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Aikido in Fredericksburg opens in new state-of-the-art home
Aviv Goldsmith supervises aikido training at his new dojo in Spotsylvania. There will be an open house at Aikido in Fredericksburg on Saturday.
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The building features low-emission paint, ample natural light and ventilation, overhangs that limit summer sun coupled with a south-facing orientation that captures warmth in the winter, recycled materials, a high-efficiency heat system, lights with occupancy sensors, low-flow faucets and waterless urinals, among other "green" features. The red oak wood used in the dojo came from trees on the property that needed to come down.
"There's really something unique about this place," Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith has been teaching aikido since 1989. His professional background is in renewable energy. He still works part time for Fishermen's Energy, a New Jersey-based company developing offshore wind projects.
Goldsmith hopes to eventually do the aikido work full time. He was the general contractor on the dojo project, whose architect was Jeff Owens of Kentucky-based Owens Architects.
Goldsmith and his wife moved to Virginia in 2002 to escape the arid climate of Nevada, where they'd lived for 17 years. They saw an ad that the local aikido facility needed an instructor and decided to buy the Hickory Ridge Road lot. They started planning the new dojo soon after arriving. Construction started in 2008, and the facility got its occupancy permit this past December.
When Goldsmith started at Aikido in Fredericksburg, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, there were just four students. Now there are 100, ranging in age from 6 to 85; many of the students helped build the dojo. There will soon be 20 classes a week, mostly in the mornings and evenings, and mostly taught by Goldsmith.
Goldsmith wants to attract international students to train in the state-of-the-art dojo, as well as welcome in community groups.
"We have a lot to offer," Goldsmith said. "There's something for everybody."
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Aikido in Fredericksburg is having an open house between noon and 4 p.m. Saturday at its dojo at 6155 Hickory Ridge Road in Spotsylvania County. Anyone is welcome. The event will include tours, welcome remarks, aikido demonstrations and mini-classes. For more information, go