Aikido Kenkyukai International USA, a premiere nonprofit Aikido organization headquartered in Santa Barbara, has announced the Sept. 12 launch of its Hollywood dojo, Aikido Kenkyukai International-Los Angeles.
Thanks to a newly formed relationship between AKI USA and the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute, the new dojo’s first classes will take place at the HJCI.
“It is an honor to be welcomed by the long-established Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute.” said Lia Suzuki Sensei, a 30-plus-year Aikido veteran who started the first AKI USA dojo in 1996 after living and training in Japan for nearly 10 years. “While living in Japan, my teacher Takeda Shihan and I spoke many times of our shared dream to not only impart Aikido skills to students, but also to foster cultural exchange. The HJCI does exactly that, offering a very rich cultural experience, including Japanese language classes, martial arts classes, Japanese-themed events, etc. Partnering with the HJCI, my dream is finally coming true. This partnership is the perfect stepping stone into the Los Angeles community.”
Under Suzuki’s direction and with Takeda Shihan’s strong encouragement, board members, interns and volunteers have been working hard for the last two years to bring their programs to Los Angeles.
"On behalf of the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute Board of Directors, we are happy to have the opportunity to offer an Aikido class through Aikido Kenkyukai International USA,” said Asao Masumiya, board secretary of the HJCI. “Since the HJCI was founded in 1947 by our first (Issei) and second generation (Nisei) Japanese American founders, this is the first time that Aikido is being offered through our cultural classes and programs. The HJCI Board of Directors enthusiastically offers it support to AKI USA in its efforts to share the practice and teachings of Aikido with our community."
Classes will begin Sept. 12 at the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute, 3929 Middlebury St. in Los Angeles. In addition to weekly, traditional Aikido classes, AKI-LA will also hold international seminars and events with various acclaimed instructors throughout the world. For information, click here or call/text 424.209.2083.
— Kathy Sihavanh Aikido Kenkyukai International-Los Angeles.