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. I strive to cultivate a community where each person can fully explore and deeply experience what Aikido gives to them."

 

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:

 

  • We cultivate the core values of respect, care, and attention.

  • By practicing with partners and in groups children become more socially aware cooperative, and respectful.

  • Through meditation, warm-up exercises, and the careful study of challenging martial techniques, children practice being focused, disciplined, relaxed, and attentive to details.

  • Aikido practice enhances flexibility, agility, coordination, fitness, and strength.

 

 

 

Schedule

Monday

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

7:30-8:45pm:  Iaido Class

Tuesday

6:00-7:15 pm:  Adult/Teen Class

 

Wednesday

4:30-5:15 pm:  Children's Class

5:15-6:00 pm:  Open Practice

6:00-7:15 pm:  Adult/Teen Class

Thursday

6:00-7:15 pm:  Adult/Teen Class

Friday

5:00-6:30 pm:  Iaido Class

Saturday

10:00-11:15 am:  Adult/Teen Class

11:20-11:50am:  Freestyle (randori) practice and test preparation

 

Our Facility

Our dojo has a practice area of approximately 900 square feet covered with EVA foam mats. There are two spacious dressing rooms along with two restrooms. In our comfortable lobby, visitors and spectators can enjoy a hot cup of tea. Parents with young children can utilize our nursery area. We enjoy plenty of natural light from four large windows.

Dues and Expenses

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 with financial contributions, by assisting with dojo maintenance, and with consistent 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 classes, plus a uniform, for $60.

                                       

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

                                                   

Adults:  $95/month

Students:  $85/month

Children:  $85/month

 (Discounts available for couples and families.)

Annual dues to the United States Aikido Federation:  $50 (adults/teens only)

Adult/Teen Rank Test Fee: $40

Children's Rank Test Fee: $20

Weapons (bokken & jo): $20 each

Uniform (gi):  $50

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

 

Private Lessons: $50/lesson

 

Gift Certificates available.

 

 
Getting Started

Contact us to schedule your free trial class. Please come to your first class at least 10 minutes early to sign some paperwork and get acclimated to the dojo.   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:

© Copyright 2023 Aikido of Amherst. All rights reserved.                                                           7 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst, MA  01002     aikidoofamherst@gmail.com     413-313-6493