Philadelphia Aikido

Philadelphia Aikido

5.0 (8)
55 years in business

About this pro

We are the oldest Aikido dojo in Philadelphia, having started in 1968 and operating continuously to date.  Classes are offered 7 days a week and taught by excellent, high ranking instructors.  I have studied since 1974 and hold an 8th degree black belt, the highest ranking Aikido woman in the world.  Our Facebook Page is under Philadelphia Aikido.

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Philadelphia, PA 19131
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8 Reviews


  • Liz Rosenberg

    Cecelia is an amazing martial arts teacher, as well as a warm, caring individual . She has taught Aikido for 40 years, and her martial arts skills, excellent teaching abilities, desire to help her students excel and her patience are awesome. She has created a community of martial artists who practice together joyfully. I am proud and happy to have been able to study with her for over 20 years. In her classes I am always challenged, get a great workout, and have a great deal of fun.

  • Conny Sterner

    Having practiced aikido at Philadelphia Aikido for more than 6 years, I count my experiences here as one of the most fun, empowering, and meaningful aspects of my life. Cecelia Sensei has created a dojo that is truly excellent, and I find myself very lucky to be part of it.

  • Bryan Liesner

    Cecelia Sensei is an incomparable teacher. She seems to have a sixth sense about each individual's needs, and caters to them to promote excellence in the practice of the art. Her teaching is partially out of the box textbook fundamentals, and partially individualized to each students needs. Being the chief instructor at Philadelphia's first Aikido dojo, there are many members that have practiced with and under her guidance for many years, bringing a rich experience for learning, even from the students! There's a reason why such loyalty comes from her students, and it's readily apparent as soon as you are welcomed to the dojo as a beginner. There are many talented Aikido practitioners, but teaching is a special talent that few or none can do on her level.

  • Chrungchai Leodhuwaphan

    I have been privileged to study Aikido under her supervisor for around 10 years time that I have lived in Philadelphia. All those time I grew to learn not only to be better Aikidoka also better person a well. Now I missed her dearly and always have her to be the best teacher that I ever encounter in my life.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We offer introductory series for beginning students.  We also welcome new students into our regular classes where they will work with black belts one on one, guided to correct movement and technique and kept safe.  A strong foundation is then built for future training.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been training since 1974 and teaching since 1978.  My teacher is Shuji Maruyama who studied with the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.  Mr. Maruyama pioneered Aikido in Philadelphia when it was a relatively unknown martial art.  He learned to speak English, and set about educating the public about this art.  I have been privileged to train with him and pass along his legacy to my students.  I have been awarded 8th dan, the highest rank of any woman in the Aikido world.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Adult memberships cost options:  $115/month; $300/quarter, $1,000/year.  Unlimited classes which are offered 7 days per week.

Children memberships cost:  $80/month for 1 class per week.

Discounts are available to families, veterans and students

How did you get started teaching?

It was the natural progression - wanting to share my joy of training and Aikido philosophy.  

What types of students have you worked with?

It has been my privilege to work with amazing students who have been blind, deaf, autistic, in addition to all the other unique individuals that seek out training.  We are inclusive, accepting any students who sincerely want to learn and put in the work.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

We have several stories detailed on our website about students' experiences that have saved themselves from harm or death thanks to their training.  I was presented one day with a huge bouquet of flowers from the parents of one of my students.  They thanked me for saving their family.  They told me of their 2 sons who were traveling in Argentina when they were attacked by a group of thugs weilding clubs.  It was the training of my student who enabled him to save himself and his brother who was severely beaten.  It still chokes me up to think of it.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Credentials are important, but trust your intuition.  Are students enjoying themselves?  Do they seem respectful, confident, relaxed, serious?  Do they move easily with good posture and balance?  Is the instructor strong but gentle?

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Consider your goals, even the subtle ones.  Ask questions - there are no silly questions.  People loved to be asked about their labor of love. 

Lessons offered