"Aïkido is not meant for a country or a person alone. Its unique aim is to accomplish God's work... When I am asked if the principles of my budo are inspired by religion, I say no. The principles of my budo enlighten religions and lead them to their goal.. The Path means to be united with God's will and to put it into practice. Aïkido is the path which gathers human beings together, leads them to union... It is the path of the world harmonisation which makes of humanity one house."
Traditional martial art
Aïkido is a martial art, which was created in the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba, a master who attained the highest level in the traditional Japanese martial arts. There are no competitions in Aïkido; an aggressor's attack may be stopped without harming or injuring him/her. Aïkido is a path which aspires for the unity of mankind, the unification of the self with the universe, the union of Spirit and Matter. Seen as such, and in the perspective of the integral development of the being as emphasized by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, it is no wonder that Aïkido has always been greatly valued in Auroville.
The art of Aïkido has been introduced in Auroville by André Pithon who is presently teaching in Tahiti, then taught by Aurovilians Ananda and Michiko, and finally by Aurovilians Serge Brelin and Luisa, who both studied in Paris for two years with Jacques Bonemaison, 6th dan, following the teaching of Tamura Sensei, himself a close disciple of the founder.
Today Cristo (C. Mabilat), a student of Serge Brelin, is responsible of Auroville Aikikai and follows the same line of teaching.
Presently, a dedicated group of over 40 children and 12 adults of all nationalities studies Aïkido in Auroville. Daily classes are taking place at Pitanga Hall. Visitors (beginners and of all grades) are welcome to attend classes. During the past 15 years, we have been privileged to have regular visits of high ranking Aikido teachers who conduct workshops in Auroville, such as Henri Avril and Jean-Pierre Pigeau, 6h Dan, and in 2010 André Palméri (5th Dan). These high-level national instructors of the French Federation of Aikido and Budo (FFAB) are disciples of Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan. We received also Teachers from the USA such as David Weinstock (3rd Dan) disciple of Sensei Koichi Barrish the Senior Shinto Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America near Seattle , and in 2009 Patrick Cassidy (6th Dan), Head of Aikido Montreux in Switzerland disciple of the late Morihiro Saito (9th Dan). These workshops help us not only to enrich our practice but also to have our progress evaluated.
It is important to note that 'Auroville Aikikai' ('Ai' means harmony, love, peace; 'ki' means energy; and 'kai' association) is not affiliated to any official organization and that, though there is a process for evaluating the progress and level of children particularly, Auroville Aikikai is not entitled to attribute official grades that are recognized by the Aikido Hombu Dojo in Japan or by the FFAB, or by any other affiliated organizations.
Free research and experimentation
Most essential is the fact that, though its practice is developing on the main lines that are elaborated by Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan within the context of the FFAB, Auroville Aikikai wishes to preserve the necessary space conducive to the free research, study and experimentation that are inherent to the universal spirit of Auroville without rigid statutory, regulative and hierarchical constraints.
It is in this spirit that Auroville Aikikai proposes to be a meeting point for all who strive to practice the art of Aikido in the true spirit of sincerity, harmony and unity envisaged by O Sensei.
Contact Cristo at Revelation Auroville 605101 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org