About us

by Kimberly Richardson Sensei

Two Cranes Aikido opened its doors to the Greenlake neighborhood in Seattle on October 1, 1995.  Since that time, we have grown from an inspired group of five to over 150 children and adult students. 

After five years of acting as Chief Instructor of Seattle School of Aikido, it was time to open up a new dojo. My husband, Dan McAbee, found the perfect spot at Green Lake. We located 4,000 pounds of rubber dust to create a mat, and covered it with canvas. The expansive windows caught the eye of curious passersby. We grew in capacity and diversity as a training group, but we didn't know what to call ourselves.

Several months later we celebrated with an open house. One of my colleagues brought a red enamel gift box with two cranes on the lid.  "There you go flying together to your next school creation," someone said.  In Japan, cranes are associated with peace and fidelity. Mating for life, they are considered by many to be the bird of happiness. Other myths suggest that the powerful wings of the crane enable them to fly between heavenly worlds and take people to higher levels of spiritual consciousness.  I thought if we gave homage to this honorable bird, we would be guided in the right direction.

In the 10 years we spent at Greenlake, we offered classes seven days a week and invited senseis from around the world to conduct weekend seminars for our kid, teen, and adult students and those of the greater Seattle community.   

In 2006, we relocated to the Maple Leaf neighborhood, a few short miles from our original school, and were blessed with a larger space, high ceilings, new mats and bamboo floors.  The 4,000 square feet is a sacred space that invites tranquility, earnest learning and spiritual renewal. The calligraphies on the wall inspire us to maintain our focus, cultivate a sense of relaxation and curiosity for life, and create inspiration. 

As our practice has evolved, so too has our dojo culture, including members who come from all over town and share their talent and curiosity, on and off the mat. The community provides not just training, but affords its members a way to share the joys and challenges of everyday life in a safe and respectful manner.  Each of our students has contributed towards making our school a creative and vibrant learning environment.

 We have a dedicated body of women and men, young and old, and over 30 black belts who practice. Our children and teen programs offer classes five days a week.  In addition to Aikido practice, we also offer Tai Ji classes with Sifu Ken Wright and Taiko (drum) training with Anne Yamane.