Water's Edge Aikikai is affiliated with the Hombu Dojo in Japan through the United States Aikido Federation, or USAF, headed by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei.

Members of Water's Edge Aikikai who hold rank (6th kyu and above) pay annual dues to maintain good standing with the USAF.  In 2019, dues were $45.


For more information, go to

www.usaikifed.com  or click below.               

Our Dojo Culture

Our dojo is a tightly knit community of individuals who share a love of Aikido and a mutual respect for their partners along that path. We value fun, laughter, and positive interaction with aikidoka of all levels. 

Competitiveness, shadow-teaching, and rank-dominance are discouraged. 

Water's Edge Aikikai

in Catonsville, MD

About Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art with qualities similar to Judo, Ju Jitsu, and Karate, but with the philosophical difference based on harmony (Ai) and inner competition. 

The name "Aikido" is often translated as "The way of peace."  This philosophy embodies itself in the circular movements of Aikido, where the nage (defender) uses sweeping evasive motions to blend with the uke (attacker), using the attacker's own force to defuse the attack, all without causing permanent harm. Pressure points, locks, pins, and projections are all part of Aikido.

Created by Morihei Ueshiba in the 1960's, Aikido traces its roots back to the samurai traditions. Ueshiba, or O'Sensei (great teacher), was a diminutive man who stunned observers with his power and grace in executing technique.  He believed Aikido should be spread around the world, and sent his students out to do that.

Both philosophical and physical, Aikido appeals to a wide range of practitioners, bringing a wonderful culture to the dojo.                      


Our Chief Instructor

Meg Bower, Sandan

Our chief instructor began practicing Aikido in 1993 at Columbia Aikikai (Columbia, S.C.) under Sensei Lamar Sanders.  She continued practicing through several interstate moves and decades of business travel. After leaving Columbia she was a member of Aikido of Central New York under Shihan Yousuf Mehter and of Capital Aikikai under Shihan Clyde Takeguchi. She supported several friends in starting their own dojos before founding Water's Edge Aikikai in 2010.  

Meg holds the rank of sandan (3rd degree black belt) and has been a certified fukushidoin (approved junior instructor) with the United States Aikido Federation since 2013, and is the only fukushidoin in the greater Baltimore area. 

A firm believer that every aikidoka should have a "beginner's mind," Meg has regularly attended seminars all over the United States and beyond, receiving instruction from some of the direct students of the founder of Aikido.  Among them was the late Kanai Sensei (pictured above, observing Meg's kokyu doza back in the late 1990s). Her first instructor, Lamar Sanders, was a student of Rodney Grantham, who learned Aikido in Japan in the early 1970s. Her second instructor, Shihan Yousuf Mehter, learned Aikido along with his brother Shihan Arif Mehter as a young man in what was then called Burma. Her third instructor, Shihan Clyde Takeguchi, learned Aikido in Hawaii and founded Capital Aikikai in Silver Spring, Maryland. She currently follows the tutelage of Shihan Andy Demko, chief instructor of Aikido Center of New Castle in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Meg continues to practice and learn from today's leaders in the USAF, attending seminars and encouraging dojo members to do the same.