EastVan Aikikai was established in January of 2011 to offer Hombu-style aikido instruction directly from the source. Both Tony Hind (Head Instructor) and Greg Duncan (Instructor) have years of experience training at Hombu dojo in Japan and maintain close ties with this organization. These instructors lead the dojos under the Canadian Aikido Association banner.
Our club started as Gastown Aikikai in a funky old character rich building on the lower East Side. You could find our entrance at the first unmarked door to the right just past the second dumpster in a seedy back alley. This became our home for three years where we trained hard and supported our local drinking establishments after class. Due to rent increases we were forced to move to Britannia Community Centre and changed our name to what it is today. It was here that we realized the importance of contributing to the broader community and where we established The James Paul Martin Memorial Grant.
As our numbers grew it became obvious that we needed a larger space to train. We were fortunate to find a great place just a short distance away at Strathcona Community Centre. It is a place where everyone knows everyone. For many, it is a home away from home. It is a perfect fit for our club; a true community where aikido can enrich people's lives both on and off the mat.
We have always had an atmosphere where students of all ranks, gender, and socioeconomic status can train in a sincere, fun, and friendly manner. Safety in practice is paramount and a top priority for our dojo. Drop-ins are welcome, no matter what style or affiliation you subscribe to.
Though modest in scale, our dojo strives to contribute to a robust future for aikido in Canada. We promote friendly collaborative diplomacy between dojos, organizations, and governing bodies. This is the essence of aikido as established by the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
Annual Japan Trip to Hombu Dojo –The Aikikai World HeadquartersCAA executives attending kagami biraki festivities.
At Hombu one can train under the tutelage of The Founder’s grandson, Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba and great-grandson, Dojo-cho Mitsuteru Ueshiba. Your morning class partner might be a young white belt from Italy, your afternoon partner a 2nd dan from Brazil, and your evening partner a 7th Dan Hombu Shihan. Your downtime might be spent sightseeing beautiful temples with a group from Russia or drinking beer with local Japanese students. You have the opportunity to share the love and passion of aikido with people from around the world and bring what you experience and learn back home to your dojo. The 2015 trip included travelling to Beijing, China where we joined the ranks of students at Beijing Aikikai.
All are welcome to join the pilgrimage to the source of aikido.