Aikido is a traditional martial art appropriate for mature students of all ages that incorporates disciplined physical and mental training . The art form teaches self defense at the highest level utilizing joint locks, submissions, control techniques and throws, as well as the use of weapons, including the “jo” (staff) and “bokken” (wooden sword) to emphasize body movement.

While the training is intense and physical, there is no competition, sparring, or fighting in Aikido. Students work cooperatively with each other to gain confidence and learn techniques by alternating the roles of attacker and defender during practice.


Sensei Max Sherman Performing Iriminage Throw

Sensei Max Sherman performs an iriminage (entering throw) technique.

Sensei Max Sherman has over 39 years of experience in martial arts, including intensive training in Tae Kwon Do earlier in his career. Sensei Max began training in Aikido in 1989 with Sensei Lou Perriello, Godan, at Northeast Aikikai in Chelmsford, MA and focused solely on that discipline ever since. During the next ten years he benefited from classes with Perriello Sensei as well as a number of instructors teaching at the dojo, including Kathy Fitzgibbon Sensei, Mark Norton Sensei, John Dore Sensei, and many of the leading Sensei and Shihan in the United States during that period.

In 1994 Perriello Sensei joined the Aikido Association of America and Northeast Aikikai hosted a number of seminars with Shihan Fumio Toyoda which Sensei Max attended. Toyoda Shihan passed unexpectedly in 2001, and Perriello Sensei in 2012 after a prolonged illness. Our program is dedicated in part to these very special instructors.

After moving to Charleston, SC in 1999, Sensei Max attended classes at MUSC Charleston Aikido with Sensei Eric Lipton, Godan. In 2005, Sensei Max started Island Aikido with the support of Sensei Glenn Raus, owner and head instructor of Japan Karate Institute Daniel Island, where classes are held.

In 2007 Island Aikido was officially recognized as a member dojo by the American Aikido Association. The Island Aikido program is part of the AAA Southeast Region under the direction of Sensei Bill Bunn, Rokudan, who is at Joshinkan Dojo in Cary, NC. Bunn Sensei has been extraordinarily supportive of the dojo and the students.

Sensei Michael performs an ikkyo pin during his nidan examination.

Sensei Michael performs an ikkyo pin during his nidan examination.

Sensei Michael Griffin leads our Thursday night classes and assists Sensei Max. Michael started training in aikido in 2005 after a friend handed him a book by George Leonard. Intrigued by the unique philosophy of aikido, Michael joined Onshinkan Dojo in northwest Indiana.  There, Michael trained with Elisabeth Menning Sensei, godan and uchideshi of Fumio Toyoda Shihan. Michael later moved to Charleston, and began training under Sensei Max Sherman in 2011. Under Sensei Max’s instruction, and with the support of instructors at our regional facility in Raleigh, Michael has earned his shodan and nidan (first and second degree black belts). In addition to regional and national seminars, Michael recently spent a week of intensive training at Aiki Farms, a dojo, zendo, and organic farm in Connecticut.

The Aikido Association of America (AAA) is a nationally-based organization, with an affiliation of over 140 facilities in the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the AAA provides instruction developed under the late chief instructor, Shihan Fumio Toyoda. Shihan Toyoda founded the AAA in 1984 and brought over 40 years of Aikido training experience to AAA and its programs.

All Island Aikido instructors have been qualified by the AAA and hold teaching certificates.

Japan Karate Institute Daniel Island located at 295-B Seven Farms Drive Daniel Island, SC 29492 is owned and operated by Sensei Glenn Raus, Chief Instructor. It is one of four Japan Karate Institutes located in the Charleston area. The other three are located in West AshleyNorth Charleston and Moncks Corner. Founded in 1992 by Sensei Dale Coker (7th Degree), Japan Karate Institute offers the finest karate and martial arts instruction in the Southeast United States.