Three Rivers

Aikido at CMU

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Mary Heiny seminar at CMU, Fall 2000

What is Aikido?

Chinese character
for Ai
Aikido is a non-competitive martial art which is Japanese in origin. Aikido training emphasizes timing, distance, and blending with an opponent's force to overcome an attack. It is a highly effective form of self-defense for both women and men.

Our practice is strenous and demanding, but is not violent or rough. Aikido does not rely on physical size or strength and it is not important at what level of ability a student begins. Aikido training is a process of honing skills; each time we practice we try to improve our abilities and extend our limits a little bit.

In our training, we emphasize maintaining our balance and center while developing a keen awareness of our surroundings. A person's natural reaction to the extreme stress of an attack is to tense both mentally and physically. Such tension puts the victim of an attack off balance and makes it difficult to respond effectively. One of the central goals of our Aikido training is to learn to lower and relax the body and free the mind from fear during an attack.

We experience many kinds of stresses in daily life and not all attacks are physical. Aikido teaches us to deal with these problems, provides a healthy physical outlet for tension, and helps us cultivate a kind of mental peace.

Upcoming Events
Where are you?
All of our classes are held in Skibo Gymnasium (the Old Gym) at Carnegie Mellon University. The gym is located at 100 Tech St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15213. For a map of campus, click here.

If you are coming from out of town, here are directions to our dojo.

How do I join?
If you would like to join our club, come to Skibo Gymnasium (the Old Gym) about ten minutes before any class. Just come and speak to the instructor and we will help you register to become a member.

If you have never practiced aikido before, we will ask you to watch one class before you start practicing.

Wear clothes you can move freely in that cover your knees and elbows. A long-sleve T-shirt and sweat pants are fine. Gi's are available for purchase from the club ($25-$35).

What is your schedule?
Our class schedule is available here. We have open classes 4 days per week. New students are always welcome!
Who teaches the classes?
Our head instructor is Klaus Sutner, a 5th dan who has studied aikido for 30 years. Classes are taught by him or by any one of a half dozen black belts in the club, each of whom have been practicing aikido for 10 years or more.
Contact Us
For more information, please stop by before a class and speak with any instructor or senior student. You can send us mail at, but the email is read only once a month or so --- coming to a class is a better option.
Aikido at CMU is affiliated with the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), a national organization affiliated internationally with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. All students of Aikido, regardless of affiliation, are welcome.
Seminar Photos
Here is a photo gallery with slide shows from some of our weekend seminars.
Here are pointers to other documents about Aikido on the Internet, and a Aikido Handbook for Beginners by Frank Doran Sensei. You might be interested in Frequently Asked Questions about aikido, and the Bu Jin Design home page, where you can buy aikido equipment. The club sells much of what beginners might want, including gi (training clothes), bokken (practice sword), and jo (practice staff).

2013 Schedule

2013 Schedule
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

10 to 12
Arena Room

      6:30 to 8:00
Arena Room
  6:30 to 8:00
Arena Room
To get to the Arena Room, go up one flight of stairs from the entrance, go half the length of the hallway, then take a left past the vending machines.

CMU Aikido
Last modified: Thurs May 2 12:14:57 EDT 2013