Unconventional workout alert! East Williamsburg’s Green Fitness Studio has recently added a dojo to its list of offerings. At the Dojo, you can learn aikido, a Japanese martial art developed in the 1960s.

Image courtesy of Bushwick Dojo

The aptly named Bushwick Dojo was founded by Claire Keller in January 2016 and found its way to our neighborhood earlier this year. Claire is the chief instructor with a sixth degree blackbelt and over 37 years of experience under said belt. She is one among four very qualified Aikido instructors at the Bushwick Dojo.

The art of Aikido is not only an effective strength training workout, it is also an extremely useful self-defense practice. It is a partnered exercise with no competitive aspect. The method behind it is learning how to redirect an attacker’s force.

Claire Keller and a student. Image courtesy of Bushwick Dojo

Claire says it is also “a really great way to get to know yourself, get to know your body, and get to know other people, non verbally.” She describes it as a sort of “moving meditation; a way to be present in the moment.” It promises to be a therapeutic experience for both the mind and the body.

Claire and the other instructors are hoping to spark the interest of the millennials in particular. The Aikido community is made up of an older generation but they hope to inspire a resurgence of popularity among all ages.

Classes take place four days a week. Classes are separated by experience level, but intimate class sizes and personal attention are always ensured. You can find a detailed schedule plus membership fees here.


Bushwick Dojo

Aikido school inside Green Fitness Studio

 232 Varet Street



Follow the Bushwick Dojo on Facebook and Instagram.