Bond Street Dojo was founded in 1973 by Terry Dobson and Ken Nisson, and originally located at 49 Bond Street. Since 2018, the dojo has made its home in the East Harlem community.
After Terry and Ken’s departure in 1980, the dojo was established under Chris Jordan and Paul Kang, both of whom joined Bond Street as students of Terry Sensei and Ken Sensei in the 1970s.
Today, Richard Webb leads us as our Chief Instructor and Chris Jordan Sensei continues as one of our senior instructors.
Bond Street Dojo (incorporated as New York Aikido Society, Inc.) is a not-for-profit organization established as a place for learning and practice of the martial art of aikido. We are governed by a board of directors elected from and by the membership.
Bond Street Dojo is a member of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), under the guidance of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Our instructors and members have studied with many teachers, and often incorporate their own unique experiences into our curriculum.
Students of all ranks, ability levels and backgrounds are welcome to join us. We also host instructors from various schools of aikido and related martial arts to expand our knowledge and range of technique.
Aikido Youth Program is also offered at the Bond Street Dojo. The classes and training on based on the ASU curriculum and Lee Crawford Sensei (Aikido Northshore, Kirkland, WA). At 16, youth can transition to the Adult training program.The primary focus of the Youth program is the development of the self. Body strength and coordination are developed from physical movement. Awareness, concentration, focus and self-esteem are improved. Through Aikido, students develop a sense of center and grounding.
Richard Webb, 三段 (San dan, 3rd dan)
Richard began his Aikido practice in 1999 under the guidance of Lee Crawford Sensei and soon began studying, and training with many teachers including Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei, Mary Heiny Sensei and Mitsugi Saotome Sensei. He enjoys traveling to train with teachers, including regular visits to Aikikai Hombu dojo and Kuwamori dojo in Tokyo, Japan. He believes Aikido is like a tree, a living system of ideas, inspiration, martial discipline and philosophy with endless potential for growth in many directions. Richard is an artist, musician, student of philosophy and is deeply inspired by Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata the primary founders of Butoh. In early 2017 he was asked by Chris Jordan Sensei and the board of Bond St Dojo to take the position of Chief Instructor and Dojo Cho which he currently upholds. He emphasizes wellbeing, adaptation and flexibility in his learning methods.
Chris Jordan, 六段 (Roku dan 6th dan)
Chris Jordan Sensei joined Bond Street Dojo shortly after its founding. In 1980 Terry Dobson and Ken Nisson transferred the teaching and leadership of the Bond Street Dojo to Chris Jordan and Paul Kang, both of whom joined Bond Street as students of Terry Sensei and Ken Sensei in the 1970s. In addition to Terry Dobson and Ken Nisson, her teaching influences include Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, Yoshida Yamada Shihan, Mary Heiny Shihan and Frank Doran Sensei. She is known for her joy and sincerity of training on the mat.
Chris Jordan sensei has also been awarded the Ueshiba Juku designation by Saotome shihan. It recognizes her as having shown exceptional leadership in transmitting the teachings of O-Sensei and is a true inheritor of the principles of aikido in a direct line of succession from O-Sensei, through the teachings of Saotome shihan.
Chris Griffin 五段 (Go dan, 5th dan)
Chris Griffin Sensei joined Bond Street Dojo in 1980 after training in Goju Ryu Karate with Annie Ellman Sensei and Nadia Telsey Sensei of Brooklyn Women’s Martial Arts. In 2017 Chris Jordan Sensei transferred the teaching and leadership of the Bond Street Dojo to Chris Griffin Sensei and Richard Webb Sensei. Chris Griffin now continues as a Senior instructor at Bond Street Dojo. In addition to Chris Jordan Sensei and Paul Kang Sensei, her teaching influences include Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, and Mary Heiny Shihan. Professionally she is a physical therapist and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. Chris finds the practice of maintaining physical and mental integrity while absorbing/redirecting a partner's attack continually fascinating and influences her response to conflict off the mat as well.
Tom Gardner 五段 (Go dan, 5th dan)
Tom Gardner Sensei started his Aikido training in 1981 at Oberlin College under Frank Hreha Sensei, then started visiting Bond Street in 1983 and joined as member in 1987. He has travelled extensively, training as a full time member for at least 1 year or more at 11 different dojo on 3 continents. Along the way he learned to speak Japanese, lived in Japan and worked for the Japanese Consulate in New York for nine years. His is currently our Bilingual English/Japanese senior instructor. Along with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, Paul Kang Sensei and Chris Jordan Sensei, his other main teachers have been Tanaka Bansen Sensei, Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei, Shoji Nishio Sensei, Ken Nisson Sensei, and Dan Messisco Sensei. For Tom “...all of Aikido is connecting your center to your partner's center, and then moving your own center.” He is fascinated by O’sensei's statement that “...all power comes from God”, which he believes. Along with all of us, Tom studies how to actualize this statement.
Marc Sergilus, 四段 (Yon dan, 4th dan)
Marc Sensei started his martial arts journey in 1981 under Ryohei Kanokogi Sensei and and later Nobuyoshi Higashi Sensei and holds a Nidan in Judo. He sought Aikido in 1988 after watching “Above the Law” and has continuously trained with our community. He cherishes the opportunity he had to train with the late Terry Dobson Sensei during his last seminar at the Bond Street Dojo. His primary teachers are Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, Ken Nisson Sensei, Paul Kang Sensei, Chris Jordan Sensei and Dan Messisco Sensei. He focuses on exploring concepts of martial softness, leading, awareness of openings, and atemi. Most important to his training mentality is preserving the joy and happiness of connection with your partner. For Marc, Aikido is not a confrontation; it’s a way of life.
Terry Dobson Sensei began studying aikido with O-Sensei at Hombu Dojo in Japan in 1960 after training in judo and karate. He was the first American uchi-deshi (live-in student) of O-Sensei, and continued to study with him until O-Sensei‘s death in 1969. During those years he trained with fellow uchi-deshi Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, who founded and continues to lead the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), the organization with which Bond Street Dojo is affiliated. Terry Sensei passed away in 1992.
Ken Nisson Sensei began judo training in 1958, and took up aikido in 1964 under the instruction of Koichi Tohei Sensei. In 1967 he was awarded shodan by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei. Ken Sensei began studying with Saotome Shihan in 1976. He is currently head instructor at Aikido of Modesto, California, as well as an artist and illustrator. He regularly visits the Bond Street Dojo and other dojos around the country to lead seminars.
Paul Kang Sensei began his study of aikido in Tokyo, Japan, in 1971. He then trained at New York Aikikai, gradually shifting his study to Bond Street Dojo. After Terry and Ken’s departure in 1980, Chris Jordan Sensei and Paul jointly led Bond Street Dojo as chief instructors until Paul Sensei’s death in May 2007. Paul Sensei also served as the executive director of ASU for many years.
NEWS AND SPECIAL OFFERS
SCHEDULE & CLASSES
TYPICAL WEEKLY SCHEDULE
RANK & TESTING
RANK & TESTING
Testing is optional, though encouraged as a way to mark progression in your skills. Aikido uses the Kyu and Dan system of ranks common in Japanese martial arts. After proceeding through the six kyu ranks, the student may test for shodan (first degree black belt). Our dan rankings are through Hombu Dojo, the Aikido world headquarters, and are recognized internationally.
Learn more about testing at Bond Street (Based on ASU curriculum).
Additional details on Aikido Youth Rank and testing pending.
RESPECTFUL CONDUCT POLICY
Bond Street Dojo aims to provide a training environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Dojo members are responsible for ensuring an environment both at the dojo and at dojo-related social functions that is free of harassment and bullying. Read our Respectful Conduct Policy.
Bond Street Dojo is available to rent for martial arts classes and seminars as well as for other events. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 477-0899 to inquire about rates and for more information.