I have been learning Aikido from Grand Master Soengkono since 2009. I started with no experience in Aikido and very little in other martial arts, but the entire Aikido group from instructors to the newest members is patient, kind and encouraging. Learning in such a positive environment is a joy. No matter what type of person you are: shy, outgoing, intense or relaxed, as long as you are respectful, you are accepted. Not only do we learn open-hand, jo and sword techniques but we learn to laugh at ourselves, develop greater compassion for others, and build self-confidence. Grand Master Soengkono is particularly gifted in his ability to read people. He has a truly compassionate heart, and the wisdom and insight to know when to push a student and when to hold back. The things I have learned through Aikido and Grand Master Soengkono, about myself and about human nature are vast and wonderful; simple and yet profound. A slight change to a movement or technique opens up a multitude of opportunities. A concept, once grasped, clarifies and expands our points of view from the personal to the universal. Suddenly, we realize that Aikido is relevant to all aspects of our lives, from how we stand up for ourselves to how we treat each other, from conflict prevention to conflict resolution, and from developing personal goals to the journey(s) we take to achieve these goals. Grand Master Soengkono also brings an amazing combination of martial arts to his school. Not only does he teach Aikido, but also Tae Kwon Do, Pentjak Silat, and Tai Chi Chuan. When we learn Aikido, we learn it with a touch of Pentjak Silat. This training is unique to Grand Master Soengkono. It is Aikido plus this little something extra that we can pull out of our back pocket if we need it. Without a doubt, I have found training in Aikido with Grand Master Soengkono to be a phenomenally rewarding experience that has changed my life for the better. I could not give a higher recommendation for a martial arts school.