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Our Dojo

Heart of San Francisco Aikido Dojo was started in January 1995 by Penny Sablove Sensei, a longtime student of Linda Holiday Sensei. Our style and lineage trace deeply to the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, Japan.

In 2004, our dojo moved from our first location in the Mission District to the Dogpatch neighborhood. Then, 12 years later, we moved into the Slovenian Hall, an historic building in Potrero Hill. We now share space at 1622 Castro Street with the Soko Joshi Judo Club, a women's judo club founded by Sensei Keiko Fukuda (April 12, 1913 – February 9, 2013), who began studying the art of judo in Japan in 1935. She was the last living student of Dr. Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo. Our practices share many ideals and principles, and it is a welcoming and serene location for our training.

Shomen at the Heart of San Francisco Aikido DojoPhoto by Beau Saunders

We are committed to training in an atmosphere of equality, support, respect, and congeniality. Our community of aikidoists is wonderfully diverse, in experience, background, age, occupation, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

We are also particularly proud that women are well represented at our dojo. This has been one of our core missions. The martial arts, even aikido with its emphasis on harmony, remain male dominated in Japan and around the world. But as this trend continues to change, especially on the West Coast, we are delighted to be a real part of this movement.

Over the years, we have had the honor of hosting several notable visiting instructors at our dojo, including: Mary Heiny Sensei, Linda Holiday Sensei, Glen Kimoto Sensei, Jack Wada Sensei, Harry Concepcion Sensei, Peter Ralls Sensei and Matt Fluty Sensei. From abroad: Motomichi Anno Sensei (Shingu, Japan), Ryoichi Kinoshita Sensei (Osaka), and Jurg Steiner Sensei (Biel, Switzerland) have also taught here. The dojo has hosted the annual Women's Aikido Seminar (co-taught by Penny Sablove Sensei and Linda Holiday Sensei), as well as an exchange program with European aikidoists.

Visiting Aikidoists welcome when space permits. Please inquire a few days beforehand by completing this form. There is a $25 mat fee for visitors.

Abboud and PennyPhoto by Beau Saunders

Abboud and DavidoPhoto by Beau Saunders

People training

Weapon rack