Teaching and practicing the non-violent traditional Japanese martial art of aikido
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We have a quality teaching staff dedicated to fostering our students’ advancement.

Aviv Goldsmith Sensei, Chief Instructor, 6th Dan, Shidoin
Aviv Goldsmith Sensei began AIKIDO training in 1975 at the New York Aikikai. In 1986, he began studying Iwama-Style AIKIDO in Reno, Nevada, with Wolfgang Baumgartner Sensei being his primary instructor, and has enjoyed deepening his understanding of this AIKIDO tradition ever since. "Iwama Style AIKIDO really made sense and stuck with me more than the other styles that I had previously studied. The teaching methodology and the techniques are precise and easy to assimilate," he reminisced.

From 1987 until Saito Shihan’s passing in 2002, he trained annually with Saito Morihiro Shihan, 9th dan, and continues this tradition by training with senior Iwama-Style instructors around the world. Saito Shihan awarded him the second-level weapons mokuroku (teaching certificate). He hosted Saito Shihan and his son on numerous occasions. From 1992 to 1999, Aviv Sensei was the chief instructor of Reno Aikido Co-Op. He and his wife moved to Fredericksburg in 2002 to make AIKIDO a focal point in his life and become Chief Instructor at AIKIDO in Fredericksburg.

Aviv Sensei supports the AIKIDO community by serving on the board of the Takemusu Aikido Association and Aiki Extensions. In addition to teaching at AIKIDO in Fredericksburg, he has taught at dojos and seminars around Virginia and in Reno, California, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, Montana, and New York. He has taught Aikido at Community Colleges in Nevada and Virginia and at the University of Mary Washington.  In May 2010, he was awarded the title of "Shidoin" (certified instructor) by the Takemusu Aikido Association.   Most recently, he was promoted to 6th dan in January 2014 at Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.

Dwight Petersen Sensei, Assistant Instructor, 3rd Dan
Dwight Petersen Sensei is the founder of the Fredericksburg Aikido Club. Petersen Sensei discovered the physical and mental benefits of the martial arts when he took a college judo class. "Some years later, I realized I was probably never going to get any exercise the rest of my life," said Petersen, who then worked in San Francisco as a computer programmer for the Army. He flipped through the Yellow Pages in search of a Judo dojo and stumbled across an AIKIDO class, instead. He found something in its falls and rolls. Something spiritual. Something he couldn't give up. He started his training at the legendary Turk Street Dojo in San Francisco. As a military employee, he traveled extensively and has trained at dojos around the world. He is a retired Army Reserve Officer and currently works as a computer network administrator. He received his shodan from Saotome Sensei at the Shobukan Dojo in Takoma Park, Maryland. He has been training in Fredericksburg since 1993, successfully tested for sandan in December 2006, and was awarded Fukushidoin (certified assistant instructor) in June 2014.

Donna Pienkowski, 4th Dan, Shidoin, and Jeff Martin, 4th Dan, Shidoin, joined the ranks of Assistant Instructors in 2007! Donna is an experienced Middle School teacher and is active in our special classes for youths.  Jeff teaches regularly at Aikido in Louisa.

Steve Fennell and Heather Phillips, 3nd Dan, became Assistant Instructors in 2009.  They both have been awarded Fukushidoin Certification by the Takemusu Aikido Association.

Greg Harkless, 3rd Dan, joined the dojo in July 2010. He currently teaches Martial Arts at Germanna Community College and is a certified Fukushidoin.

Sarah Montgomery, 3rd Dan, and Dr. Robert Kravetz, 3rd, both Fukushidoin, became Assistant Instructors in 2010.  Sarah teaches AIKIDO regularly at J. Sargent Reynolds Community College in Richmond and Robert teaches Aikido at Stafford Parks & Recreation.

Scott Fennell, 2nd Dan, became an Assistant Instructor and was certified as Fukushidoin in 2012.  Among Scott's specialties are teaching AIKIDO to youths, including those with special needs.  Scott is assisted for our Special Youth Inclusive Class by Shawn Shipp, 2nd Dan.

Additionally, our senior students are committed to working with junior students to help them advance. At AIKIDO in Fredericksburg, a cooperative environment fosters learning.