Open Space Dojo: Aikido in Marin County, California


About Aikido and Open Space Dojo
Open Space Dojo

Open Space Dojo was founded in 2001 to serve as an after school activity for kids and quickly expanded into a club for people of all ages interested in embarking on the journey first defined by O Sensei.  From its humble beginnings in a school auditorium, Open Space Dojo has expanded into a dedicated building near Downtown Novato, CA that serves as home to an ever-increasing group of Aikido enthusiasts.


Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (known by his honorary title O Sensei or 'Great Teacher').  O Sensei believed that the true spirit of ‘Budo’ (the way of martial arts) was to be found not in a competitive and combative atmosphere dominated by brute strength, but in the quest for perfection through dedicated training of mind and body.  His goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.


The focus of Aikido practice is not on punching and kicking your opponent, but rather on joining and re-directing the momentum of the attacker to gain control of the opponent and neutralize the attack.  Aikido techniques incorporate throws, joint locks and other techniques derived from Jujitsu and Kenjitsu, with strong emphasis on flexibility, balance and fluidity in their execution.  Although Aikido movements are soft, rational, and smooth, they can become devastatingly effective with the minimal application of force.  


The gentle quality of Aikido makes it appealing to men and women and children of all ages.  As in most Japanese martial arts, Aikido training promises both physical and spiritual benefits.  O Sensei emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of the art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace.  

George Bevins

Born in Michigan, George Bevins attended college and graduate school there and in Indiana, where he also taught undergraduate classes. While attending Indiana University George was drawn to the practice of Aikido, founded, and was the instructor of the Indiana University Aikido Club, and went on to teach Aikido professionally.   He studied under Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, himself a student of  O Sensei in Japan.


In 2000, George moved to California and into the field of education. He taught conflict resolution courses and substitute taught in elementary schools.  He received his California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican University, and taught elementary school in Marin for five years.  He now devotes his time to continued training and teaching Aikido to adults and children.