Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art, founded by Morihei Ueshiba Sensei in the twentieth century. Aikido is rooted in the Japanese martial art of Jujitsu, which emphasizes grappling, joint locks (immobilization) and projections (throws). Unlike Jujitsu though, Aikido places focus on non violent resolution of conflict and not on the destruction of the opponent.

O’Sensei chose the name Aikido very deliberately to capture the principles of his martial art. The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji:

  •  – ai – joining, unifying
  •  – ki – spirit, energy
  •  –  – way, path

Schedule and COVID-19 Update

Masks are currently optional to practice for those who have been fully vaccinated. We do require proof-of-vaccination for new members.


6:30 – 8:00 pm
6:30 – 8:00 pm
6:30 – 8:00 pm
8:00 – 9:15 am

(Saturday is currently a weapons-only class. Street clothes suggested; no gi required.)

All classes are held at the Lakeshore Aikido dojo in Cleveland Heights, OH.

Our Philosophy

Lakeshore Aikido dojo is a safe and supportive environment to study Aikido as a philosophical system and as a classical martial art. Our goal is to cultivate a strong inner sensibility through outer physical training. Since Aikido is based on connection, attention and receptivity, one does not have to be physically strong to become proficient in this beautiful and powerful martial art.

Students Speak

“‘Power without violence.’  I don’t remember where I read that as a description of Aikido, but I never forgot it.  That phrase goes a long way towards describing Aikido philosophy and the Lakeshore Aikido dojo.  I have been studying with Betsy Sensei for over two years and I have always felt “safe” as I moved from learning basic to more advanced techniques.  “If the person doing the technique is causing pain, they are doing it wrong.”  This is the sort of thing emphasized at our dojo.”

“We have a great mix of students, from middle school to senior citizens, all participating at the level they are capable of.  We share a strong camaraderie and the socializing is every bit as much fun as our Aikido practice!”
– Donna

“What is special about Betsy O’Donnell Sensei? Her passion for continuous growths. Her commitment to support every student and to share her knowledge with us. Her ability to find the unifying principles in the complexity of Aikido techniques. Her gift for conveying even the most difficult concepts in clear words and crisp movement.

Betsy Sensei makes every class feel like discovering the Secrets of the Universe.”
– Tomek

“I started aikido when I was 40+ years young. Now I am about to turn 59 and I’m healthier and happier than ever. I apply aikido’s lessons of keeping safe and maintaining a compassionate outlook through non-violent conflict resolution ‘off the mat’ every day in my life as a family member, colleague and neighbor. On the mat, I deepen my learning, laugh, and enjoy myself every time I train. I have never once been badly hurt or bored! Lakeshore Aikido dojo is a wonderful learning community for people of all stripes. Whether you are seeking physical exercise, body awareness and grounding, spiritual growth, joyful, non-violent play, or all of these I encourage you to come and explore with us.”