An inclusive community for exploring the Japanese martial art of aikido


Aikido is a non-competitive Japanese martial art. “Aikido” can be translated as the way (“dō”) of harmonizing or blending with (“ai”) energy (“ki”). Its techniques redirect the energy of an attack. While Aikido can be an effective form of self-defense, self-defense is not its primary goal. Aikido offers a way to explore posture, confidence, focus, and interactive balance: a path for developing mental, emotional, and physical self-control.

Chicago Aikikai

Chicago Aikikai was founded in 1963 as the Illinois Aikido Club. It was the first dojo in the Midwest dedicated to Aikido. We are currently located in a second-floor space on Chicago Avenue near Ashland. Our dojo offers a warm and supportive community for practice, study, and transformation.

Marsha Turner Sensei, 6th Dan, is chief instructor and dojo-cho of the Chicago Aikikai. She began her studies in 1986 under Kevin Choate Sensei and Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. She leads the dojo’s team of excellent instructors and teaches regular weekly classes as well as seminars at special times/locations. Sensei Turner has also earned the shodan rank in Iaido and is known for her exceptional weapons skills.

Aikido Schools of Ueshiba

Chicago Aikikai is a member dojo of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. This organization unites more than 100 dojos under the instruction of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Established in 1975, the ASU is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization managed by a board of senior instructors. The ASU is a formally recognized organization under the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

New to Chicago Aikikai?

Please join us for a free introductory Aikido class every Sunday morning at 11 AM. No pre-registration required and drop-ins welcome (though please check the website or contact us as schedule may change due to holidays or special events). Visiting aikidoka welcome to train regardless of affiliation for a small mat fee.