The dojo has been a leader in the Philadelphia martial arts community for the past two decades, and was the first Aikikai established in the Philadelphia area. Founded in 1991 by Henry Smith Sensei, the Aikikai is a member of the US Aikido Federation, under the direction of Y. Yamada Sensei, and is allied with Honbu Dojo, Tokyo. Thousands of students have trained under the guidance of Henry Smith, who was recently promoted to the rank of SHIHAN - one of only 25 sanctioned by Honbu Dojo in the US.
The dojo's yudansha are highly regarded in the Aikido world for their advanced level of training and execution. Weapons Training in bokken and jo, as well as Ki Breathing form a central part of the Aikido training at Aikikai of Philadelphia.
Henry Smith's teaching emphasizes the details of tai sabaki, posture/kamae, dynamic flow and refined, beautiful movement - with particular emphasis on the support of Ki energy, and how conscious breathing supports every action in Aikido. His background as a dancer, scholar-athlete and international performing artist have inspired Sensei's holistic worldview of Aikido as a "dance of purification." His teaching is informed by 42 years of practicing and teaching Aikido mind-body principals.