Welcome to Shindai Aikikai Dojo


Shindai Dojo was established in 1986 by the late Dennis Hooker Sensei (ASU 7th Dan – Shihan). Shindai has occupied its current location for over 25 years of those years as the largest and longest running Aikido school in Central Florida. The training is led by a diverse experienced internationally qualified teaching staff of over 10 instructors. Consistent, reliable, exceptional training in Aikido and the principles of Budo is offered 7 days a week.

Shindai is a member dojo of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). Dedicated to offering training in the martial art of Aikido as founded by O’Sensei, and articulated through the teachings of Mitsugi Saotome Sensei. Shindai is also an established Budokan supporting additional  Japanese Martial Arts.  This means Shindai hosts and supports a select group of traditional Japanese martial disciplines, including Karate, Judo, Eishin ryu Iai Jutsu, Jiu Jutsu (Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu and Danzan Ryu), Japanese sword (Toyama Batto Do), and Kendo.

Shindai is located convenient to the central Orlando area, with a comprehensive daily Aikido training schedule. In addition to regular training, we also host special advanced training seminars taught by significant guest instructors from the world of Aikido, including Saotome Shihan.

All of our instructors are active internationally registered and certified students of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Ushi Deshi to O’Sensei, and world-renowned head of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.

Regardless of rank or affiliation, you are welcome to train at our dojo.

Understanding Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art created during the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883~1969), an expert Budoka who reached the highest level of mastery in the classical Japanese Martial Arts. It is continued worldwide through a lineage of his students.

Aikido is performed by blending with the energies of the attacker , redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. Aikido is not a sport. It  has no staged competitions. The goal of Aikido training is not focused on the perfection of one step or skill, but rather improving a body of capabilities while strengthening the integrity of one’s character according to principle and the rules of nature.

The study of Aikido physically builds flexibility, endurance, and balance. Most students find the stress reduction a benefit, along with self-awareness/control, confidence, and the heightened ability to focus.  Aikido can be a very effective form of self-defense, but it is not the primary focus of Aikido. We strive for agatsu, greater control of ourselves through a unification of mind/body/spirit.

The nature of Aikido training makes it accessible to all ages, genders, and physical skill levels. When repeatedly practiced, there is enhanced integration into daily life, which is the highest form of self-defense. The dojo is an ideal place to deepen the understanding of human interaction, and to develop meaningful relationships.

Shindai: Definition 

“To conduct oneself with awareness of the divine nature of those around us. To walk in the appreciation of the precious aspects of all life, with consideration for all.”

The name Shindai was given to us by Saotome Sensei more than three decades ago. The name is taken from the Kojiki, the first written Japanese record of oral tradition. The word Shindai derives from this ancient tome describing a time when man and gods walked the earth together. Indistinguishable from one another in form, everyone lived together as if everyone was a god. Consideration, empathy, respect, honor, a nurturing nature, ethics, an attitude of chivalry, a strong spirit, all of these things were the nature and second nature of all. This is Shindai.


Shindai Dojo is known, national and internationally, for the integrity of it’s programs and instruction. Our reputation in the greater Aikido community is held in high esteem in great part due to the quality of our  teaching staff. 

Visit Us

You are invited to train with us in any of a variety of the classes we offer throughout the week, or just drop in to watch a class. During this time of Covid however, please contact us to let us know you are coming.


Aikido is a great martial art but only as good as what you put into it. The instructors at Shindai ensure you understand what’s being taught and they care how the techniques are presented.  (Phil Van Tresse Sensei / Tomiki 8thDan)


Experience vigorous and spirited learning.

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