Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA (AKI USA), a premiere non-profit Aikido organization, headquartered in Santa Barbara, announced the September 12th launch of its Hollywood dojo, Aikido Kenkyukai International, Los Angeles (AKI-LA). Thanks to a newly formed relationship between AKI USA and the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute (HJCI), the new dojo’s first classes will take place at the HJCI.

“It is an honor to be welcomed by the long-established Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute.” said Lia Suzuki Sensei, a 30+ year Aikido veteran who started the first AKI USA dojo in 1996 after living and training in Japan for nearly 10 years. “While living in Japan, my teacher Takeda Shihan and I spoke many times of our shared dream to not only impart Aikido skills to students, but also to foster cultural exchange. The HJCI does exactly that, offering a very rich cultural experience, including Japanese language classes, martial arts classes, Japanese-themed events, etc. Partnering with the HJCI, my dream is finally coming true. This partnership is the perfect stepping stone into the Los Angeles community.”

Under Suzuki’s direction and with Takeda Shihan’s strong encouragement, board members, interns, and volunteers have been working hard for the last 2 years to bring their programs to Los Angeles.

“On behalf of the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute (HJCI) Board of Directors, we are happy to have the opportunity to offer an Aikido class through Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA (AKI USA).” said Asao Masumiya, Board Secretary of the HJCI. “Since the HJCI was founded in 1947 by our first (Issei) and second generation (Nisei) Japanese American founders, this is the first time that Aikido is being offered through our cultural classes and programs. The HJCI Board of Directors enthusiastically offers it support to AKI USA in its efforts to share the practice and teachings of Aikido with our community.”

Los Angeles Dojo information

Classes will begin on September 12th at the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute (HJCI), located at 3929 Middlebury Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004. In addition to weekly, traditional Aikido classes, AKI-LA will also hold international seminars and events with various acclaimed instructors throughout the world. For information, please visit: or call/text: 424 209-2083.

About Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute

Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute is a nonprofit organization (School 170(b)(1)(A)(ii)), established in 1947, with its Japanese Language School having been started in 1915.

Mission Statement: “The specific purpose of the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute is to preserve, share, and promote the Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage through education, cultural programs, and activities.”

About Lia Suzuki Sensei

Lia Suzuki Sensei is the Chief Instructor and founder of Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA, with branches in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Pennsylvania, and now Los Angeles. Starting in 1987, for nine years, she trained in Kamakura, Japan with Aikido Master Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan, 8th dan. She returned to the US in 1996 and founded the national AKI-USA and later AKI SB and other dojos at the direction of Takeda Shihan. She is internationally recognized as a gifted teacher with a dynamic style and travels to cities throughout the world to lead Aikido seminars for practitioners and teachers.

Aikido Kenkyukai International, USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the practice of the Japanese non-violent martial art of Aikido and promoting Aikido as a positive and effective vehicle for self-improvement and spiritual growth. AKI USA was founded in 1996 by Lia Suzuki Sensei. In addition to offering traditional Aikido classes to beginner through advanced level practitioners, AKI USA has been home to the pioneering work started by Lia Suzuki Sensei. She has used Aikido as a therapeutic vehicle for youth and adults with mental health and substance abuse issues, issues, military veterans, and has worked closely with drug rehabilitation centers, probation departments, and jails, offering workshops on Aikido Conflict Transformation.

For more information on Akidio Kenkyukai Los Angeles or to schedule an introductory class or interview with Suzuki Sensei, please visit or call/text 424 209-2083.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.