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Aikido of San Diego

A full-time dojo, dedicated exclusively to teaching the martial art of Aikido since 2000. Chief Instructor, Dave Goldberg Sensei, 5th Dan.

Aikido of San Diego

A full-time dojo, dedicated exclusively to teaching the martial art of Aikido since 2000. Chief Instructor, Dave Goldberg Sensei, 5th Dan.

Aikido of San Diego

Call Us: 619 993-2454

619 993-2454

Call Us: 619 993-2454



Sensei presenting a new black belt to a student

Frequently-Asked Questions About Aikido Training


What's the difference between Aikido and other martial arts with more familiar names like Karate or Taekwondo?

Karate and Taekwondo schools can be found in any shopping center in San Diego. The vast majority of them focus on a competitive relationship with conflict, and solutions that mainly involve blocking and hitting. Aikido focuses on circular movement, and favors application that blends with attack and redirects it.

Aikido teaches us to work WITH the conditions of conflict rather than against them. It is a practice that is non-resistant, which is a claim that the more generic martial arts cannot credibly make. While all the arts value a warrior spirit, Aikido fosters one that is peaceful in nature. Ask yourself..."What message do I want to take away from my training, or pass on to my children?" The mature answer is contained in the principles and practice of Aikido.

There is also a difference in how Aikido of San Diego is run in comparison to most karate and Taekwondo schools. Most martial arts studios will pressure you to make a long-term financial commitment. At Aikido of San Diego, your financial commitment is month-to-month and you are treated like a member of a community.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

On average, about 5-6 years. Sometimes it's less, and sometimes more. It really depends on your frequency and level of commitment. The journey begins with a single step, and then another one, and so on. It's best not to look at the journey as a long process to a destination, but rather a fulfilling day-to-day investment in yourself.

Can I try out a class before I join the dojo?

Sorry, not on an open basis as a beginner. You are invited to observe as many classes as you like and ask as many questions as you can think of.

A great way to get a feel for Aikido is to participate in our 5-week Aikido 101 course for beginners. Membership is not required.

Experienced *Aikidoists* who are visiting from other dojos are welcome with a $15 mat fee.

Do you offer any discounts, like for families, etcetera?

We offer family registrations a monthly $10 discount / additional individual. We do not offer any discounts to any other groups/classifications. Our membership fees are not negotiable.

How long will it take until I'm proficient?

That depends on what you mean, and there's no way of predicting how long it takes anyone to reach any level of proficiency—whether that's from the perspective of self-defense or personal growth. If you're interested in becoming a living expression of Aikido then simply make attending practice part of your life, embrace the lessons of the art, and it will come. When you view the path and the destination as one, then any impatience surrounding the question disappears.

I would be starting at an older age and I'm a little worried about falling, rolling, and stuff like that. How would I fit in?

Everyone is expected to train at a level accessible to their partner. Learning how to receive technique is part of Aikido practice. You learn it and incorporate it at your own level and pace. More "athletic" or experienced training partners also benefit by using their time with you to improve the clarity and sensitivity of their skills. Aikido is inclusive by nature and that is reflected in the Aikido of San Diego experience and community.

What "style" of Aikido do you practice?

Do you know what a "style" is? It's a self-imposed boundary on the bigger picture. Aikido of San Diego does not subscribe to any "style" of Aikido. The Founder didn't, and we don't either. We believe that stylistic Aikido equals limitations.

With that said, we do have a distinct lineage and connection to the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido of San Diego is connected to the Aikido World Headquarters (Aikikai) through active membership in the California Aikido Association under Shihan Robert Nadeau—a direct disciple of Ueshiba. If it interests you, you are welcome to discuss the Chief Instructor's training background and lineage with him personally.

I just want to learn how to protect myself from anything as quickly as possible. Is Aikido of San Diego for me?

Probably not. Aikido is a very effective approach to conflict. If you did join us, though, you should understand that you're never going to be invulnerable. If there's a pressing reason you believe you need to defend yourself now, then there are plenty of simple, intensive self-defense classes to take.

It's a mistake to see self-defense and martial arts as exactly the same thing. Self-defense is an objective, and a martial art training like Aikido is a warrior's journey. Aikido can be used very aggressively if you choose to do so in an assault situation, but it's primarily intended to help us develop as more effective, harmonious, and self-aware people. It should be understood that things generally don't happen overnight. Improvement happens better when you're enjoying the practice, displaying some patience, and trusting the path. Aikido is a wonderful tool, but it doesn't reveal its best expression through anxious lenses.

On the Fence?

You are invited to visit the dojo, speak with Sensei, and observe a class! In fact, it's required before you can join the dojo. You will be welcomed. Come see for yourself.

A place to leave your shoes when you enter the dojo

"Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere."

Morihei Ueshiba - O Sensei
The Founder of Aikido

Guest seating area at the dojo

"There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within."

Morihei Ueshiba - O Sensei
The Founder of Aikido

Sweeping the mat after class

"Aikido takes the fight out of fighting."

Dave Goldberg Sensei
Chief Instructor, Aikido of San Diego


Visit Us

Observers & visiting Aikidoka are always welcome.
The dojo is located 2 minutes from I-15 and I-8, near Friars Road and Mission Gorge Road.

Aikido of San Diego
6356 Riverdale Street
San Diego, CA 92120

Contact & Directions


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We would love to hear from you!

To reach Goldberg Sensei:
619 993-2454 (that's 619 993-AIKI)

Dojo phone, during class hours:
619 977-2454

Email:
info@aikidosd.com


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