Aikido is a non-striking martial art based on harmonious conflict resolution. It was developed in Japan and though the headquarters are there, it has become a truly international art. The Bay area is blessed with many Senior instructors some of whom have trained with the founder and have been training for over forty years. The Stanford Aikido Club hosts Frank Doran Sensei, one of the senio most instructors in the Country, regularly. The classes are led by senior students of that Dojo called Aikido West.
I have been studying aikido for twenty years and have been with Robert Nadeau Sensei for the past 11 years in our Mountain View Dojo, Aikido of Mountain View an affilliate of City Aikido in SF. I am ranked third degree black belt and enjoy training with folks from other schools immensely. Yearly there are two or three events when multiple dojos come together and train under the tutlege of Senior teachers, this is always exciting and enjoyable.
The two schools Aikido West and City Aikido are not so different really. The emphasis on teaching style differs most. When I landed in the area I saw Nadeau move and the way his students' moved and was convinced that I had arrived at the right place.
I recommend anone interested in the art to try what is immediately accesssible and then see what is available with a little travel. I highly recommend seeing both these Senior Teachers, vetrans in the art of Aikido. Both travel all over the world instructing and offering demonstrations. Both gentlemen have an enormous amount to offer as teachers of movvement, to access grace power and gentleness.
My experience training both arts of yoga and aikido is they are completely compatible in philosophy and extraordinarily similar in practice.