A small but dedicated dojo in Reading, Pennsylvania, Aikido West Reading, has been evolving and growing for over 20 years. We have a lovely space, well-rounded instruction and friendly aikidoka who are eager to train with and learn from anyone who comes through the door.
Aikido West Reading
Michael Harrell, Sandan Michael Harrell started training in September of 1999 at Aikido West Reading. Currently holding the rank of Sandan, which he received in June of 2016, Michael Sensei leads class Tuesday nights, and co-teaches the Family Night classes with Sarah Moore. An infrequent Shakespearean actor, a haphazard artist, and untreatable epicurean, Michael has avoided abject poverty and sloth by being gainfully employed at the dairy trading company he cofounded in 2010. Eric Webber, Sandan Eric Webber began his Aikido training at Aikido West Reading in March 1996. He was given the rank of Sandan in June 2010 by the Mid Atlantic testing committee under the auspices of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Eric Sensei currently teaches several classes at AWR each week, including the Saturday weapons class. Eric Sensei (sensei-at-large) holds an undergraduate degree from Kutztown University, a Master’s Degree from Alvernia University, and has completed graduate work at Immaculata University and Plymouth State University. He is a certified addictions counselor, as well as a commissioned Kentucky Colonel. Bob Ferrara, Shodan Bob Ferrara began training in January 2005 at Aikido West Reading. He currently holds the rank of Shodan, received in September 2011. Bob regularly leads class on Thursdays at AWR. While Bob ran a business pouring concrete when he began training Aikido, he has moved on to Autobody Collision and doing custom restorations of classic muscle cars. Andrew Dell has over a decade of training under his blackbelt having achieved his Shodan at the end of 2015. Andrew switched gears from an education degree to IT a few years ago. When not tending to his mountainside property and two adoring cats, he can be found doing a podcast or drinking a beer. Sometimes both.
AWR was founded in its original location in 1991 by Byron Mellinger Sensei and was originally affiliated with Aikido Kinokawa. In 1992, after a break with Aikido Kinokawa, AWR became affiliated with the American Aikido Association (AAA), which was founded and directed by Toyoda Sensei. In 1993, AWR became affiliated with the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), founded and directed by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. AWR continues to be affiliate with the ASU, and is connected to Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan, through this affiliation. In 1999, Byron Sensei decided to retire from teaching and practicing aikido and left AWR in the hands of its students. In the summer of 1999, the students formed the Board of Directors and began leading the dojo as a student-run organization. The Board is currently comprised of four senior members of the dojo who regularly teach classes, organize seminars, arrange for social events, and oversee the maintenance and care of the dojo. Current Board members are Michael Harrell, Eric Webber, Christine Moore, Bob Ferrara, and Sarah Moore. After the departure of Byron Sensei in 1999, the senior students of AWR turned to other area ASU Sensei (David Goldberg Sensei and Dan Messisco Sensei) for guidance and instruction. Currently, AWR regularly hosts several teachers throughout the year for seminars and instruction, including Don Moock Sensei, as well as Chuck Weber and Charlie Page Sensei of the Baltimore Aikikai. AWR continues today as a Not-For-Profit student-run organization. All of the members share in paying monthly dues, maintaining and caring for the dojo, and providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere to all who earnestly wish to come and train in Aikido.
Monday-Wednesday: 6:30 pm - 8 pm (empty hand) Thursday: 6:30-7:00 (Family Night) Friday: No class Saturday: Every second and fourth Saturday each month * 10 am – Noon Sunday: no class Classes are open to all training levels and to anyone age 18 or older. *We strive to keep a consistent schedule, but we occasionally need to make changes. Check our "Announcements" section and follow our Facebook page for any schedule changes such as cancellations, workshops, and seminars.
Parking is to the rear of the building.
We offer regular empty hand and weapons classes open to all levels of experience. Additionally, we have Family Night classes where kids and at least one parent train with an instructor.
Monthly Dues Single member: $70/month Family rate (2 related members): $100/month *each additional related family member can join at an additional $30/month Family Night (Thurs): $40/month Annual Dues Dojo Insurance: $50/year ASU Membership: $45/year for mudansha (kyu ranked); $75/year for yudansha (dan ranked) *A mat fee of $10 for guests to practice is appreciated.