“Aiki is the power of harmony
Of all beings, all things working together.
Relentlessly train yourself—
Followers of the Way.”
— Morihei Ueshiba
Aikido = “The Way of Harmonious Spirit”
– About Aikido –
Aikido is a contemporary martial art founded in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei. It evolved from the traditional forms of jujutsu, to a non-violent, non-competitive defensive martial art. Aikido can be translated as “the Way of Harmony of the Spirit through Love.”
The intent of Aikido is the training and cultivation of the spirit. Through the practice of Aikido, one integrates the mind, body and spirit, seeking perfection as a human being.
The main principle in the execution of the techniques is to control the aggressor without inflicting injury by blending with and redirecting the force of attack. Systematic practice results in overall body conditioning by increasing flexibility, stamina, and strength.
Firmness, stability, elegance, and artistic expression are what make Aikido a beautiful and powerful martial art.
– Our Dojo –
Aikido Institute of San Francisco was founded by Gloria E. Nomura in June 1999. We are affiliated with Birankai International, founded by T.K. Chiba Shihan; and Aikikai Hombu, Tokyo, Japan.
The purpose of Aikido Institute of San Francisco is to teach and develop the art of Aikido in the most modern and profound way; and through the training – cultivate character.
Included in our curriculum are classes of bokken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden staff). Training in classical Japanese weapons complement and enhance the training in Aikido. Using solo exercises and paired practice aid in the development of correct stance, posture, timing, and reflex.
We also offer classes of Iaido, the art of sword-drawing. Iaido is one of the most solitary of Japanese martial arts and one of the most beautiful. Total concentration and intense awareness are required to perform the austere, elegant, movements which aid in mental and spiritual development.
We practice mindful meditation in order to calm our minds, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote well-being. Meditation develops and sharpens awareness of our surroundings which aids in responding, intuitively and reflexively, to an encounter.
Aikido Minor is between 10-18 years old and can attend General Adult Classes.
Aikido Child is under 10 years old and attends only Children’s classes.
For visiting Aikidoka, please add $5 to Visitor Mat Fee if taking Iaido class or attending Advanced Aikido class (with Chief Instructor permission).
There is a 10% discount on fees if you are:
- Family (Adult + Child)
- Family (Multiple Children)
– Our Senseis –
Gloria E. Nomura, Shihan
Gloria E. Nomura, Technical Director, was promoted to 7th dan on January 2000 and Birankai Shihan on January 2002 by T.K. Chiba, Shihan. In November 2006, she was certified as Shihan at Aikikai Hombu, Tokyo, Japan.
In June 1999, Nomura Sensei founded the Aikido Institute of San Francisco. She currently teaches classes in Aikido, Iaido, and bokken and jo weapons.
- 1975 – Began training in Aikido
- 1979 – Co-founded the West Los Angeles Aikido Institute with Pablo Vazquez
- 1981 – Began training with T.K. Chiba, Shihan, in Aikido, weapons, and Iaido
- 1982 – Began training in Iaido with Takeshi Mitsuzuka, Grand Master of San Shin Kai/Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido
Nomura Sensei has taught Aikido in Europe: London, Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, Prague, Athens, and Siberia; and Latin America: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Guatemala, Buenos Aires, and Havana. She has been featured in the following documentary films:
- Aikido, Zen In The Martial Arts, 1985
- The Art Of Iaido – Way Of The Sword, 2003
- Holding Up Half The Sky, 2004
Nomura Sensei graduated from the University of California, College of Pharmacy, San Francisco. She also received her Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She enjoys traveling to interesting sites and spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Nomura Sensei’s thoughts as a teacher:
“The teacher-student relationship must be of respect toward each other. For the student, discipline and commitment to practice are essential. Conditioning of the body is important. Partners must help each other develop right attitudes and strong body movements. My approach to teaching is to emphasize non-competition, non-violence, non-confrontation, and the use of neutralization and redirection techniques to control attacks. The principles and philosophy learned in Aikido should be applied to situations encountered in our daily life. Enjoy practice.”
Rob Schenk, Godan
Rob Schenk, Chief Instructor, began his Aikido training in 2000 at the Aikido Institute of San Francisco under the guidance of G.E. Nomura, Shihan. He holds the rank of 5th Dan (Birankai NA; promoted 7/11/15) and is a certified Birankai International Instructor (Shidoin). He also trains in Iaido.
Rob is founder of a San Francisco-based IT consulting firm which helps small and mid-size businesses with all their computing and network needs. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology. He also plays guitar, likes adventure travel and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Theresa Thadani, Yondan
Theresa began her Aikido training in 1998 at the Aikido Center in San Francisco. in 2002, she joined the Aikido Institute of San Francisco and has been training under the guidance of G.E. Nomura, Shihan. She holds the rank of 4th Dan (Aikikai) and is a certified Birankai International Instructor (Fukushidoin). She also trains in Iaido.
Cesar Aldea, Sandan
Cesar began his Aikido training in 2001 at the Aikido Institute of San Francisco under the guidance of G.E. Nomura, Shihan. He holds the rank of 3rd Dan (Aikikai) and is a certified Birankai International Instructor (Fukushidoin). He also trains in Iaido.
When not at the dojo, Cesar works at a local animal shelter taking care of homeless dogs and cats in the area until they are permanently placed in their forever homes. He’s a former world champion DJ, playing at special events and a local sushi bar/restaurant on weekends. Cesar loves spending time with his wife and two dogs.
Gerard Enriquez, Yondan
Gerard began his Aikido training in 2004 at the Aikido Institute of San Francisco under the guidance of G.E. Nomura, Shihan. He holds the rank of 4th Dan (Aikikai) and is a certified Birankai International Instructor (Shidoin). Gerard teaches the Children’s class and also trains in Iaido.
Gerard has a bachelor’s degree in Business information systems from San Francisco State University. He currently works as IT support at San Francisco State University.
Since 2012, Gerard has been studying ballroom dancing. He specializes in the Argentine tango, and actively participates in various events and performances.
Thierry Diagana, Godan, At-large
Thierry Diagana began is Aikido training in 1997 at San Diego Aikikai under the guidance of T.K. Chiba, Shihan. In 2001 he moved to San Francisco and, with the recommendation of Chiba Sensei, starting training at the Aikido Institute of San Francisco under the guidance of Nomura Sensei, Shihan. In 2008 Thierry was promoted to 4th dan (BNA/Aikikai) and certified as a Birankai Shidoin. In 2013 he was promoted to 5th Dan (BNA/Aikikai).
In 2007 Thierry moved to Singapore where he leads the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases. There he also co-founded the Mumei Shudan dojo where he is Assistant Instructor. Thierry maintains his membership with Birankai NA and Aikido Institute where he teaches when in San Francisco.
Thierry did his PhD thesis at the Pasteur Institutein Paris (France) and carried out postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He is a sport enthusiast and enjoys running and cycling. Thierry has three children and loves vacationing with his family and travel around the world.
Scott McSpadden, Yondan, At-large
Scott started Aikido training in 1998 at Seattle Aikikai with Bruce Bookman. In 2001 Scott began training at Aikido Institute of San Francisco under the guidance of Nomura Sensei, Shihan. In 2008 Scott was promoted to 4th Dan Yondan (BNA/Aikikai) and certified as a Birankai Shidoin. In Spring of 2007 he moved to Spokane/Seattle to establish McSpadden General Contracting in the Northwest and currently trains at Tenzan Aikido in Seattle with Bruce Bookman, Chief Instructor, Kaicho.
Scott maintains his membership with Aikido Institute and Birankai NA and teaches at AISF when in San Francisco.
Once a competitive cyclist, Scott still spends as much time as possible on two wheels, either commuting, or getting out for some solitude and exercise. He is also always prepared to leave the city behind at a moment’s notice for some kind of wilderness adventure.
– Children’s Class –
Aikido is unique in that it emphasizes non-violence and tempers competitiveness to promote harmonious resolutions to conflict.
The purpose of this program is to help your child, through discipline and training, develop strength physically and mentally, and respect toward the teachers and each other.
The curriculum of the program is comprised of conditioning exercises and drills that help build coordination, strength, and flexibility. It also includes team building exercises to develop social skills and teach the value of team work. Children will be taught basic Aikido movements which involve falling safely, blending with a partner, and redirecting energy. At the appropriate time, they will be tested for promotion to the next level.
Please arrive ten minutes before class starts to allow time to dress and to be in line on the mat before class starts. Regular attendance is encouraged to receive the benefits of Aikido training.
Our goal is to teach our students to relate to the world with awareness, care, and respect. Our dojo provides a community where our students can feel safe, confident, and “at home.”
– Schedule –
To See Our Current Class Schedule
– Contact Us –
Come and Visit the Dojo.
Make Aikido Part of Your Life Today!