you go, let me know.  I’ll want to tag along.


Eliza Shin is a local actress and singer.  She was recently seen onstage in the play Family Devotions with Halcyon Theatre and Jade Heart at Chicago Dramatists.  She also is the cantor at St. Vincent De Paul Church, performs at Potbelly’s on Thursday nights and entertains kids with the band Super Stolie and the Rockstars.  She’s also been seen twice on the show Check Please! on WTTW and has appeared in various commercials and industrial films.


About ChicagoAikidoClub

Chicago Aikido Club is non-profit organization dedicated to the free and creative exploration of Aikido in all its aspects – martial, physical and spiritual.
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