The History of Our Dojo

The Aikikai of Philadelphia is the first Aikikai dojo established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1991 by the late Henry Smith Sensei, the dojo has been a leader in the Philadelphia martial arts community for the past two decades.

Henry Smith Sensei was a dancer and an artist as well as a martial art practitioner.  He started practicing Aikido in the summer of 1968 under Kazuo Chiba Sensei while studying dance at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He moved to New York in 1971 and joined the New York Aikikai of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei. He was a respected Shihan, or master teacher, and practiced Aikido until his last days.

Henry Smith Sensei passed away in May, 2013. He held a 6th Dan black belt. His spirit is now continued by the students of the Aikikai of Philadelphia.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith Sensei

My mission is to maintain and nurture the legacy that has been passed along to me, and create a sense of loyalty, harmony, and camaraderie within the dojo community.

- Henry Smith Sensei

Why Practice Aikido at Aikikai of Philadelphia?

  • Effective Self-Defense and Integrated Self-Development
  • Conflict Resolution and Anger Management
  • Holistic Fitness and Mind/Body Health
  • Centered Self-Awareness and Grounding
  • Ki Breathing and Meditation
  • Supportive Community
  • Spiritual Development


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