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About Us

Aikido Kenkyukai International USA is dedicated to enriching people's lives through the practice of Aikido, The Art of Peace.


20+ Years

How We Got Started

After nearly 10 years living and training intensively in Japan under the masters, Lia Suzuki Sensei moved back to the USA. Her dream was to recreate the intensity, camaraderie, and sense of community that she had experienced first-hand in the dojos in Japan. She immediately established 2 dojos in the Philadelphia area. After 3 years, she moved to California, establishing dojos in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas. Since then, a few other dojos have come under her umbrella.

Our Founders

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba ("O-Sensei"). O Sensei's dream was to create an art to unify the world, offering tools for the peaceful resolution of conflict.

One of O Sensei's top students was the late Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan, 9th dan. He served as Head Instructor of Hombu Dojo and traveled extensively, giving seminars to students and instructors around the globe.

Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan, 8th dan, began training under Yamaguchi Shihan in 1960. Takeda Shihan is known for his highly dynamic, uniquely flowing and physically liberating Aikido practice.

Lia Suzuki Sensei, 6th dan, began training in 1982. In 1987 she moved to Japan to train with Takeda Shihan. She received her 1st through 4th dan gradings at his dojo during that time. Lia Sensei’s Aikido clearly reflects years of dedicated training with Takeda Shihan and his senior students.

The Big Picture

We are affiliated with the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo (Aikikai Hombu Dojo) through Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan, 8th dan, Director of Aikido Kenkyukai International (AKI), headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. AKI was formed to connect all the dojos around the world that are under Takeda Shihan’s umbrella. AKI now has dojos in various countries around the globe, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and others.

Our Community Work

AKI USA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. In addition to offering traditional Aikido classes at standard rates, we also offer scholarships to those in need. AKI USA has provided over $30,000 worth of services in the form of scholarships. Recipients have included low-income children and veterans and their families. We believe that financial strain should never be a reason to not experience the benefits of Aikido training.

Since 1999, we’ve also been involved in ongoing projects employing Aikido in work addressing substance misuse and emotional / behavioral problems. We’ve offered workshops and seminars to jail inmates, recovering addicts, mental health patients, veterans with PTSD, and other under-served populations. The dojo also has collaborated with Probation Departments, by creating Aikido programs for At-Risk youth.


Instructors & Dojo-Cho

Lia Suzuki Sensei, 6th dan, Aikikai

Lia Suzuki Sensei, 6th dan, Aikikai

Director / Head Instructor

Lia Suzuki Sensei started Aikido in 1982. She is the Founder and Director of AKI USA and the Head Instructor at our Headquarter Dojo in Los Angeles. Suzuki Sensei travels extensively, giving seminars around the world.

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Schedule Your First Class!


Don't take our word for it. Try a class and experience first-hand the benefits of Aikido!




Schedule Your First Class!


Don't take our word for it. Try a class and experience first-hand the benefits of Aikido!


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