The Oberlin Aikikai is an organization dedicated to the study of Japanese martial art Aikido. The majority of our members are Oberlin College students who supplement their academic studies with time spent on the mat. Our membership also extends to residents of local communities and anyone is welcome to train. Though we come from many different backgrounds, we are all unified in our dedication to study Aikido, and how it can apply its principles of non-violent conflict resolution to our daily lives.

Foundation and Structure

Oberlin Aikido Club was founded in 1974 by Frank Hreha sensei. in 1976 he invited Mitsugi Saotome Shihan to teach a seminar, shortly after his arrival to United States. The Oberlin Aikido Club became a member dojo of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba, a national organization headed by Mitsuge Saotome Shihan. Through Saotome Sensei we are as Oberlin AIkikai affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. We also operate in conjunction with the Cleveland Aikikai, which was founded by former Oberlin Aikido Club members in 1978.

Each semester we bring in a new group of students through Oberlin's Experimental College program. These "ExCo" students train twice a week in classes taught by senior club members, and many attend additional classes on weekends. At the end of a semester in the ExCo program, students can test for Rokkyu (6th kyu), the first rank that can be achieved in our organization and receive official ASU rank certificate and ASU membership.

Advanced classes are offered for club members who have received Rokkyu rank. These are taught by Andrzej Siwkiewicz, Sandan, who is also a senior instructor at the Cleveland Aikikai. Andrzej Siwkiewicz sensei has been leading the Oberlin Aikikai as the head instructor since 2006.

The Oberlin Aikikai is granted the opportunity to host three seminars every year. In the Fall and Winter semester, we offer seminars with different instructors from US and abroad, who share their unique insights and experience in Aikido. Continuing the long standing tradition, the Oberlin Aikikai is proud to host our annual May Fair Seminar each year with Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan. The May Fair Seminar is scheduled early May before the end of our school year.

For more details about our class times, please see our section on classes. For more information about scheduled events, please see the Events page.

If you would like to help support the long tradition of the Oberlin Aikikai, please email us for information on donations.

Dojo Rules & Etiquette

We strive to create a harmonious and disciplined atmosphere on the mat to encourage not only safety, but also a greater understanding of aikido. Please review this section from the official ASU handbook on dojo rules & etiquette (PDF).