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Our dojo's children's programs are designed around the principles and philosophies of Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba (O'Sensei). Radically different from any other martial art in the world, Aikido seeks reconciliation through its practice, rather than victory/defeat. The goal of Aikido is to create and foster an internal competitive spirit that drives each of us to do better than we did the day before without comparing with others. 

How do I get started? Simple. Sign up for a FREE 10 day trial  with Sempai Matthew Addison, Children's Program Director. He spends 45 minutes going over your goals for your training, what Aikido is all about, etiquette, and some basic movement to explore. At the end of the session, you'll discuss your ideal next steps on your journey. It's crucial that we both agree that you are a strong fit for the dojo and vice versa.

Sempai Matt Addison Aikido Dojo Pinellas County Florida Martial Arts

Meet 'Sempai Matt'

Shodan (black belt), Children's Program Director

Since 2013, Matthew Addison has been training and studying the traditional martial art of Aikido. Initially under Gina Boccolucci Sensei in Tampa, he now calls Pinellas County Aikikai home with Reuven Lirov Sensei. 

As Children's Program Director for the dojo, 'Sempai Matt' is responsible for ensuring that each of our Junior Samurai is having fun on the mat and staying safe as they learn.

Sempai Matt's goals are to continue seeing his Junior Samurai progress through the ranks and eventually join him in the adults program and see Aikido become a cornerstone of their lives as a way to foster leadership, discipline, a strong work ethic, and physical ability. 


Little Samurai

Our 'Little Samurai' program is focused on creating an atmosphere where our youngest can begin their traditional martial arts journeys.​​


Aikido develops:

  • Discipline and Concentration

  • Coordination

  • Self-defense

  • A calm, stress reducing effect through breathing and meditation techniques

  • Increased confidence and a positive "can do" attitude

  • Heightened sense of spatial awareness

  • Sense of community

  • Leadership qualities

And, it's a great workout!

The Lirov Brothers - Early Years____.jpg

Junior Samurai

Our children's program teaches practical and proven self-defense methods, in addition to enforcing clear rules of good behavior to be followed in class and at home. 

Junior Samurai Focus On:

  • Anti-Bullying

  • Assertive vs Aggressive Behavior

  • Discipline (ask about the patch!)

  • Coordination

  • Leadership

  • Fitness & Fun!

Senior Samurai

We work with teens and young adults to instill an internal competitive nature that focuses on how the individual can perform that their best and push that performance each day, without the need to compare with others. This leads to an atmosphere where students develop self-confidence and avoid unfair comparisons due to things like growth spurts, gender, and natural differences.

Our goal is to create leaders who take their Aikido training into the rest of their lives, developing a strong work ethic and desire to help others succeed as well. Senior Samurai are given the opportunity to help with Little and Junior Samurai classes if asked by instructors, as a way to reward hard work, discipline, and developing leadership qualities.


We at at the Dojo understand the importance of instilling the character traits of responsibility, respect, discipline, self confidence and excellent choice making skills in teens and young adults. Unlike most martial arts, Aikido is a traditional form with ZERO competition. Our focus is 100% on building strong character through teamwork, hard work, and leadership skills.

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