The dojo started with a canvas in a field.
Tesfaye Tekelu Biche, second-degree black belt in Aikido, is the head of the dojo cho of Aikido Ethiopia and Addis Ababa. He has been working with Louis Pollack, third-degree black belt, and Richard Strozzi-Heckler, sixth-degree black belt, to build a proper dojo in Ethiopia. The dojo started with a canvas in a field. However, with the help of a charitable fund made possible by individual donors and the family of Professor Donald Levine, a temporary dojo has been put up with foam covered by canvas as a training surface. As of now, the foundation has been laid and the walls are being put up.
Within a year, Aikido has taken off and the dojo has grown to 106 members. In addition, the dojo promoted 6 students to first-degree black belt. Furthermore, one of the female students have now taken on the opportunity to teach an all-girls Aikido club. As the dojo continues to rise, one partner that has stepped in to help Aikido grow in Ethiopia is the Stanford Martial Arts Program (SMAP).