Oak Park Aikikai
A Birankai N.A. Aikido Dojo
Oak Park Aikikai49 Lake St. StevensonCenter
Oak Park IL, 60302
Owner(s): Deb Pastors, Chief Instructor
TWO FREE AIKIDO CLASSES! For adults 13 and older: Friday, September 2, 645-745p at Stevenson Center. For kids 6-14: Friday, September 2, 530-630p. Wear sweats and a tee - see the website for more info. Hope to see you on the mat!
It's a modern, non-violent, Japanese martial art that was developed in the early 1900's by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). In Japanese, aikido means "the way of harmony with the force and principle of nature."
Aikidoists are folks who don't want to fight violence with more violence. So aikido uses circular movements to harmonize with, and neutralize, an aggressor's force. We practice repetitive forms (known as kata) to teach our bodies and minds to respond to a threat in a way that keeps both victim and attacker safe.
Why would someone practice aikido?
People practice for a variety of reasons. Some get hooked on the physical aspects. Some on the non-violence. Some like that there are no competitions. For whatever reason, though, people of varying ages, personalities, lifestyles, and physical conditioning practice together. And it's through this physical practice that we learn to respect each other and develop experience in reconciling conflicting viewpoints. Aikido is sometimes call the "art of peace," and is also practiced as a "way" to personal and spiritual growth.
Old folks, young folks, and everyone in between! Men, women, and children all practice aikido. Each individual trains and progresses at his or her own pace. This allows us to train around injuries, when our physical conditioning is less than optimal, and well into old age. There are many aikidoists who still practice even though they are in their 80's!
Who is Oak Park Aikikai?
Oak Park Aikikai is an aikido dojo (practice center) that has been developing aikidoists since 1989. We practice through the Oak Park Park District, and call Ridgeland Common home. While RC is undergoing renovation, we are housed at Stevenson Center, 49 Lake Street.
We offer three classes:
Beginning class – Friday nights, 6:30p to 7:30p
Continuing class – Tuesday nights, 7:30p to 8:30p
Advanced class – Friday nights, 7:45p to 8:45p
NEW!! Kids class - Friday nights, 5:30p to 6:15p
What if I'm interested in trying aikido?
Come pay us a visit! You're always welcome to stop by to observe a class and ask questions.
If you visit while class is already in session, just enter quietly and grab an empty chair. Or visit our website.
We look forward to seeing you on the mat!