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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 Proving that you can start practicing Aikido at any age, she began training in Aikido in 2007 at the age of 58 at Onshinkan Dojo under the direction of Elisabeth Menning Sensei a direct student of Fumio Toyoda Shihan. She continued training under Menning Sensei, ascending to dojo Cho for Shugyo Cultural Center until her retirement from teaching in 2019.

Sharon Sensei's training has also been under Roberto Garza Sensei, Director/Chief Instructor of Sosei Aikido Kyokai, another direct student of Fumio Toyoda Shihan. He has been very active in her Dan training and has reached the rank of Sandan with his guidance.

Her dream is to continue her training even as she moved out of state and started another journey in her life. In addition to managing Onshinkan Dojo as Dojo Cho for the past couple of years, she is also been Dojo Cho for Shugyo Cultural Center's Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu program for several years.


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