First off, if you've been keeping your membership active during this tough time, thank you! You've been instrumental in ensuring that there is now a dojo to come back to - that our Aikido community was able to remain intact through the lockdowns.
If you haven't yet contributed, please continue reading to fully appreciate the impact you can have, along with our other supporters.
Thanks to the support of people like you, we've established new relationships around the world and nurtured old ones. We've been able to bring top-level Aikido instructors from Japan and Europe right into your living room via zoom. We've kept kids engaged, training virtually. Kids have even experienced training in Japan (virtually) and parents have had that extra support they so need during this tough time.
But in order for us to continue offering these services, we need your support.
Here are a few actions the dojo has taken to support our members during the pandemic and now during recovery:
- The dojo pivoted to create our Virtual Dojo's live streaming component even before the stay-at-home orders were issued.
- We made scholarships available immediately to some of our members who were laid off because of the pandemic.
- We created a weekly global Zoom teaching faculty, with instructors from the USA, Europe, and even Japan.
- We've organized and hosted various free Community Calls such as "Peace and Acceptance During the COVID Era", "LGBTQ+ In Aikido" and others for the enrichment of our members and Aikidoists around the world.
- We're offering free support to other dojos, in the form of our online courses, such as "How to Build Dojo Membership, 2021 & Beyond."
- We ran a Virtual Summer Camp for our teen and adult members and one for our youth members with instructors from the USA and Japan.
- We've purchased WiFi and streaming equipment for the physical space so that we can offer "hybrid" classes some people can train in person, while people with health concerns can maintain their practice from home.
- We purchased cleaning supplies and equipment necessary to keep our members safe.
This year we urge you to donate and make a difference.
Any amount really does have an impact.
Thank you in advance,
CEO / Head Instructor
Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA ("AKI USA") is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Every year we work to raise money so we can continue our important work in the community. This work includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing scholarships to those in need. With your help, we have provided over $50,000 worth of scholarships! Recipients include low-income youth, military veterans with PTSD, and other underserved populations.
- Offering Aikido seminars with world-renowned instructors. Each year we host at least two seminars, attracting practitioners of all skill levels from around the globe. Seminar scholarships are also available to those in need.
- Supporting dojos and instructors in need within the Aikido community. In 2018, we joined forces with other Los Angeles dojos to help raise funds for Lee Lavi Sensei, the instructor of a neighboring dojo, whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
- Launching our "Deshi Program" (Immersion Program). Candidates from around the globe have begun applying for our Deshi Program. We need to provide a dedicated training space for these young practitioners, thereby supporting the future of Aikido.
- Creating new relationships with overseas dojo, thus enriching the experiences of our young members. A couple of years ago, one of our 17-year-old members accompanied me on my European Tour, co-teaching youth classes there and participating fully (most times being my main "uke") in adult classes.
Join us in support to ensure the continuation of these services to the community during these challenging times.
Any amount helps! Please give what you can.
Head Instructor / Executive Director