Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art of self-defense. It relies on principles of balance, timing, and spacing, rather than size, strength, and might, and is accessible to people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The goal of aikido’s techniques and philosophy is to control aggression without inflicting injury. Jikishinkan Dojo is a non-profit organization with a youth program specifically designed for children ages 7 to 12. We teach self- and situational-awareness, and self-defense skills and strategies. And we strive to impart the many other benefits derived from martial arts practice such as improved:

  • concentration
  • cooperation
  • self-esteem
  • focus
  • self-control
  • and communication.

There is no competition in aikido, and rather than encouraging aggressive and competitive behaviors, aikido at Jikishinkan fosters community, social wellbeing, and cooperation. Progress is measured individually, not in relation to others or victory over others, and one’s greatest obstacle to success is oneself. At Jikishinkan, we also practice formal martial arts etiquette, such as bowing to teachers and partners, and specific styles of sitting, standing, asking questions, and starting and ending class. The etiquette infuses a class with politeness and civility, a skill and way of life that students learn to practice inside and outside the dojo. Aikido is a unique and inclusive approach to improving the minds and bodies of children and young adults. It is accessible to all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. It requires no specialized equipment, and can be performed by anybody regardless of height, weight, and strength. Aikido provides the physicality and fitness of a sport but the finesse, contemplativeness, and creativity of studying and practicing the arts. Classes at Jikishinkan combine serious technique practice, fun activities, and exercise. To learn more, visit our dojo and watch a class or contact us.


Alison Lincoln Sensei has been studying aikido since 2005, and is currently ranked as shodan (black belt) by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan and received assistant instructor certification (fukushidoin). Alison Sensei travels extensively to train with different teachers and is the coordinator of the youth aikido program. Off the mat, Alison Sensei is a product designer, artist, and aspiring photographer and graphic designer.

David Gravens Sensei began training in 2005, and is currently ranked as shodan (black belt) by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan and received assistant instructor certification (fukushidoin). He has participated in Jikishinkan’s youth program for more than four years and frequently travels to train with senior aikido instructors. David Sensei is Jikishinkan’s office manager and he manages a city-wide interventional cardiology practice. In his spare time, David Sensei is an avid rock climber.

Samer Freij Sensei has been training at jikishinkan since 2009 and is currently ranked Shodan (1st degree black belt). He has served as an assistant and now instructor in the youth program. Samer finds comfort in continuous training and believes that practicing the art of aikido can for sure improve one’s life. In his free time, Samer enjoys reading comic books and science fiction novels. He also has a love for photographs and all things photography.