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Nicholas DeLillo Jr
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Have him in circles
13 people
Fran Torres's profile photo
Carlos Torres's profile photo
Jennifer Chang's profile photo
Toscanini New Symphony Orchestra's profile photo
Vivian D's profile photo
Devon Frazier's profile photo
Nick Kravitz's profile photo
Adella Lin's profile photo
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I've been training in martial arts since I was a teenager. Seen a lot of dojos, tried a bunch of styles, met a lot of instructors and fellow students. I say without exaggeration that Aikido of Westchester is the best school I have ever attended. The fact that it is an Aikido school (a supercool superfun martial art that anybody can do) is just a bonus, and if you are looking for the best Aikido/martial arts school in Westchester (or in my opinion one of the best in New York), well...this is it. Need more info? Let's start with the instructor. The head instructor, Douglas Firestone, has dedicated his life to the study of Aikido and making sure those who train with him fall in love with the art. Douglas Sensei is one of only ~40 shihan (master-level instructors) in America and spent decades training with Yoshimitsu Yamada - one of the top Aikido masters in the world and quite possibly the highest ranking Aikido instructor in America - before opening up the Aikido of Westchester doors in 1997. Of course Douglas' technique and teaching ability are outstanding, but what makes him one of the best is his spirit. It is impossible to take one of Douglas' classes and not enjoy yourself and what you are doing in the moment. Of course the training is sweatworthy, but why can't you smile while doing it? This joy is also evident in the other great feature about the school: the students. Everyone there shares in the spirit and happiness of training. What people sometimes overlook is that many of the senior level students possess such excellent technique and teaching experience they could easily open their own schools. First among them is Sylvie Firestone (Douglas' wife), a 5th degree black belt who like her husband regularly teaches at Aikido seminars across the country. All the senior students stay because everyone simply enjoys training with each other, from those studying for decades to the newer students who are too busy enjoying the camaraderie to notice the great workout and instruction they are receiving. Another particularly cool feature is the diversity of the student body. From grandpas in their 70s to high school students and younger, wives joining husbands, parents with kids for a true family class, powerlifters, yoga instructors, the daily attendees, the weekend warriors, even those who have never exercised a day in their life...all are welcome, all love it, and all get something out of the classes that is uniquely beneficial to them. More info? How about it's perfectly located in the heart of White Plains, surrounded by parking. It's not pricey, especially when you consider the rare quality of the instruction that is available. There is also a separate group that trains in iaido (the art of drawing the sword) and gekken (think nerf sword fighting and you get the idea). Want to know more? Come on in and see. To sum up: There's a lot that's written above, but here's all you really need to know: People spend half their life looking to "find their tribe" - that group of misfits, pals, and awesome folk that they choose as their second family. When I come here I feel like I'm among my folk, and so does everyone else who trains here as well. There's a great spirit at this place - a positive energy all too rare these days. This place has it in droves and it can't be described in words (God knows I've tried!). Come see for yourself, even if you think it sounds too good to be true.
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reviewed a month ago
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