Aikido of San Diego logo
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 And Our Dojo

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 and affirms life, which is a claim that the more conventional 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?

Not on an open, drop-in basis. You may observe as many classes as you like, and you can register for a special 2-week trial period.

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

We offer family registrations a monthly $10 discount per additional individual. We do not offer any discounts to any other groups/classifications.

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) in Tokyo. 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 martial arts training like Aikido is a warrior's journey. Aikido can be used very assertively in an assault situation, but it's intended to help us develop from the inside out as more harmonious, balanced, 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 an amazing 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, observe a class, or join us for a 2-week trial period. You're very welcome. Come see for yourself.

A place to leave your shoes when you enter the dojo

"Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything."

Morihei Ueshiba - O Sensei
The Founder of Aikido

Guest seating area at the dojo

"Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter."

Morihei Ueshiba - O Sensei
The Founder of Aikido

Sweeping the mat after class

"Aikido means not being in resistance to what is. It is, therefore, not fighting."

Dave Goldberg Sensei
Chief Instructor, Aikido of San Diego

Visit Us

Observers & visiting Aikidoka are always welcome.

The dojo is 2 minutes from I-15 and I-8,
near Friars and Mission Gorge Rd

6356 Riverdale Street
San Diego, CA 92120

Taking public transportation?
Use the MTS Trip Planner

Connect with Us

We would love to hear from you!

To reach Goldberg Sensei
with any of your Aikido
or dojo-related questions

Email to
Phone 619 993-2454 (AIKI)

Dojo phone, during class hours:
619 977-2454

Stay in touch

To get announcements and dojo news, visit and Like Aikido of San Diego on Facebook:

Get a sense for Aikido, and for the thriving community at Aikido of San Diego.

      Watch Aikido of San Diego Videos on YouTube       Watch Aikido of San Diego Videos on Vimeo

Unless otherwise specified, all content is copyright © 2000-2016, by Aikido of San Diego
Text, photos, graphics, and HTML code are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission.