Potomac Aikikai

21580 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 131, Sterling, VA, 20166

Dedicated to the training and promotion of Aikido, a Japanese budo.

Integrity. Patience. Compassion.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
(Lao Tzu)


Asim Hanif, Founder & Chief Instructor

Ranked at 5th dan by the World Aikikai Foundation (Tokyo, Japan) and awarded fukushidoin (certified instructor) by the Capital Aikido Federation. He is a student of Clyde Takeguchi Shihan.
Training background includes 2 world kickboxing titles, boxing, karate (nidan), and judo.

"Hanif Sensei practices vigorously, stressing the importance of overall fitness for the body, mind, and spirit. As a building block for safe practice and overall longevity, development of ukemi is an underlying theme in every class.  Hanif Sensei encourages students to discover proper ukemi for a lifetime of enjoyable practice.

Years of boxing have made Hanif Sensei acutely aware of  how proper timing, spacing, and posture leads to efficiency of movement. As in boxing, Hanif Sensei emphasizes those same principles of movement in his aikido practice.  Martial effectiveness is always stressed.  

Advanced classes with Hanif Sensei usually evolve into a particular theme but are not rigidly structured.  Specific topics of development usually unfold during class and are explored in detail as the class progresses.  Advanced students are encouraged to risk failure in everyday practice, refining techniques through self-discovery.  Respect and awareness of safety between practice partners is required.  For beginners, classes focus heavily on ukemi and basic movement.  Hanif Sensei is particularly good at breaking down fluid, multistep movements into checkpoints, when necessary.  All students are referred to basic techniques as the foundation of their aikido."
(Kyle Chock, member)


Thomas Boggs, 3rd dan

Started Aikido in 1992 and is a student of T.K. Lee of Houston.

"Sensei Tom's aikido is exceptionally grounded, extended and powerful. He is also a natural instructor, with an ability to break complex motions down into basic elements. He highlights key learning points, and small changes needed to accommodate differences in weight, height, reach, etc. Students of all skill levels benefit from his Monday classes. He also brings a positive energy to the mat that is just plain fun to watch."
(Linda Centek, member).

Ed Santos, 2nd dan

Started Aikido in 2007 under Hanif Sensei.

Ed Santos is a great instructor for the first time/beginning student.  His approachable manner puts the new student at ease thereby allowing them to relax and absorb what for many people is new and unfamiliar material.  Ed is a patient instructor who takes the time in class to allow the new student to become adjusted, while not depriving the more advanced students of a vigorous practice.  Lastly Ed pays particular attention to stress the importance of proper ukemi which is fundamental to Aikido.
(Ed Jones, member)


Gregory Hilgenberg, 2nd dan

Started in Ki-Aikido in 2002. Became a member of Potomac Aikikai in 2009. Prior to Aikido studied Wado-kai karate.
Serves as Potomac Aikikai Board President.

"Sempai Greg Hilgenberg imparts his knowledge of physical technique through a methodical approach. His patience and generous instruction make his classes appealing to students of all skill levels. His understanding of the fundamentals is apparent in his ability to breakdown the techniques. He demonstrates nuances which otherwise would not easily be discernible on casual observation.  Sempai Greg's practice embodies "wa no seishin (Spirit of Harmony)." This means that in aikido, there should be a mutual development of self and the other."
(Ella Allado, member)

Edward Jones, 2nd kyu

Potomac Aikikai Board Vice President. Aikido for Kids administrator. 
Began Aikido under Robert Danza of New Jersey from 1966-1974. Resumed training at Potomac Aikikai under Hanif Sensei in 2010.

Ed’s contributions to the dojo on and off the mat are an example of true budo. As our dojo secretary, Ed has provided valuable input with regards to the goals and mission of the dojo. His resourcefulness has earned him the nickname of ‘the scrounger’ due to his ability to locate and acquire much needed materials for the dojo. It must also be noted that Ed and his family graciously host our annual BBQ/Pool which brings our members and their families together for a great time. On the mat, Ed is a fearless uke; he remains alert and connected throughout training which is infectious to everyone else. 

I’ve been extremely fortunate to witness Ed’s constant growth. Whether he’s leading our kids’ class or working on his own personal conditioning, he exudes clarity and a disciplined demeanor which gives us all something to aspire to.
(Asim Hanif, Chief Instructor)