What Our Students Say
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.
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
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.
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
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:
1- Immediately interrupted the individual – thus, getting out of the way of the attack;
2- Politely, but authoritatively, stated that since I did not use that language in a professional setting the person had no right to use it with me – thus, taking control of the situation; and,
3- Said goodbye and hanged up the phone – thus, ending the confrontation peacefully.
I surprised myself for reacting in that manner and then thought that was Aikido. Thank you for the lessons
You really have a very nice dojo and group of students. Its a wonderful thing, and it is my privilege to participate.
I really appreciate all the patience and guidance you have provided me during this time.
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.
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
I want to thank you for all the support you’ve given me.
..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…
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.
I want to thank you for putting up with my peculiar antics for the past three years. I know I am a little stubborn, have issues with following orders, and have a hard time getting along with people I do not like. The training in aikido helped me gain more control over my actions.
Being able to understand a little more about Aikido has changed my life. I appreciate everything Sensai, my peers and the dojo have done for me. Thanks again.
I cannot thank you and everybody enough for the great experience I have had.
Our relationship with Aikido in Fredericksburg has been a very positive one. Aikido and it’s philosophy, our Sensei and the quality people we’ve met has enriched our lives.
I’m truly going to miss the wonderful, sympatico individuals I’ve come to know as well as the Aikido practices. I greatly admire what you contribute the this community
Thank you for teaching me to trust people again and to be relax and breath, and not letting others take my center away from me.
Thank you for holding a place for me here in the dojo & in your heart. Your dedication to your students, me included, is an inspiration and this dream facility is always a joy to visit. Thank you for your teaching.
I can’t express how much I’ve enjoyed my time here. The warm welcome, people, and sense of community are all because you two had a dream and drew it to fruition.
The long lasting friendships you’ve fostered with many of the most extraordinary sensei from around the globe make Aikido in Fredericksburg a truly world class Aikido training site. Together, we are living and making history and that is really cool.
Thank you for opening the doors and fostering a community of people that are patient, genuine and truly remarkable human beings. I learn a great deal both on the mat and off the mat from the Aikido in Fredericksburg family. There is no question that my home and work life benefits from much of what I learn in the dojo. I’m able to perceive and act upon things in a more sustainable manner.
Thank you for coming to Fredericksburg and building a wonderful dojo and magnificent program.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to train here, and for all of the great instruction I’ve received. I consider it an honor and a real privilege to be a member of this community, and I realize that I’m really just beginning my journey in this art.
The friendships, support, and opportunities for personal growth I found at Aikido in Fredericksburg were invaluable during my time at university. Thank you for welcoming me at your dojo and connecting me with the wider aikido community in the U.S., for being patient and for teaching me, through aikido, confidence, aplomb, composure, and not sticking my butt out when doing Tai No Henko. I am still working on that last one.
Thank you for showing me those awesome Aikido defense moves. Those Japanese words were cool. They were so awesome I thought I was Japanese for a while. I hope you come back because you’re the Aikido instructor I’ve ever seen.
It means the world to me to have such a caring and supportive community and to be part of that. Thank you both for everything.
Thank you so much for everything that you have taught me so far. You have taught me how to blend with someone when they are physically and or verbally attacking. You have taught how to apply aikido off the matt.
I know my stubbornness shines through at times but you are always patient and willing to help me. You have molded me into a more confident, grown person. I can’t wait to learn more from you in and off the mat.
Thank you for your time and effort in teaching us. I have enjoyed every minute of it!
Thank you so much for allowing me to come to your beautiful dojo and train with you. I learned a lot. At times I felt like a failure but I had to focus on just improving my technique and realizing that I had fundamentals but needed to experience other training partners. I hope to continue my learning of Aikido. This is an experience I won’t forget and hope to re-experience again in the future.
Thank you for your time, effort, and insight. You have helped me learn the importance clarity, and a good smile. I really can’t think of any way to repay you other than committing to Aikido.
Thank you for all of your help, advise, and guidance.
I am deeply grateful for the experiences that I had at your dojo, the lessons learned during your classes, and the patience you always had with me. I have recommended your dojo to many of my clients for the past few months
You are two of the greatest people I’ve ever met and I am honored to call you friends and family. As I reflect back on when our paths crossed, I really believe it was destined to be. I have grown into the person I have always wanted to be and you have both helped facilitate that.
I want to be able to give that to others, share in your legacy and really make a difference. I think we are on the right path
Thank you so much for teaching me all my Aikido techniques. Your instruction has helped me in many ways outside of Aikido. Thanks, Isaac
Got to spread the word on the beauty that lives in the Aikido in Fredericksburg dojo due to your efforts and the students
I am thankful to have you in my life. You are kind, generous, gentle, wise and an incredible teacher
You’d be surprised just how often I think of you all. Very often. Not a week goes by without something that takes me back to a lesson I learned on or off the mat. Aikido becomes part of your being – a bit like a freckle that can’t be removed & grows stronger with the metaphorical sunshine.
I was told last night at 5pm that I need to create a PowerPoint and present it to the executive leadership team at 830 this morning. The executive leadership team consisted of the two SVP’s directly under our CEO and our head lawyer with a slurry of VP, directors and managers. No pressure. Surprisingly I slept well. I woke up and said no matter what happens I am just going to blend, receive and enter. It went really well, no panic, no anxiety and felt like a really good hours long Jiyuwaza.
Aikido in Fredericksburg is a great dojo. I feel that their classes are well structured and that there is an unusual amount of flexibility in the schedule. I can train pretty much any time of day I want to most days of the week. I also find that the cost is low compared to other martial arts schools in the area and the community they have developed within their membership is second to none and that is where I feel this dojo really excels. You will find people teaching here who are both great instructors and who are people who genuinely care about each other.
I started training with Aikido in Fredericksburg seven years ago. It has been a life changing experience. I am in better physical health, I am not a streesed out at work, and I am better able to deal with lifes problems. And id I were attacked I am better prepared to defend myself than I was prior to learning Aikido. The chief instructor is top flight and a good man. I highly recomend Aikido in Fredericksburg.
Many years ago, my older brother, an 8th Dan in Shito Ryu Karate Do and member of the United Martial Arts Association International, gave me advice on what to look for in a martial arts program. I found everything he identified as admirable attributes in a school – focus on teaching the art, teaching character, and a welcoming community dedicated to the sharing the art with others – and as reflected in the chief instructor, Sensei Aviv Goldsmith. My two sons (11 and 13) are students and I have been a student when my work schedule permits. I recommend this school to anyone interested in learning a martial art and about themselves. The Aikido Club of Fredericksburg is an outstanding organization and is a valuable reseource to our community.
Aikido isn’t only a place to learn a very effective, defensive martial art. It’s a place just full of great energy, and the people there actually care about you. The green building and location serves to show just how dedicated those who run the dojo are to protecting the environment and, in turn, to make this one of the best places to train you’ll ever see. If you skip past the building and take a look at the people there, you’ll see that the building’s positive attitude generally reflects on those who come in. Many people I’ve trained with there have commented that it is a place that’s helped them find their mental balance.
Aikido is a beautiful particapatory art that coordinates the mind and body and spirit. It has helped me become more aware of my body and how it can interact in a peaceful way with other people in a variety of situations including social situations. I am 62 and if it wasn’t for Aikido, which can be done into your senior years, I would be a lot worse off than I am for flexibility, awareness, mental and physical health. Many people my age and older have mentioned the same benefits. I’ve seen the instructor with children. He gains the respect of the children, which is a miracle in this day of media distractions, broken families, and families with both parents working. The children are learning to be more mature, healthy, and interactive with other people. The Aikido dojo I belong to reaches out to all Aikido practitioners with seminars from visiting teachers from around the country and world. Aikido is called the art of peace and harmony. The Aikido dojo invites sister arts such as Tai Chi and Yoga to help in this practice.
Thank you for being so welcoming and for all of the advise and guidance that you have given.
What Our Parents Say
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.
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
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.
I hope you know that your encouragement to me and my children has meant a great deal to me.
I want to thank you and those there who were so patient and helpful with my children. Your professionalism was admirable.
The positive influence Aikido, You, and the regulars who train with my children can’t be denied.
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.
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.
you made a huge impact on me and my sons at a critical stage in our lives and I will never forget you
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.
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.
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
Thank you for your time and patience and guidance for my family. We have truly enjoyed your teaching of Aikido.
Our relationship with Aikido in Fredericksburg has been a very positive one. Aikido and it’s philosophy, our Sensei and the quality people we’ve met has enriched our lives.
Thank you for everything you have taught my son , I believe the skills he has learned he will have for life.
Thank you so much for all you do for our kiddos. We are so happy we found aikido. You are so good to all of the families. We really appreciate all of your hard work.
Thank you for your supporting the kids.
I thank you for all that you have done for my kids. Your program is amazing. It was a privilege to be a part of it. Bless you and yours.
We are very happy with the facility, the training, and the fellow students.
Thanks for continuing to be such a role model and educator to Max. He is really taking pride in Aikido, and it’s awesome to watch him grow up in the dojo.
Sensei, Greg and I appreciate you and your organization. Your patience, kindness, consistency, and leadership are fantastic!
I really liked your concept and the approach to training.
I had been in search of a martial art that was effective, yet non-aggressive. Aikido fits the bill exactly. If anyone tries to grab my children, they’re probably in for quite a surprise. My children have the means to defend themselves but can not use that means to become bullies. Sensei Goldsmith routinely asks about the kids’ school perfomance and cares after them beyond the dojo. In fact, there is a sense of belonging amongst all the students that sets AIF apart from other dojos. My son has high functioning autism and has problems with certain social situations. The caring instruction of the Sensei has helped him immensely to overcome some of his apprehension with folks. My daughter’s confidence, self esteem, and physical agility have increased greatly, also.
My son has trained with the members of Aikido for 6 years; starting when he was 10. We’ve been encouraged as our son has grown into a very focused and balanced young man. Training, camaraderie, responsibility for the enviroment, structure, are only a few of the attributes resulting from training at the Aikido Dojo in Fredericksburg.
I learned about Aikido from my Brother in Law. I was surprised to find it in Fredericksburg because I live 20 minutes from Fredericksburg. I took my son Shan (9yrs old) for a trial lesson and he loved it. Classes are well taught with a lot of patience and understanding of children and their needs. Instructors are kind and very experienced. Shan has gained a lot of confidence in himself and more self control from attending these classes. He was scared to be in the dark alone at night, an now after doing Aikido for a few months he has overcome this. He enjoys learning how to defend himself without having to hurt anyone. That is the art of Aikido. I am very impressed with Aikido in Fredericksburg and would recommend it to anyone who has children.
What Our Seminar Participants Say
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you so much 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
My students and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. The level of hospitality you and your students provided was outstanding, and the organization of the event was first-rate. Teaching in your dojo was an honor and a privilege that I will not forget.
Thank you so much for great seminar. You shared a lot of useful information with us. We already stared to implement changes after we returned to our own dojo.
One more time, BIG THANK YOU! Please, pass our thanks to Donna Sensei and all volunteers in the dojo, who helped us feel home.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your aikido seminar last month! It was challenging, but I appreciated your willingness to work with me, and how encouraging everyone was. Thank you again, and I look forward to learning from you again in the future!
I very much appreciated the Kenshukai seminar and all the effort the two of you put into making it happen. Your commitment and service to whose Aikido teaching community is evident. I always learn something new when I have the opportunity to rub shoulders with other teachers like yourself. Thanks for hosting this event!
Thank you so much for the hospitality and hosting an amazing seminar :). Can’t wait to see you again, it’s always a pleasure.
I want to thank you for allowing me to use the dojo as venue. I wanted to show them that we have beautiful dojo’s in the States, and not conduct the seminar in a gym. I appreciate it very much. Also thank you for recommending Yoshiko as a translator, she did a great job. I appreciate you opening it up to your students as well. It was nice to train with Rich, Robert and Tom again. I was surprised by the turnout, thank you for helping make that possible.
Arisue and Nakamichi commented on how beautiful the dojo was and they were impressed and liked the fact that you not only trained with Saito Sensei, but you are keeping his legacy going here in the U.S. Arisue was an uchideshi with Saito Sensei when he was in college and told a story about his memories of that time during the seminar on Saturday and explained when he walked into your dojo and saw the photo of Saito Sensei, what he felt. That was very cool to hear.
On behalf of Traditional Aikido of Sarasota, I personally wanted to say Thank You for all you and your dojo do, to run and provide the Tahoe Almost Annual Gasshuku for all of us.
Your leadership is very much appreciated. I personally had an amazing good training this year, as always…. every year is amazing.
Thank you for all you do, for all of us in TAA and your ongoing support of Traditional Aikido of Sarasota.
Thank you again for all you are doing to spread O’Sensei’s message.
I’m going to share all of the material attached and from today with my co-instructor for the Aikido Institute, Martha Evans-Holm, as well as with our dojo-cho, Deborah Maizels and David Lewin, and perhaps other senior instructors.
From going to all your kids seminar over the years I have learned so much on how to teach the kids, and this again gave us new ideas and things to discuss on what we feel we’re doing right and what we will add or change to our testing and what to test on. Thank you again for setting it all up. You did a really great job.
Once again my gratitude for your organizational skills and hard work hosting the seminar/gasshuku at the Lake.
Your presentation educated and inspired our students, thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise.
Thank you for organizing the gasshuku! Great experience and memories 🙂
Beautiful thank you
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.
Absolutely gorgeous Dojo!
I feel like I am in Japan when I am inside the Dojo building, very clean like Japan and big 102 Tatami mats.
Beautiful, gorgeous dojo and surroundings
The venue is exquisite, and gets improves with each visit.
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.
Five star dojo!
I have shown multiple people at work as well as family photos of your dojo and they are amazed at the size and how nice it is.
Thank you so much for letting us use your beautiful, peaceful dojo as our learning space 🙂
Thank you, Sensei, for the fantastic venue.
I started at Aikido in Fredericksburg in 2002 as a way to continue my training, but the longer I stayed there the more I began to see the big picture. That is to say we are responsible for what happens in this world and our community. We must give all we have to make this a better place for all the people of the world. Building a dojo and helping with roadside cleanup might not sound like a lot but when you have a group of people who are focused on bettering themselves and the place and people that live there it has a ripple effect.
Aikido in Fredericksburg is so much more than a Martial Arts school they are a conduit for peace. In the past several years, AIF has partnered with various organizations to provide charitable assistance to those in need. Through monetary donations, volunteering, organizing and presiding on various boards, the reach of AIF has gone beyond the local borders and has impacted organizations around the world. Here is an example of their commitment to giving back to the community: They have provided scholarships for several children and their “Big’s” at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. They have donated to The Hope House, a local organization that assists the homeless. They volunteer with Friends of the Rappahannock another local organization that works to protect our environment. They have raised funds for the families impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. They have adopted a local road to keep it clean and do so twice a year. Preside on the board of another non-profit that has brought Pakistani and Israeli youths together to train in Aikido. They are invited, all expenses paid, to attend camp in Pennsylvania where they learn to live and train together and promote peace. These are just a few examples. For a small organization, they are making a big impact. As a student, I am honored to see so much given back to the community and to be a part of it and am constantly rewarded by the good we do.
This is a holistic organization that works to not only help you improve yourself physically, but also improve how well you interact with the world around you. Subsequently, you end up with many subtle improvements to other areas of your life–many times without realizing it right away. AIF also works to remain involved in the community by hosting outreach days and community clean up events.
This is a fantastic organization that is active in the local community of Fredericksburg, VA as well as helping in other programs that cross state and national boundries. Akido in Fredericksburg teaches peaceful ways of conflict resolution as well as renewing environmental resources.
Aikido in Fredericksburg is an amazing place. The world-class facility is a joy to train at, the people are warm, friendly, and fun, and the training is top-notch. Whenever I meet non-members at seminars, they comment on how nice the place is, and new members consistently comment about the positive energy.
Great group of people that now have a fantastic new “green” building. They do outreach work and support many other local and national nonprofits.