About our dojo
Sensei Geoff Callander is a fourth dan and has been practicing aikido since 1996. Geoff began his practice of aikido after taking a course on conflict resolution and aikido at the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. After leaving Chicago in 2002, he opened the Ohio State University aikido dojo in Columbus, Ohio and taught there until moving to Ithaca in 2013. The Ohio State University dojo remains active under the direction of Sensei Isamu Kusaka, one of Geoff's first students. Geoff started the Ithaca dojo in 2013.
Geoff especially enjoys teaching beginners because of their open minds and the joy of seeing and helping to shape great improvement over time. Aikido focuses on helping an individual realize his strongest state. In our dojo, students are guided toward this goal through instruction of exercises and techniques that foster awareness of breath, center, situation, and relaxation. As students train, they develop calmness, grace, and strength under pressure.
Beth Plocharczyk is a third dan and has been practicing aikido under Geoff's instruction since 2002. A former gymnast at the University of Chicago, she started practicing aikido when Geoff opened the Ohio State University dojo in 2002 and became hooked quickly after discovering aikido's enjoyable stretches and opportunities for athleticism.
We are very lucky to have visits from high-ranking guest instructors Sensei Paul Gardner of Eastern Sky Aikido in Rochester, NY and Sensei Dave Comi of MIT Kokikai Aikido in Boston.
Our students also have the opportunity to practice with other aikido practitioners at regional practices in Rochester and at seminars throughout the year and country taught by Sensei Shuji Maruyama, the founder of our school. Our network of aikido practitioners is strong with schools located all over the world.