A blog with some news, reports and articles from the Aikido community around the world.
Edited by Lawrence Warry & Ze'ev Erlich

Friday, October 30, 2009

October & November 2009

Globetrotting Aikido Dojo Visit Report

It is Friday the 30th of October and I am sitting in the Qantas flight 43 to
Auckland, New Zealand, the next destination on my mini trip around the world in
9 weeks.

Already, I have been to Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.
In each country I visited, I had the pleasure of meeting Aikido people and training
at their dojos. All groups have been very friendly and welcoming. With so much diversity
of the cultures I have visited, Aikido has been the common language which we could all
correspond with and, as a result, many wonderful moments have taken place during my
meetings. To all of you that I have met, I present you my heart felt thanks for your
hospitality and kindness.

I have to say that there is one more person who I dearly have to thank for providing me
with so many new aikido links, that person being Yamashima Sensei.

Because of Yamashima Sensei's seminar in England this September, I got to know Justin who went to live in Hong Kong and allowed me to stay overnight at his appartment and brought me to the dojo of Edmund Wan Sensei. Wan Sensei recommended that I visit Fukakusa Shihan (the Aikikai pioneer of Thailand) when I get to Thailand which, in fact, I already planned to do
as I already met Fukakusa Shihan in Israel at the Israeli Aikido Assocaition's 10th
anniversary event this year in July. Fukakusa Shihan, in turn, recommended I go to see the group of Sensei Freddy Khong in Singapore.

Yamashima Sensei was again my link to another group of Singapore under Serge Beraud. Beraud sensei will be inviting Yamashima Sensei to Singapore at the end of November and, due to this, Serge's assistant, Olga Esina, contacted the Dutch group requesting the passport details of Yamashima Sensei.

At this time, Yamashima Sensei was staying at my house for a course in Holland,
so I eventually began corresponding with Olga san and, through our correspondances,
it came to her attention that I will be traveling to Singapore in the first week of October.

Therefore, on this notice, I was invited to come and train with the Singapore group.

From the Singapore group, I got many further links to the groups of Australia (Darius Sensei and Bill Sensei) and New Zealand (Rosso Sensei, Andrew Sensei and more). So, despite Aiki-politics being a reality, I have come to realise with delight that the Aikido world is, possibly in parrallel to the politics, a closely connected commmunity which appears to have its own inert social governence which follows natural laws of harmony rather than the man-made laws of conflict.

The more I travel to different dojos, the more the style and technique of Aikido becomes secondary as it is brought to the consciousness that all Aikido enthusiasts are simply and honestly doing their best and training with their heart. On this level, all those people are encountered with friendship and trust where-ever and to whom-ever they may travel.

I am looking forward to report about my further visits to the dojos of Takase shihan, Rosso sensei, Williams sensei and Wade sensei in New Zealand, Paul Rest's dojo in California, the dojo group of good friend Noah Weisbord in Montreal, Canada and the New York Aikikai.

Meanwhile, here below is a summary of the dojo addresses I visited so far and some pictures and small stories to go with them.

At the end of this report are also some important announcements for November.


Lawrence Warry

Dojos Visited ...
1. Hong Kong
After training dinner with Edmund Wan Sensei, 5th dan Aikikai.
A pleasant and spirited training environment. Thank you Edmund Sensei.
Website of the Hong Kong Aikido Association:

2. Thailand
Training with Fukakusa Shihan.

Left to right: Fukakusa Shihan, Lawrence Warry, Yehuda Alfasa and son.

Website of the Aikido Association of Thailand:
Fukakusa Shihan has been there from the beginning of Aikido in Thailand and is
a highly respected Aikido figure in south east Asia. Thank you Fukakusa Shihan.

Fukakusa Shihan, 7th dan Aikikai teaching at one of his dojos.
3. Singapore

Training bokken and jo in front of the presidential palace on Saturday morning
with the group of Serge Beraud Sensei.

The moment I walked into Serge's house, I felt immediately at home as
I saw a number of guitars lined up in his office. It was a pleasure to meet
the group: Serge, Thierry, Olga, Mei Lyn, Mike, Stefan and more. Thank you
for a wonderful week. The website of Serge's group, Mumeishudan:

I also enjoyed the training with Freddy Sensei, 5th dan Aikikai.
Thank you Freddy Sensei for your nice training and good beer party afterwards.

The website of Freddy Sensei's group, Aikido Federation Singapore:

4. Australia

Left: Andrew Cronin

Class line-up in front of Darius Wingate Pearse Sensei, 2nd dan Aikikai

I met up with Newcastle Aikikai, 3 hours north of Sydney,
under the leadership of Darius Wingate Pearse and Gabriel Fowler.
It is a young group but with a serious potential to grow under
Darius' and Gabriel's dedicated guidance. It is one of the few full time
dojos that exist. So, the local people of Newcastle have an excellent
opportunity to immerse themselves in the art of Aikido.

Newcastle Aikikai's website:
Thank you Darius and your student Andrew for taking care of
me, letting me stay at the dojo for a few days and showing me around Newcastle.

When I got back to Sydney, I looked up Bill Haynes sensei,
who's dojo is in Castle Hill, on the outskirts of Sydney.
Bill Sensei invited me to give the class on two occassions and
showed great generosity and hospitality.
Thank you Bill Sensei.
See you again in Auckland for the New Zealand Aikikai 10th Anniversary.

Byron Bay
One of the most beautiful dojos I have seen is located outside of
Byron Bay by a buddhist sanctuary. The dojo is owned by
the Aikido Yushinkai group under the leadership of master Koretoshi Maruyama.
Although this club is not an Aikikai group (they are a former Ki-society dojo),
they warmly welcome Aikido people from all styles and I had the pleasure to
meet Jim Nicholls. Unfortunately I couldnt capture a photo of the dojo on camera.
More information about this great dojo can be found here:
Saturday 31st of October: The Auckland Aikikai 10th Anniversary took place
under the teaching of the highest ranking senseis of New Zealand: Takase Shihan (7th dan
Aikikai), Rosso Fernandez Sensei (6th dan Aikikai), Andrew Williamson (6th dan Aikikai)
and Alan Wade (6th dan Aikikai) provided a full 5 hours of training followed by a celbratory party. More info about this event to be reported in next month's newsletter.

14th & 15th November: Doshu Aikido in The Netherlands. Doshu Aikido will give seminars
on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th of October at the Top Sports Centre of Almere in
the Netherlands. This event is a pinacle event for the Dutch Aikido groups as they have all
come together to work as a team in a mutual effort to make this event a great success.
For further information, see the dedicated website created for this event:

28th & 29th November: Takeshi Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan Aikikai will teach
a seminar in Singapore with the group of Serge Beraud (at the Mumei dojo in Singapore).
More information can be found on their website:

Sumatra Earthquake Disaster ...
The Aikido Kobayashi Dojo in Japan, of which the Padang dojo is a member, is collecting donations to send to the Padang dojo (as written here in their Japanese language blog (translation courtesy of Google Translate here).

Hereby contact information for the Kobayashi dojo in Japan:
Please read Dewi’s article for Tomyono sensei here in Indonesian (Google translation into English is here).“Speechless .... Sedih.. Sad .. berduka... Sorry ...”Dojo is destroyed immediately after the video.

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