About Us

Aikido of Amherst provides a positive environment that is safe, friendly, and focused on the learning and development of all members.   We are affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation and Aikido World Headquarters-Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan.


Chief Instructor

Our chief instructor and dojo-cho (school manager) is Heath Atchley. 


Heath has over 20 years of martial arts experience and is certified to teach Aikido by the United States Aikido Federation.  In addition to Aikido, he has trained in Karate and Shaolin Kung fu.  Heath also has a Ph.D. in Religion and Philosophy and has taught those subjects at Syracuse University, Alfred University, Western New England University, and Mount Holyoke College.  He brings his educational background and martial arts training together to create classes that combine thoughtfulness and physical vigor.


"People practice Aikido for different reasons.  Some want physical fitness.  Others want self-defense.  Some are driven by philosophical or spiritual concerns.  Many have a combination of these motivations.  In my classes I strive to cultivate an atmosphere where each person can fully explore and deeply experience what Aikido gives to them while learning the fundamental movements and techniques of this art."


Heath began his Aikido training with Yousuf Mehter-Sensei in Syracuse, New York.  He also studied with Yukiko Katagiri-Sensei and Larry Bieri-Shihan at Cornell University Aikido Club.  After moving to the Pioneer Valley, Heath continued his training with Todd Martin-Sensei.  Heath's training has been especially indebted to the seminars Yoshimitsu Yamada-Shihan and the late Seiichi Sugano-Shihan.  Additionally, Heath travels regularly to Tokyo, Japan, and trains at Aikido World Headquarters, Hombu Dojo.  There he has been especially influenced by the classes of Hayato Osawa-Shihan, Masatoshi Yasuno-Shihan, and Yoshinobu Irie-Shihan.



Children's Class

We offer classes to children (ages 8-12) twice a week.  Aikido benefits children in many ways:







4:30-5:15 pm:  Children's Class (Ages 8-12)

5:15-6:00 pm:  Open Practice

6:00-7:15 pm:  Adult/Teen Class



4:30-5:15 pm:  Children's Class

5:15-6:00 pm:  Open Practice

6:00-7:15 pm:  Adult/Teen Class



10:00-11:15 am:  Adult/Teen Class




We follow the tradition of offering membership for dues, rather than fees for instruction.  When new students join the dojo, they are becoming members of the Aikido of Amherst community.  Members support the community, not only with financial contributions, but also with regular practice done in a positive spirit.  It is only through community that we can practice Aikido.


Your first class is free.


Monthly dues cover unlimited practice.


Beginners' Specials:  *One month of Adult/Teen classses, plus a uniform, for $60.

                                      *One month of Childrens' classes, plus a uniform, for $50.


Adults:  $85/month

Students/Military/Police/Fire/Rescue Personnel:  $75/month

      (Semester installment plans available for college and graduate students.)

Children:  $75/month

      (Discounts available for couples and families.)



Mat fee (for visitors from other dojos):  $10


Private Lessons:  $50/lesson


Gift Certificates available.


Getting Started

Please come to your first class at least 10 minutes early to sign some paperwork and introduce yourself to the instructor and other students.  You are also welcome to visit, observe a class, and talk the instructor and other students.  No uniform is needed for your first class; just wear comfortable workout clothes.


Visitors from other dojos are always welcome.




If you have questions, or would like a try a class for free, 

please contact us: