SAIIER 2019:Aikido workshop in Auroville

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SAIIER 2018-19
Aikido workshop in Auroville


Cristo received a large part of his training on teaching Aikido to children from his teacher Jean Pierre Pigeau, 7th Dan, while in France in the early 2000s. This year as in previous years the Auroville Aikikai held a workshop with Jean Pierre, as an occasion to reconnect with this teaching and discover new methods and appropriate techniques.


Aikido 2019 1.JPG


Description of project:

Jean Pierre came with his wife and 3 friends, all highly graded Aikido practitioners and teachers. In the mid-90s he used to come often to Auroville and is therefore well acquainted with the place and its philosophy. The purpose of the workshop was to refresh acquired knowledge and seek improved solutions for a smooth approach to the art for young children and adolescents. The workshop lasted 2 weeks, from February 25th to March 8th. During this short time about 15 sessions were offered to all our students, kids & adults.


Aikido 2019 3.JPG


Outcomes:

Apart from improving the techniques through a better comprehension of the bases, students were made to realize that there is no short cut in this teaching. So awareness of the difficulties on the path is one of the expected outcomes of such workshops. A minimum of 5 years is required for the passage of the First Dan (Black Belt) and about 50 years of practice to achieve a 7th Dan grade. All students therefore benefited from this teaching in different ways. To the youth it meant learning to be patient, and to the older students to shed the ego. We could witness the positive work accomplished during these two weeks during the end of school year evaluation of knowledge that all our students passed with honor at the end of April 2019.

Reflections:

Aikido is not taught very many places in India. Auroville Aikido is independent from international organizations like the Hombu Dojo – Aikikai Foundation of Japan. Therefore, we rarely have occasions to meet graded teachers (Sensei), which is a current practice in this art. Meeting teachers allows for exchanges on many topics and offers the students new perspectives, as the practice is not a rigid one, once the few bases (basic moves) are well ingrained.

Conclusion:

We feel the need for more workshops of this kind. Due to the peculiar Auroville situation, we cannot send students to faraway places such as Delhi or abroad to attend workshops with famed Sensei. So the Sensei must come to us. And it is very much appreciated that SAIIER has, whenever financially feasible, supported this activity. We are very thankful for this trust.