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A Place for Deeper Training... Traditional Martial Arts, Cultural Classes, Mind and Body Fitness


Anybody can train

Aikido does not require youth, strength, flexibility, or size. It is well-suited for men; women and children of all ages. It's great for families! Nationwide and worldwide, 40% of Aikido practitioners are women. Steven Segal has popularized Aikido through his movies (although he shows a more street-fighting style).

We have had students ranging from 3-1/2 to almost 70. Adults classes are great for aerobic exercise, stretching and flexibility, constructive social interaction, learning new skills, challenging self-imposed limits, managing stress, and all-around fun. It can be exhilarating! Despite of (or because of) the intensity of training, people come to feel the dojo space is a pleasant, peaceful environment - a sanctuary in contrast to their often stressful and chaotic lives outside.

Benefits of Aikido

Benefits of Aikido


We have been teaching introductory and ongoing courses for adults, youth, and families in northwest Indiana since 1999.

Our courses introduce traditional Aikido as developed in Japan by OSensei (the founder of Aikido), and are taught in the tradition of the late Fumio Toyoda Shihan.


Students are members of Aikido of Northern Indiana Onshinkan Dojo, which is a member dojo of the national organization Sosei Aikido Kyokai. Our Kyu certifications are recognized by Hombu Dojo in Japan. Each class consists of hands-on training in basic stances, movement, falls, and technique, as well as an introduction to the principles and philosophy of Aikido, and how it can apply to daily life.



Sensei Sharon Sharon Halfman is the current dojo-cho, holds the rank of Sandan in Aikido and is still our very dedicated office manager. She is a patient instructor for Aikido of Northern Indiana-Onshinkan Dojo. She is Dojo cho for Onshinkan Dojo's Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu Iaijutsualso where she holds the rank of Shodan.

Sensei Joan Joan Dehnert currently hold the Rank of Sandan in Aikido. She began training in Aikido in 2008 at Soseikan Dojo in Worth, IL under the direction of Roberto Garza Sensei Director of Sosei Aikido Kyokai and direct student of Fumio Toyoda Shihan. She continues to train under Garza sensei at Soseikan Dojo, assisting with the kids program, aikido weapons training and is the volunteer office manager for Soseikan dojo, Sosei Aikido Kyokai and teaches at Onshinkan dojo. Prior to her Aikido journey, She trained in Okinawan Karate achieving the rank of Godan. She feels, "Aikido is a way of life, my passion and I enjoy sharing it with others!".


Our Shugyo cultural center Director, Elisabeth Menning started her training as Uchideshi (traditional live-in student) to Fumio Toyoda Shihan.

Lonnie Amico, MD Lonnie Amico, MD and his daughters began training years ago with the late Fumio Toyoda Shihan in Chicago, where he first met Menning Sensei. He even remembers when she arrived at Tenshinkan Dojo to begin the uchideshi program! Since Toyoda Shihan's death in 2001, Dr. Amico has been training at Onshinkan Dojo and is ranked shodan (1st degree black belt). He is very interested in understanding the roots of the art, maintaining the integrity and tradition of the art, and upholding the teachings of Toyoda Shihan.

Lonnie Amico, MD Valerie Friesema became interested in Aikido at the end of 2012. She came to the dojo for a general self-defense seminar and became fascinated with Aikido, training at Onshinkan Dojo under Menning Sensei, student of Fumio Toyota Shihan. Aikido keeps her fit both mentally and physically helping with core strength, balance and limber muscles. She feels Aikido is a life-long journey no matter when in life you start and rewarding in ways beyond the mat both mentally and physically.

She gained her Shodan rank in August of 2018 and continues learning, refining techniques and teaching the art to others. Her experience in business and personnel management brings a diversified voice to the board of directors to help support with the continuance of a strong and healthy dojo.

Lonnie Amico, MD TL Morrow started his Aikido training at Onshinkan Dojo on 11/22/2013 and received his black belt, Shodan rank 8/12/2018 under Sensei Menning. He says he is still learning by helping and assisting other students with their training at our dojo. Aikido is the Martial art of peace, "Assertive and not Aggressive". It has a core value.

"Come to our Dojo even when you don't want to come and leave with a sense of fierce joy". -See you soon, on the mat.

Monthly Rates Adult $75 Youth $65
Annual Dues Individual $25 Family $40
Ask about our family discounts!    

You are always welcome to come visit or try a class!

Class Schedule

Contact Info

Phone: (219) 736-7854

Email: info@shugyoculturalcenter.org

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9117 Indiana Place, Merrillville, IN 46410

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