“Why study martial arts?
A true martial artist does not practice to only defeat others. They practice to defeat the enemies inside themselves, the enemies we all have. We forge our life into something beautiful, something helpful to the world.
Peace is not just a word or idea. Strength, bravery and compassion are things we have embodied. They are what we all must become.”
—Fumio Toyoda Shihan
Aikido (合氣道) literally translates to ‘the way of harmonizing with energy’. It is recognized for its unique spirit, so different from many martial arts which make sportive or combative aims their sole rationale. The goal of Aikido is nonviolent conflict resolution.
The Japanese martial art of Aikido is a comprehensive system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, coupled with training in traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, staff and knife. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba early in the twentieth century following his own extensive study of various armed and unarmed martial systems.
Monday & Wednesday 6:30-7:30 pm, 7:45-8:45 pm
Saturday 10:00-11:00 am, 11:15 am-12:15 pm
Sunday (open mat) 9:00-10:00 am, 10:15-11:15 am
Masakatsu Agatsu (正勝吾勝), ‘true victory, is victory over the self’
JOHN BIESZK, 7th Dan Sensei
John Bieszk Sensei began his Aikido practice at the Illinois Aikido Club in Chicago in 1973. He studied there until 1975 when he dedicated himself to full time study in Physics.
In 1980, upon returning to Chicagoland, he trained under Fumio Toyoda Shihan. Bieszk Sensei received his 1st degree black belt in 1984. He continued studying with Toyoda Shihan’s organization, the Aikido Association of America (AAA), now headed by Stephen Tatsuo Toyoda, son of Toyoda Shihan.
Bieszk Sensei teaches classes and seminars throughout the Midwest. He holds the rank of 7th degree black belt. Mr. Bieszk is a member of the AAA National Teaching Committee and is the AAA Midwest Regional Shibucho (emeritus branch leader of the Midwest Region).
JOSH WEISER, 4th Dan Shidoin
Chief Instructor | Dojocho
Josh Weiser Sensei has trained in martial arts for more than 40 years. He started practicing Aikido over 20 years ago and has had the opportunity to train with different schools and affiliations enabling him to have a unique understanding of the art.
Weiser Sensei teaches at seminars throughout the Midwest. He holds the rank of 4th degree black belt and Shidoin (Certified Aikido Instructor). Mr. Weiser is the Midwest Regional Event Coordinator for the AAA and participates as a AAA Chicagoland Testing Committee Member.