Aikido Association Atlanta was founded in 1995 by Ginny Whitelaw and Scott Hawkins. At that time, the association was affiliated with Aikido Association America (AAA) under the leadership of President and Chief Instructor Fumio Toyoda Shihan, Aikido Association International, and Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo). Since Whitelaw Sensei was an ordained Zen priest, Zen training was an optional component of our practice. International Zen Dojo Sogenkai Atlanta was a lay organization under the Aikido Association Atlanta and was affiliated with the Chicago-based International Zen Dojo Sogenkai.
In our early years, Aikido training was held at Wills Park in Alpharetta and Zaben Park in Dunwoody. Zen was practiced at a separate training facility. Aikido training time was limited to one and a half hours twice a week at each location. In 1998 the dojo moved to a storefront location in Roswell. As the dojo was no longer restricted to Park hours, training expanded to 7 days a week, eventually with both morning and evening training hours. The dojo training facility was called Atlanta Center for Zen and the Arts. Shortly thereafter, the dojo expanded and opened up a sister location, the Annex. Other arts like judo, tai chi, karate, belly dancing, yoga, and aerobics also used the training facilities. Healing arts like body therapy and Feldenkreis were also offered.
On the 4th of July 2001 Fumio Toyoda Shihan passed away. Andy Sato Sensei became the chief instructor of Aikido Association International. Due to job and family demands, Scott Hawkins Sensei and Ginny Whitelaw Sensei moved out of state. Paul Domanski Sensei became the new chief instructor of Kyushinkan Dojo until his departure in May, 2010. Mike Goodman Sensei is the current Chief Instructor.
In 2005 Andy Sato Sensei left Aikido Association International and founded Aikido World Alliance. Kyushinkan Dojo followed Andy Sato Sensei and joined his new organization. The Roswell Budokan became a reality and opened its doors in September 2006.