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Aikido of San Diego

A community dedicated exclusively to the martial art of Aikido since 2000.
Chief Instructor, Dave Goldberg Sensei, 6th Dan.

Aikido of San Diego

A community dedicated exclusively to the martial art of Aikido since 2000.
Chief Instructor, Dave Goldberg Sensei, 6th Dan.

Aikido of San Diego

Call Us: 619-993-2454


Call Us: 619-993-2454

Sensei and students in the park

Dave Goldberg Sensei

6th degree black belt

Dave is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido of San Diego. He began Aikido in 1986 as a dabbler in the art. A year later he was practicing regularly, and then in 1990 he moved to Japan for 3½ years to train under some of Morihei Ueshiba's most prolific disciples.

He has a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Teaching, and worked on academic faculties in the US and Japan for nine years. Dave also spent several years studying/practicing somatic psychology and bodywork, and is a Body Mind College graduate. In 1998, Dave started teaching Aikido at UCSD. He did it for 10 years, even after establishing our first Mission Valley dojo in 2000.

Dave also likes to play with embodied improvisation, and graduated from a comedy improv training program! He’s a nature buff, loves kids, and finds delight in simplicity and big questions.

“I have two "jobs" as it relates to purpose. One is to work on my own embodiment of Aiki—the art of unity with life energy—and make it accessible to others. The other one is to explore experience itself. To understand it, live more in the perspective of its present-moment, first-person nature, and point to it in the simplest ways possible. For me, the two seem to be inseparable.”

Megan Palm

4th degree black belt

Megan began training in 2000 on a whim after reading a description of aikido in a college rec class catalogue. She never dreamed aikido would become such an integral part of her life. She is interested in the principles of balance and rhythm found in Aikido.

Megan is a scientist at a biotech company. Her hobbies include music, photography, and attempting to keep her cats from tripping up her husband, Jay.

"Aikido has seen me through several transitions in my life. I am truly grateful for the joy and inspiration I get out of my training."

Karen Kustedjo

3rd degree black belt

Karen started training in 1999 and is committed to creating a dojo community of support and challenge. Before Aikido she studied Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Tai Chi and Kung Fu. "I have always known I needed a physical counterbalance to my intense scientific training."

She had found meditation as a balm for the spirit, and yoga as a welcome challenge to the body, but realized there was still something missing-- a way that would help her reconcile the relationship of the self with the other. That is Aikido.

When not in the dojo, Karen is a scientist in the alternative energy industry.

And others, too! We're working on their profiles:
Jay Palm, 3rd Dan
Scott Bjerke, 2nd Dan
Linda Eskin, 2nd Dan

Aikido is a physical and spiritual art. While we can learn about Aikido from books or videos, to experience and practice Aikido requires person-to-person transmission, feeling the techniques directly, and skilled, hands-on coaching. We learn how to engage cooperatively with others and manage conflict while keeping our own integrity. Aikido calls for perceptive, nuanced teaching. At Aikido of San Diego, our experienced, capable instructors will gently guide you as you begin, and challenge you as you grow.

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