155 Loretta Ave North
(entrance at left side of building)
K1Y 2J7 Canada
Aikido was founded by O-Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). O-Sensei (Honorable Teacher) studied many styles of martial arts and was a formidable opponent in any physical confrontation. After many years of study, O-Sensei realized that the true purpose of Budo (martial arts) is not war and the destruction of life, but peace and the preservation of life.
Aikido means "the way of harmonizing spirit." Ai = to meet, to come together, to harmonize. Ki - the mind, the soul, the spirit, or in a larger context, the spirit of the Universe. Do = the way. O-Sensei believed that individuals could blend their energy or spirit (Ki) with that of the Universe.
As a martial art, Aikido is based on non-resistance or blending rather than direct confrontation. There is no resistance or clashing with the opponent. Control is achieved by blending with the energy of the attack, and using that energy to neutralize an opponent. "Even the most powerful human being has a limited sphere of strength. Draw him outside of that sphere and into your own, and his strength will dissipate." - Morihei Ueshiba.
Aikido is equally effective for women or men, young or not so young. Aikido is self realization through the discipline of training. Aikido is varied, and not a tiresome routine. Aikido is a lifetime of personal development towards a peaceful goal - good physical and mental health, peace and harmony.
The Ottawa Aikikai was founded in 1980 by sensei Richard Ostrofsky and since has had several head instructors, in particular, Mary Heiny sensei 6th dan (1987-1990) and Don Dickie Shidoin 6th dan (1990 - present).
The Ottawa Aikikai is a non-profit organization run by a board of five directors. The teaching side of the dojo is headed by Don Dickie Shidoin, the chief instructor.
Don Dickie Sensei began practicing aikido in 1980 and became Chief Instructor of the Ottawa Aikikai in 1990.
He currently holds a 6th Dan in Aikido and a 3rd Dan in Tae Kwon Do. Dickie Sensei also practices meditation (Tibetan Buddhism) and Qigong, a Chinese health system that focuses on the movement of Ki throughout the body.
The primary influences on Don's formative years in Aikido came from the late Kanai Sensei and Chiba Sensei, as well as Yamada Sensei and Mary Heiny Sensei.
In Aikido there are only white and black belts, that is there are no colour belts. Different level white belts are called kyu-ranks and range from 5th kyu (first test) to 1st kyu (level before black). Black Belts are measured by dan ranks ranging from 1st Dan to 10th Dan. The testing table shows the test requirements in number of days of practice. In order to grade for the 5th kyu test you would need to practice 40 days, that is, if you practice everyday you may qualify to test after about two months. The Ottawa Aikikai follows the testing requirements as set out by the USAF (detailed USAF testing requirements (pdf)).