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Energy . Beauty . Confidence

AikiQuest is a program that uses the martial art of Aikido to support neurodivergent adolescents and adults in their quests for lives of dignity, meaning and joy. 

What is Aikido? Aikido is a defensive martial way that utilizes fluid circular movement, mindful breathing, relaxation, centering, and good body alignment. Consitant Aikido practice improves one's physical conditioning - coordination, balance, flexibility, endurance - and one's mental conditioning - concentration, self-confidence, and concern for others. Aikido is not a sport; it has no tournaments or competitions. Practice is requently done with a partner, and practitioners continually help each other learn and improve, cultivating an energetic and supportive environment.


The AikiQuest program offers specific support to make this transformative art open and available to neurodivergent individuals to include:

  • A full-hearted embrace of the neurodiversity paradigm and deliberate avoidance of languages, concepts, and mindsets associated with neuropathology.

  • Small classes with multiple instructors and mentors where students receive individual attention and progress at their own pace. 

  • An aesthetically pleasing, low-impact sensory environment.

  • Practices of etiquette and respect that are clearly communicated and gently enacted. 

  • Verbal and non-verbal teaching methods that cultivate fully-embodied learning. 

  • A friendly and supportive community of neurodivergent and neurotypical individuals. 

AikiQuest is a collaboration between Aikido of Amherst and TDS Cener for Communication and Social Learning, and is suitable for teens and young adults. For more information on availability, pricing, and compatibility, please email Brian Smith at

For more information and to take a peek into a typical AikiQuest session Click Here

AikiQuest classes take place at Aikido of Amherst - 7 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst Mass. 

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