COVID-19 Update

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An Open Letter to Members and Supporters

In these times of emergency related to the world-wide novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are all faced with challenging decisions. Some of these require contemplation and others are beyond question.

Let me start with the latter. I have taken the only responsible decision that all of us who head Aikido dojos in areas affected by COVID-19 should take . . . I have decided to temporarily cease regular practice at the dojo. Until further notice, all classes at the Aikido Yoshinkai Canada — Shindokan Dojo are cancelled.

In addressing those decisions that require more contemplation, I urge each and every one of you to continue and expand your own shugyo, your own training.

There are two quotes in particular from our founder, Shioda Gozo Sensei, that are often repeated. These are:


“Aiki soku seikatsu.”

Aikido and life are one.



“Gyo-Ju-Za-Ga, issai no jisei, kore saizen no dojo.”

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing,
Nothing can compare to this,
This is the ultimate dojo.

If ever there was a time in the life of our dojo in which we can easily put these sayings into practice and spread the joy of our Aikido, it is now!

I urge each of you to search for areas of your life and people in your life to whom you can reach out and offer your time, your efforts, your thoughts and your love. This is a perfect opportunity for all of us to spread the message of Aikido — that of compassion, harmony and caring — to those in our families and in our communities. Shop for those who are less able, call them and spend time listening to their concerns, take care of them by offering your service.

I also urge each of you to think about the businesses you access and the people who run and depend on these businesses for the livelihood of themselves and their families. If you can shop local, please do so. If you know of someone who is out of work and out of pay as a result of shut downs, please consider sharing your wealth. If your dojo is the primary source of income for your Sensei, please think about maintaining your fees. That way, you will have a dojo to go back to once we all get through this together.

These are just suggestions. I am sure that we can all think of ways to help our own communities if we put our minds to it. We are a wonderful, resourceful, caring and committed group of people. This is our time to shine and share our love with those around us.

Practice well!


Chris Johnston

Chief Instructor, Shindokan Dojo
Aikido Yoshinkai Canada

This blog post is part of a shared series. For more insights into a variety of aikido-related topics please visit the other Aikido Yoshinkai Canada websites:

Aikido Durham

AYC Hamilton

AYC Ottawa