By Joshua Karlin
When I moved to Santa Monica from Connecticut last year, I knew I needed to find the right place to do aikido in LA. I first started training in aikido more than 27 years ago, and I wanted to make sure I found an aikido dojo in Los Angeles that had that rare combination of students who were committed to serious practice of the art led by a teacher who had a strong connection to the World Aikido Federation based at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan which is overseen by the grandson of the founder of aikido.
I quickly discovered Aikido Daiwa in Burbank. It is just 10 miles from my office in Los Angeles, which during rush hour can take me up to 45 minutes. My drive home to the Pacific Palisades (I've moved since living in Santa Monica) is 25-30 miles depending on the better route given traffic and only takes about 35 minutes since I'm going at night after class or on a Sunday afternoon.
The chief instructor spent 10 years training at Hombu Dojo in Japan, before coming to Los Angeles to lead the dojo. The students train with integrity recognizing that aikido is a martial art, and that training with others is a privilege that demands respect for each other's abilities and limitations.
So if you are looking for aikido in LA, whether you live in Los Angeles, the Valley, toward Glendale, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, Los Felize, or Pasadena, or to the West toward Westwood, Brentwood, Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades, you will do well to check out Aikido Daiwa in Burbank. It is reasonably close and well worth the trip.