"Aikido is a perfect fit for me. Before beginning training, I hadn't done anything physically demanding since gymnastics as a child. Aikido is non-competitive, yet very challenging both physically and mentally. For me, training provides a stress outlet as well as a warm social circle. The dojo boasts members with a wide range of age and training levels. There is such a wonderful sense of community in the dojo, and there is always room for new members. Training in aikido is truly enlightening, even when I come home sore." - Christie Tompkins
"Aikido in Fredericksburg is like joining a family, it’s a place where you feel comfortable and enjoy going. Aikido also started me on my way to getting in shape and losing weight the healthy way, slowly. A year after joining the club I had lost 50 pounds and felt great, with more energy and more flexibility, I would recommend Aikido in Fredericksburg to anyone interested in health, fitness and an effective, lower impact self defense method." - Mike Carrancho
"I wanted to just say that I really enjoyed the Sotodeshi class on Sat. I know there will be a day when I look back on my life, and share with the other students, that I actually got to train with Aviv Sensei. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with myself and everyone else." - Michael
"Aviv, thank you for all that you have taught me, I could not have learned so much so fast had it not been for you. I enjoy each and every class and can only look forward for more knowledge, training and wisdom. It was and emotional day all around, and I am very proud to be able to say that I am a student of Aviv Sensei." - Jeff
"Today, my Aikido training came in handy. As my morning started with some pompous ass cursing me on the phone, instead of going for the jugular--figurately speaking--as I'm by now accustomed to do, I controlled my natural impulse and instead:
"You really have a very nice dojo and group of students. Its a wonderful thing, and it is my privilege to participate." - Brent
"I really appreciate all the patience and guidance you have provided me during this time." - Carlos
"By the way, thanks for the pointers and help with training. I am getting more focused now on things I need to correct. After getting over the concept of "embracing the partner," last night's blending exercise went much better and I found myself enjoying it far more than I thought I would." - C. Rivera
"Between the stretches, therapy and Aikido things are blending well enough to bring me around. Maybe someday I'll be able to write an article on Aikido and rehabilitative therapy" - Carlos
"I want to thank you for all the support you've given me." - Matthew
"..from the time I wake and put my feet on the floor, till I’m ready to go to bed again, THAT is when I train Aikido the most…" - Schwartz, MD.
"I have studied in 4 schools of various martial arts since leaving New Mexico and the Kim’s school, but your’s has been the first that I have felt at home in since then. So also just wanted to express my gratitude for that." - Leo
"I really enjoyed the classes and good company." - Randy
"Well my resolution it to be a much better and more restectful to you and the class for what you teach us. Also I am very thankful for having you as my sensei. I just need to focus and train harder and move more naturally." - Josh
"I've taken what I've learned from class and applied it to many different aspects of my business and personal life and both seem to be doing much better. For me, Aikido isn't just in the Dojo, its when I walk out of the Dojo that it applies for me. When I'm in the Dojo and we are all training, it's like a safe haven, some place were I can train and be comfortable. Some place I get one hour a day away from the stress of life." - Mike
"After the show in San Francisco, we started to leave and then we went back downstairs into the club for some reason and I didn't see the last step and fell on my butt. Everyone in the place kind of gasped, but I didn't get hurt because I just sat down and rolled to the side onto my shoulders. My feet were actually up in the air like when we practice rocking. I think all the ukemi makes falling feel very natural. People couldn't believe I was ok." - Elaine
"I just want to say that we are immensely fortunate to have you here in F'burg. To have a teacher of such supremely high abilites and standards coupled with one for whom life and finances have blessed with the ability to concentrate on manifesting a dojo is truly a remarkable blessing to us all." - Craig
"I had a great time, and I am really looking forward to being involved with Aikido again." - Trevor
"Well, I just finished my first training session at Hombu Dojo and I am no worse for wear (despite almost having my wrist snapped off by a 4ft 85 lb. Japanese girl). Thank you for reccommending that I train at Hombu Dojo. It was definitely the right thing to do. I audited yesterdays class to help me get over my initial anxiety and nervousness, but the training regimen so far seems completely consistent with that of Aikido in Fredericksburg". - Rick
"Thanks for opening the school and allowing me to be a member. Aikido is helping me in ways that I can't express but the friends I am making, the training I am receiving, and the peace of mind are things that will be with me the rest of my life and is a greater gift then I could have ever imagined. So again, thank you Sensei!" - Scott
"Aikido has really changed my life and I am in this for the long haul. I owe a great deal of that to you. I realize of course it is ultimately up to me but you deserve credit as well for simply being the teacher you are."
"I can see Saito in the way you teach. Thank you. Respectfully," - Robert
"Thank you for great experience at your dojo. Very much appreciated the open atmosphere and the fellowship. " - Very Respectfully, Prasad
"Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. Thank you for always encouraging me, for being so dedicated to the art & to your students, for your humor & your stories, for being the sort of person one wants to work hard to emulate." - Sarah
"I couldn't be happier with Aikido and it's philosophy, the quality people I've met, or my Sensei." - Robert
"Thank you for all that you've done for me." – William
"Leslie and Caty loved it too. I had to use it on a kid this year who kept trying to hit me. His eyes were very wide when I grabbed his hand and dropped him to the floor. What a great teacher your are...one lesson and 3 years later.... I can do it!" - Eileen
"I would be very remiss if I did not personally thank my first Sensei for all of the support and guidance you gave me over the years. You got me off on the right foot (right hamni, as I recall), and you made it fun. I would not have been in a position to take the test, let alone pass it, without your efforts." - Hal
" I want to thank you all for wonderful times both on and off the mat. I enjoy your energy and your dedication to the art of Aikido. I hope you all know how fortunate we are to have a sensei that is deeply dedicated to the art of Aikido and the path of peace and harmony. His vision for Aikido in the Fredericksburg area reaches all across the world; bringing in teachers from distant lands to teach workshops, being in the executive boards of many Aikido organizations, and extending the influence of the marvelous art not only here at UMW but to the region and the world. I have trained in many places and can assure you that we are in the hands of a true visionary for the art. It has been my honor to be Aviv Sensei’s student" - Craig Naylor
"I learned a better way to walk, stand, lift, wait and interact with the world. I learned about my abilities and my limitations. I am grateful. Thank you for your time, kindness, humor and wisdom" - Gretchen
"I just wanted to write and tell you how much I am enjoying being a part of your school. Right now I am at the point where everything looks the same and is increasingly challenging and I find it easy to get frustrated, but you and your students make it easier to battle through. Thank you for allowing me to join your school." - Bradd
"Thank you for being such a great Sensei, and for encouraging your advanced students to teach with such passion and joy, I pray one day I can be a teacher to someone starting this journey and teach with the same joy." - B
"I wanted to take the time write and say how much I enjoy the opportunity to train at AIF. I can already feel the positive effects of coming to the dojo, training, and having the opportunity to add some great people to my life. This is a very positive thing for me. My only regret is not having started sooner."
"Thank you for being such a great Sensei and encouraging me to be a better student" - Beto
"I have enjoyed training at the dojo for the past year and I'm looking forward to continuing my training when I move to Asia. I will miss the positive energy in the dojo along with the friendly atmosphere" - Rick
"I think your general discussions of the goals of aikido are eloquent, and deserve to be communicated more widely to everyone." - Robert
"Aikido has been an catalyst for my intellectual, physical, social, and professional development. The training and the community have broadened my experiences more than I imagined possible when I first signed up more than ten years ago." - Greg
"When I started Aikido I was almost 40 and could not for the life of me stretch to touch my toes. Today, at 67 I can stretch until I can put both palms on the floor." - Dwight
"I just love this Dojo. The best..." - Herbie
"Mr. Goldsmith is the coolest Sensei, I never would have gotten this far without him" - Abby
"I think you have a great dojo and a welcoming community" - Jennifer
"I never was a morning person before but now I look forward to getting up and coming to the dojo to practice" - Tim
"You inspire all of us who follow you." - Bernadette
"Thank you so much for your encouraging words on Wednesday. Thank you for being a patient instructor. My daughter, is always stating how impressed she is with your mannerisms as an instructor." - Janet
"Thank you for allowing my daughter and I to attend your training session. After several days when the "excitement" wore off, I wanted to see if this would be something she would pursue. She enjoyed the session and liked the way the others made her feel welcomed in a strange new place, without "tossing her" out into the middle for a sparring session. Thank you." - Clyde
"I know one of the concerns with a lot of homeschool families that I run into is that a lot of the 'marshal arts" programs also promote their eastern religion/philosophy. I try to explain that you do not do that -- I have never come across anything in your program that would counter our own strong belief in Jesus Christ and the teachings of Christianity overall. Thank you for devoting your time and energy to my son. Our family went through a great deal over the last few years. It was hard keeping us all afloat with illness and job loss – our son had Aikido to focus on and it was a place he could release his energy in a proper way." - Janet
"I hope you know that your encouragement to me and my children has meant a great deal to me." - Bernadine
"I want to thank you and those there who were so patient and helpful with my children. Your professionalism was admirable." – Jim
"The positive influence Aikido, You, and the regulars who train with my children can't be denied." - Mr. S.
"I guess its proclaiming the obvious but I'm a big proponent of Aikido. However, I think it has alot to do with the way you run the show more than the martial art itself. I'm a push-over for integrity. " - Mr. S.
"Just wanted to say thank you for taking time to talk to the whole family while they were here. They were very impressed with you & the dojo. I want to extend my thanks to everyone else as they came up to them on Saturday giving nothing but high praises for my son's accomplishments & how much he has changed since he began his instruction." - Cris
"you made a huge impact on me and my sons at a critical stage in our lives and I will never forget you" - Bern
"you have trained her well. I am proud of the effort that she has put into Aikido and all that she has accomplished through your training. Her father and I would like to thank you for teaching her great principles and values that she will continuously learn and use throughout her lifetime. I can honestly say that she has grown and you all were a part of that growth in her. I will continue to support whenever possible and continue to spread the word about your program." - Mrs. W.
"My daughter LOVES Aikido! I am so happy we found this opportunity for her. Although you are her favorite instructor, we really like all of the instructors. You all are all so kind, encouraging, and knowledgeable." - Julie
"I was speaking to Ben the other day on how his training was going. He said that he is nervous about his next test, but that he likes training at the dojo and he likes his sensei.In his own words he stated “I like training at the dojo because sensei is not serious all the time and he has fun with us” - Larry
" I really appreciate what you are doing for my children greatly and feel it is very inportant for them to continue with the classes." - JW
"Aviv as Mike's instructor for over 8 years, you have made a huge difference in his life. You were patient and yet firm and saw in Michael, not a squirmy kid with frustration who you wished was not in your program, but a young boy with loads of energy to be directed for good. You respected him and encouraged him. You allowed him to not only receive but to give while at the Dojo. As we would watch each week, our hearts were filled with happiness to see him progress. He is a fine young man (not without his struggles, but a FINE young man). Thank you for being a good influence for our son. Bless you!!" - Mrs. S.
"You are doing a wonderful thing with the dojo and in the community and I am so proud to be a part of this!" - Scott
"The time you took to explain things was excellent. It was exactly what I needed. I don't get that much detail when they bring in Japanese sensei, and even though others have good things to add, I'm at the stage in my training, that I really only need guidance to further understand what I've already been taught. I know you understand. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity to train with you." - Jan
"I just want to thank you, again, for the seminar; it was so awesome! It truly was "friendly" and the mats weren't an issue for me. Everyone was a pleasure to work with. We looked out for each others falls and the help on the techniques was great. Lunch, that was just perfect! Just what I needed. To offer it at no extra charge was such a blessing, what a gift! I noticed something about my learning having worked on aikido all day. I noticed that some of the basic movements of aikido are becoming more a part of me. That was very exciting as I reflected that evening! What a great host you are. I hope we will meet again soon." - Carol
"Thanks for the group photo. I'm still flying high from last weekend. I wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you put in getting the kids seminar organized, I learned a lot, the more I teach the more I realized I learned. I had my first aikido kids class today since last week. Our first session we had decent classes, today was the first class of a new session, if I say so myself it was AWSOME! I also got a lot of compliments from the parents, they loved it." - Lisa
"The seminar was great!! I had just seen Hoa Sensei at the gashukus. He is phenomenal. It was nice to have him for a full seminar. Thanks for bringing all these great people east. I feel like we aren't quite as out of the loop as we used to be. It has really helped develop the aikido in our area." - Yvonne
"I'd like to thank you once more for this weekend's seminar with Newens Sensei. It was a pleasure training with both you and your students, as well as everyone else. In terms of both fun and energy levels it was one of the best seminars I have been to all year. It gave me quite a bit to bring back and work on, especially the sankyo and yonkyo. I'd also like to thank you for your patience with the jo dori part of Saturday afternoon's class." - Jim
"It was our pleasure to host Aikido in Fredericksburg this year, and I hope you apply for future fairs. We received several positive comments about your group from our audience members. I'm glad you performed for a large crowd despite the weather. Thanks." - Gabe
"Thank you so mcuh for this weekend! I learned alot and am very excited about working with Sensei Mark and Sonya, as a sempi. I eventually hope to teach in my own dojo one day full time." - Christina
"I really think it is a great event that you are making into a Virginia tradition. There was so much information that everyone shared and fascinating to see the different ways of getting that information across. Glad it was such a success. We all had alot of fun. Clyde mentioned that it was one of the best seminars he has ever been to." - Yvonne
" I really enjoyed the entire weekend, thank you so much for your vision and organization of the event! I made some new connections, learned a lot and had a great time at all the classes and events. I will be mulling over the material for months! " - Melissa
"Kudos to you and Donna for putting on such a wonderful seminar and thank you for the invitation to teach and participate in the events. Your guest teachers were extremely talented and a wealth of information. You are providing something to the Aikido community that will be of great benefit. What a gift for children to learn the principles of Aikido, of resolving conflict in a non violent way at such an early age. I appreciate the work you are doing." - Michael
" I wanted to tell you what a fantastic experience the weekend was; it was probably the most information-packed seminar I've ever attended in my life (including aikido and professional occupational therapy seminars). It opened up an entirely new world to me; I've already started using some of what I remembered and stood out for me with my kid students, and they are loving it! You and Donna did an unbelievable job putting it together. You can already sign me up for next year." - Larry
" Just want to reiterate what a great time I had, and what a fantastic job I think you and your team did. I'm sure there were many headaches for you along the way, but you made it look easy. I am very grateful to you" - Ross
" It was indeed a delightful experience. It moved my heart in a way that few things have." - KM
" I just wanted to say thanks again for a great seminar. I appreciate the opportunity to teach, and you selecting me - I learned a lot from that experience. As a participant I enjoyed the different styles of Aikido, and working with the students. The attitudes and overall spirit on the mat was great, the people were friendly and shared a common purpose. The feedback from my group was all positive. The price was reasonable and food as well as facility were excellent. Great job. We look forward to attending other functions with you." - Mark
" I thought it was a well planned and well run seminar. You and your dojo crew did a fine job. In addition to having learned a lot, I had a ball." - Steve
"Aviv Sensei, thanks again for putting on such a great event. All my folks had a great time." - Michael O'Quin, Aikido Silicon Valley
" Thank you for such a phenomenal Memorial Day Gasshuku. It was the best one ever and I made friends with people that I never dared speak to before." - Eddie
"It was a great seminar (in fact the best in my Aikido-Life so far) and so I already started to count the days till next one" - Jurgen
"Great event, very positive, supportive energy - keep up the good work! "
"I continue to be incredibly impressed with the event. It is so inspirational to be taught by such a diversity of teachers and to see the demos/tests of such accomplished aikidoists. Thank you again for all the energy you obviously put into this for us all"
" Thank you for hosting the awesome seminar this weekend. It was great time of studying and learning." - Bruce
" Thank you for an awesome weekend at your beautiful dojo. The Saito seminar was definitely the best seminar I have been to." - Scott Tomlin
" I just wanted to write and thank you for one of the best weekends of my life. I know I'll be trying to make it down there to Virginia every chance I get." - Tim Penny
" Thanks for a wonderful weekend. I felt there was something for everyone at all levels." - Randy O.
" There was a plethora of techniques taught and hopefully learned. Couldn't ask for more." - John
" learned so much and truly enjoyed working with so many great people."
" just a great seminar. I did like the specific explanations of the mechanics, that was definately the most helpful for clearing away bad habits. Variations are also great but the mechanics were most helpful."
"Thank you so much to you and Donna for all your efforts at making this another great year for Aikido in Tahoe City! Even the weather ended up cooperating, after making some threatening gestures. My students are jazzed and were thrilled to be a part of it once again." - Charles McCarty
" I want to thank you again for inviting me to be a part of the seminar this past weekend. You are such a gracious host. The seminar was run beautifully and was offered in such a generous spirit. It was wonderful to see your dojo, to meet your students, and to have the opportunity to share ideas with so many wonderful people. Thank you." - Aimee
"I am completely energized by the weekend we spent together in Virginia!!! Thank you all for the openness with which each and every one of you shared yourselves, your knowledge, your wisdom, and your kindness." - Charles Colton
"I cannot thank you enough for organizing the seminar this weekend. It was amazing, and Brown and I are still buzzing about how to integrate all that we learned." - Leslie K
" Aviv Sensei did a great job keeping us on track, and I was touched by his heartfelt speech at the end. This seminar gave us an incredible chance to learn and share, and I'm so very grateful!"
" Thank you for hosting this wonderful event. It was such a warm community and I feel I have come away inspired and with some wonderful connections. Thank you!"
" Many thanks for your creativity and organization in offering these events. Gratitude to all the folks who presented and attended. I left with my heart and mind full of inspiration and challenges."
" Everyone noted how your dojo was the perfect setting for what we wanted to accomplish. Your students were outstanding and I really appreciate the flexibility you showed us. Several people also noted how great it was that we were working together in the true spirit of aikido regardless of affiliation." - Asim Nichols
"It's the best seminar I have attended." - B
"you have a wonderful spirit at your dojo. all your work at organizing the recent gasshku is appreciated. I loved the variety of teaching and points of view - and the Iwama stories of course. please communicate my appreciation to your students for all their hard work, hospitality and enthusiasm they all have an open invitation to visit and train with us anytime they visit." - Tom Collings Sensei
"The facilities are fantastic and you and your team were absolutely wonderful as well! I took away a great deal from the experience that I can never repay....but I do hope to pay it forward!" - Tonya Sensei
"Excellent... Thanks, Aviv for all you are doing to foster Aikido and the spirit of transformation akin to O'Sensei's intent" - Barry Sensei
"I truly appreciate the coordination and the benefit to our students & community!!! You have really stepped up to the plate and helped mare our enrichment program very special for our students and again, our community" - Kirk O. Tower, Principal, Thornburg Middle School, Home of the Jaguars
"Thanks to you for not only having a magnificent place to host and make this successful, but for your efforts in bringing the Aikido community to it." - Stephen Gayer Sensei
"Thank you Aviv-senei for organizing this amazing class. It was a really unique and wonderful experience that we'll remember for a long, long time." - Bernadette
"I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing weekend of training. Thank you for the generosity and thank you for allowing me to participate. I had a great time. It is so inspiring to see such amazing Aikido." - Dennis
"I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to participate in the Hans Goto Sensei Seminar this past weekend. It was an amazing experience being able to see something of his caliber. Everything was thought out and planned very nicely which gave all the Deshi a change to really absorb the spirit of Aikido that Sensei had brought with him. I also wanted to compliment you on your Dojo. It is very beautiful and it gives a nice, warm feeling. I especially liked the sliding doors to enter the Dojo. It really felt like I was steping into a martial arts school. I hope I can come up again for another seminar soon!" -Chris McLaggan
"Thank you for the opportunity to share Naginata with you and your students last weekend. I had a wonderful time. The level of hospitality, spirit, and interest demonstrated by the entire Fredricksburg Aikido group speaks highly of the character of your entire dojo." - Patrick Peplowski Sensei
"The seminar was excellent and I really appreciate your well designed dojo. As someone who is very knowledgeable about green building I wish I could have gone on the green building tour but my energy was drained after class. I'm sure there will be another opportunity and I hope to meet you again." - Frank Gomez
"I had to tell you what a wonderful time I had today at the seminar. I was smiling all the way home!" - Linda P.
" I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Group Exercise Program at UMW. It has been a great year and it has been a real pleasure to work with you." R. Liebau
" You have a great dojo and your students were very open minded." - Y. Mehter Sensei
" The seminar was great.......I learned a lot. Thank you for your guidance and assistance with weapons class, I appreciate everything." - Nathan Ray Sensei
" Thank you for bringing us together to train, roll, laugh and rejoice in the community of Aikido. " - B. Hyland
What They Say About Our New Dojo
" Many dojos are just a bunch walls and mats, but you and your students give your dojo the spirit and energy required for Aikido. Thank you for always making me feel welcome. " - Joe D.
" Absolutely gorgeous Dojo!" - John
"The venue is exquisite, and gets improves with each visit."
" I feel like I am in Japan when I am inside the Dojo building, very clean like Japan and big 102 Tatami mats. " - Koko
" AMAZING!!" - Mary
" Beautiful, gorgeous dojo and surroundings"
" the dojo complex is everything one could hope for"
" The space is truly remarkable! What a beautiful place to bring people together"
" Awesome Dojo full of positve energy."
" The space was beautiful, inviting, and inspiring!!!"
"It was an amazing experience, the people, the atmosphere, the beauty of the dojo design. I want to congratulate you for this little aikido monument you build in the heart of Virginia. " - Maggy