Dear Friends,

When we practice Aikido we practice listening to our partners.  We learn from our partners.  And we work to be responsible, response-able, able to respond and take the kind of action which the moment requires.

In this moment, our dojo is called to listen – deeply – and to learn, and then to respond in every way we can to stand as allies in the work for justice.

Justice for George Floyd.  Justice for Tony McDade.  Justice for Breonna Taylor.  Justice for Ahmaud Arbery. Justice for Alton Sterling.  Justice for Philando Castile.

Justice for the countless other victims of police brutality, systemic racism, and heinous disregard for black lives which have been the reality in this country for far too long.

We must listen and do our parts to help bring about an end to these inexcusable atrocities.

We must listen, and we then we must stand and work alongside all who are bringing about real change now.  Change which is far, far overdue.

We must respond in every way possible to end the systemic racism, prejudice, and exclusion – of all kinds – which pervade all levels of our society, including the Aikido world.

Our dojo will strive to be a place for not just practice of this ‘art of peace’ on the mats, but also a community of practitioners committed to working for peace and justice in our communities, country, and world.

In solidarity,

Brian Levy

Chief Instructor
NOLA Aikido
New Orleans