Helena Aikido

Helena Aikido is a non-profit Aikido dojo in Helena, Montana.  We are affiliated with
Kumano Jyuku Dojo in Shingu Wakayama, Japan.

Classes, Fees & Schedule
Location & Contacts

Seminars & Upcoming Events 
IchiRei ShiKon
IchiRei ShiKon in French
Shinki Aikido - by Sugawa Dojo-cho

For Members
   E-Mail lists

Adults & Youth 12 years old and up   

Tues.    6:15 ~ 7:30 pm   
Thurs.  6:15 ~ 7:30 pm

Introductory Special begins 1st Tuesday, every month!

Tues.    6:15 ~ 7:45 pm   1st Tuesday through the end of month $75, including the uniform

You can start any day of a month with a separate fee from Introductory Course.  Please inquire. 

For questions or preregistration for the Introductory Special, please contact at helena.aikido@gmail.com
Lisa Ernst
(406) 461-1186
Miho Lloyd
(406) 431-0884

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a non-competitive, strictly self-defensive, Japanese martial art. It is considered a modern Japanese “budo” – a martial way of self-refinement and character development.  “Aikido” literally means Way (Do) to Harmony (Ai) with the Life Force or Universal Energy (Ki).  It is not destructive.  Characterized as the active art of non-resistance and reconciliation, aikido employs highly refined flowing physical movements that mediate physical conflict in non-harmful ways.  In aikido, an aggressor’s power is accepted and redirected towards a natural resolution.

How Does One Train in Aikido?

Aikido is practiced as repetitive movements of pre-set forms, or “kata”.  Kata is done using various levels of physical movements, breath and energetic actions. First step in practice is to unify one’s own body -- learn coordination.  The next step is to cultivate a connection of oneself to one’s partner – learn harmony. Through the natural flow of physical movements, aikido reveals its complexity and our connection with universal principles of energy and life. 

Although martially oriented, aikido’s essence is not about fighting.  The repetitive and meaningful partner practice teaches one about emptiness and vanity of winning by physical destruction. The flowing aiki movements train a powerful alternate to conflict.  After many years of diligent, mindful practice, one comes to grip with the underlying principle of aikido, that is, to “stop fighting.”

Aikido encourages life-long training of “self” for self mastery.  The goal is not to win or overcome your opponent, but to eliminate the psychological need to fight, on the mat, and in life.  Aikido is a living martial art, and hundreds of thousands of active aikido students train throughout the world.


Aikido in Helena was originally founded by Whitney Hibbard and Samantha Schroeder in 1988.  Over time, practitioners continued to study aikido as practiced at its spiritual home in Japan as well as various other styles and affiliations of dojos in Montana and the country.  Our style of aikido is based on the Shingu tradition led by the late Hikitsuchi Michio sensei who had very close relationship with Ueshiba O-sensei, the founder of aikido.

Two decades later, in 2008, the former students who are high-ranking black belt holders and beginners alike, came together to establish anew the board member-based Helena Aikido to continue the path of aikido, that is true to its principles and teachings.   
We welcome everyone! 

Mission Statement

Helena Aikido cultivates and nurtures the martial art of aikido for all who seek to study, providing a healthy learning environment.  It advances aikido principles and values as viable tools to benefit society.