Aikido Kokikai

University of Chicago


Kokikai Aikido is a self-defense art that uses throws, pins, and an opponent's momentum to defend against striking and grabbing attacks. Our motto is maximum effect with minimum effort: to achieve this, students learn how to relax properly and develop good posture and balance, and how to apply this against common attacks.


New members may join at any time; no previous experience is necessary. Members may attend as many classes as they wish, although we recommend attending at least twice a week for good progress. Visitors are welcome to watch class, to consider whether or not to join.

Access to the gym is restricted to University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their spouses and children.


Club dues are $25 per quarter collected after the first 2 weeks of each quarter. Beginners classes are run during the first 2 weeks of each quarter to allow people to join mid-year. However, you can join any time just by showing up to a practice.

Once a decision to study aikido kokikai has been made, members will be encouraged to purchase a gi uniform for about $35 and higher belts are encouraged to purchase practice weapons, such as jo (wooden staff), bokken (wooden sword), or tanto (wooden knife).

Testing fees are also common and vary with the level of the test. The first test fee is $60 and includes an Aikido Kokikai membership passport.


Patrick Arnold Sensei 2nd degree black belt

club officers

Margaret Lee President

a short club history

Winston Ou Sensei founded Aikido Kokikai at the University of Chicago in 1991 when he was a graduate math student. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, he had trained under Karen Elder Sensei and Gary Snyder Sensei at the Princeton University dojo. Winston Sensei left the University of Chicago in the spring of 2001. Dojo leaders since then have been Ashwin Tirodkar Sensei, Lou Ibarra Sensei, Brad Dominy Sensei, and Patrick Arnold Sensei.

instructor bios

Patrick Arnold Sensei

After practicing a number of other martial arts, including another Aikido styles, Patrick Sensei began studying Kokikai Aikido in 2005 at the University of Chicago under Brad Domminy Sensei (3rd dan) and subsequently Lou Ibarra Sensei (3rd Dan). He has also practiced under the direction of Kokikai founder Shuji Maruyama Sensei at numerous camps and seminars. Patrick Sensei is also an accomplished musician with a Master's Degree in Music. An avid photographer, he is currently the Dojo leader.