American Aikido Institute would like to welcome you to our site. Here you will find information about our three training facilities, known as dojos. Our main dojo is located in Brazil, Indiana. We have branch dojos located in Robinson, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois. Each has an individual page for class schedules and contact information.
We also invite you to learn more about the history of the American Aikido Institute and view pictures from recent promotion tests.
For class schedules please visit the appropriate Dojo listed in the menu at the top.
What is Aikido?
Aikido, literally translated as "The Way of Harmony with the Universe," is a Japanese martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba (lovingly referred to as O-Sensei or "great teacher" by his students worldwide) at the turn of the century.
As the name signifies, Aikido emphasizes the concept of aiki (blending/harmonizing). The fundamental goal of Aikido is to unify the mind, body and spirit, through development of kokyu-ho (breath power), enabling the individual to harmonize his/her Ki (energy) with the attacker's energy and effectively neutralizing the attack.
Aikido is a traditional Japanese Martial Art. It is a highly effective form of self-defense that does not require great size or strength to perform effectively because the attacker's own force is used against them.
The objectives of Aikido are to unify mind, body and spirit, and to harmonize the individual's ki (energy) and the ki of the universe. Hence the name Ai-Ki-Do, "The Way of Harmony."
The History of the American Aikido Institute
The American Aikido Institute (AAI) has its roots in the American Karate Institute (AKI). The Entity AKI was founded by Garry Howard Sensei in 1985. At that time Howard Sensei had been in the martial arts for 18 years. The AKI had a successful period in karate and was involved in the tournament circuit for a few years. In 1991 Howard Sensei met and began his study of Aikido with Shihan Steven Seagal Sensei. Howard Sensei and the AAI have also been honored to receive training from Haruo Matsuoka Sensei. The AAI has been in an ongoing training status with Matsuoka Sensei since 1991. In September of 1994 the American Karate Institute was disbanded to form the American Aikido Institute.
At the American Aikido Institute we strive to be good human beings first and good martial artists second. We always seek to give our best effort in both life and the martial arts. We follow O'Sensei's belief that we all must cooperate in a spirit of harmony with nature, man, and earth in order to peacefully and righteously coexist. We welcome students who are open to seeking the best in themselves and others. May your martial arts and life journey be peaceful and productive.
Garry Howard Sensei
Garry Howard Sensei began his study of martial arts in Japanese Kempo Karate at the age of 16. In 1991 Howard Sensei met and began his study of Aikido with Shihan Steven Seagal Sensei. Howard Sensei and the AAI have also been honored to receive training from Haruo Matsuoka Sensei. The AAI has been in an ongoing training status with Matsuoka Sensei since 1991.
Michael Howard Sensei
Michael Howard Sensei is the oldest son of the founder of the American Aikido Institute. He began his martial arts training in 1983 at age 6 under his father's direction. Michael is a senior staff member of the American Aikido Institute.
Justin Gibbens began his martial arts training with Howard Sensei in 1990.
Scott Reynolds began his martial arts training with Howard Sensei in 1992.
John Reich Sensei
John Reich Sensei began his Aikido training with Howard Sensei in February, 1999. He opened the Chicago, Illinois dojo in April, 2004.
Alex Svenson Sensei
Alex Svenson Sensei began his Aikido training with Howard Sensei in February, 1999.
Scott Hamilton began his training with Howard Sensei in 2006.
Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to life.
- Morihei Ueshiba
Learn More About Aikido
Provided below are links for more information
Aikido Doshinokai: Aikido Doshinokai is an organization founded by Haruo Matsuoka Sensei, under the guidance of Seiseki Abe Shihan (10th Dan), and is dedicated to the continued development and proliferation of the founder's Aikido.
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information: AikiWeb's priniciple purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for Aikido information.
The Aikido FAQ: For answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Aikido, visit this informative site.