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About Us


About Aikido

Aikido is a non-violent, Japanese martial art that translates as “the way of harmonizing life force energy.” Training helps develop confidence, discipline, flexibility, fitness, mindset, cooperation, appropriate responsiveness, and healthy assertiveness.

In Aikido we utilize strikes and grabs and aim to re-direct our partner’s energy to protect both ourselves and them. Ukemi, the art of receiving and falling safely, is emphasized. We practice both open-hand and weapons work with a dull wooden sword, staff, and knife (bokken, jo, and tanto.)

In today’s frenetic world, Aikido is a path of depth, honor, and aliveness.

About  Our Dojo

Crystal River Aikikai was established in 2024 to serve the community in and around Carbondale, Colorado. At that time, our Sensei, Ann O'Brien, had been teaching along the Crystal River for 2 years, along with 5 years at previous dojos.

We are affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation (USAF), under the direction of Reuven Lirov Sensei. The themes of purification, healing and dynamic energy flow are resonant with our mission.

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About  Our Instructor

Ann O’Brien Sensei holds the rank of shodan (1st degree black belt) with the USAF (United States Aikido Federation). Affiliated with Reuven Lirov Sensei and Pinellas County Aikikai, her teachers have also included Mike Jones Sensei, Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei, Tres Hofmeister Sensei, Penny Bernath Sensei and Peter Bernath Sensei. She has attended many seminars with master teachers, and enjoys training with Aikidoka from all over the US and beyond.

Ann Sensei taught kids’ Aikido for several years each at Boulder Aikikai and Roaring Fork Aikikai before starting her own program in 2022. She brings great enthusiasm and dedication to the practice.

Off the mat, she is an intuitive healer, teacher and best-selling author. Learn more here.

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