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About Us

Long Beach Island Aikikai is a traditional Japanese Aikido dojo, located in Long Beach Island, NJ, under the direction of senior instructor, Shidoin 6th degree black belt Chester Griffin. All are always invited to watch class. We also hope that you will join us on the mat. Our staff will always work hard to make you feel comfortable and welcomed. We are honored to be a member of the United States Aikido Federation. All Aikido students are welcome to visit and train at our dojo. Since Aikido (when practiced properly) uses physics and not physical strength, this art is for anyone and everyone willing to try it regardless of size, age or gender.

Chester Griffin

Chester Griffin

Chester Griffin, Chief Instructor, Rokudan (6th degree black belt) and Shidoin, began practicing Aikido in 1968 and has never looked back. His love and dedication to the art is evident through his vibrant classes and emphasis on fundamentals. He continues to travel to receive instruction at the New York Aikikai to study with Yamada Sensei and attends various seminars.

Jimmy Shaffer

James Shaffer

James Shaffer, Co-Chief Instructor, Yondan (4th degree black belt) and Fukushidoin is a student of martial arts from childhood, who began practicing Aikido in 1998 at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Aikido Club. Shortly after, he became soto deshi under Chester Griffin of the Long Beach Island Aikikai. A move north took him to Aikido Schools of New Jersey in Roselle Park under the direction of Shihan Richard Stickles. Upon another move to Manhattan, he became a member of the New York Aikikai. Now back in New Jersey, he enjoys his time studying and instructing at Long Beach Island Aikikai, Aikido of Red Bank and Aikido Schools of New Jersey.

Marie Torrecampo

Marie Torrecampo

Marie Torrecampo, Nidan (2nd degree black belt) started practicing Aikido in 2004 and has loved it ever since. She is currently training and occasionally teaching at Long Beach Island Aikikai, Aikido Schools of New Jersey and Aikido of Red Bank.

About Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art literally translating to “the Way of harmonious spirit” that provides a means of self-defense without inflicting harm to the attacker. Known for its non-violent techniques, Aikido redirects the opponent’s energy using entering and turning movements finished with either a throw or a joint lock. Along with being a great source of exercise, Aikido provides the following benefits:

  • Alleviates stress
  • Increases flexibility, endurance and physical ability
  • Boosts self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Improves balance, coordination, awareness and concentration
  • Promotes mental, physical and spiritual health
  • Induces muscle development, weight loss and an overall positive outlook
Aikido kanji
Aikido Kanji

Aikido's Founder

Morihei Ueshiba, also known as “O Sensei” founded this art in the late 1920s combining his religious beliefs, philosophies and studies of other various martial arts (including Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu and judo). Aikido also incorporates the principles and movements of both aiki-ken (sword) and aiki-jo (staff).

Morihei Ueshiba
Morihei Ueshiba

Yoshimitsu Yamada, Shihan, 8th dan is a direct student of O Sensei, chief instructor of New York Aikikai, and President of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF). An early ambassador of Aikido to the United States, Yamada Sensei helped spread the word and spirit of Aikido with his inspirational teaching style that promoted the art’s growth nationally and globally.

Yamada Sensei
Yamada Sensei