Manabu-dojo is an independent aikido dojo recorded to The Aikikai Foundation, and consists of a group of people who train aikido in several dojos near the center of Bucharest, Romania. The instructor is Florin Popescu. He detains a 6-dan diploma obtained from The Aikikai Foundation through the recommendation of master Norio Ikeda, whose disciple Florin is. Manabu-dojo also works as a branch of Wakikai, which is the organization of master Norio Ikeda.

The activity under the instruction of Florin Popescu had two distinct periods of activity:

1994.04- 1996.03 At that time, the instructor was only 1-dan and most of the practitioners reached soon a level after he was mostly unable to teach them anything better. The activity was bluntly stopped as the instructor went to Japan to learn something more.

2007.04 - present. Now the instructor has a better degree, but is older. There are less people willing to learn aikido, but they are quite hard-working.

What happened then between 1996 and 2007? The instructor went to Japan on a government scholarship as a research student on middle-age Japanese and together with doing research he continued to practice aikido under the supervision of master Norio Ikeda from Toyonaka City, Osaka prefecture.

In the end of 2002, Florin Popescu received his fourth-dan degree from master Norio Ikeda and soon after this in July 2003, the ph.d. degree from the University of Kyoto. He started to search for work in Japan and after going through some tribulations, in April 2004 became a part-time lecturer of Japanese language within the University of Kyoto.

In 2005 he started to work for an automotive part manufacturer in Kure City, Hiroshima prefecture, and continued to go once a month to train in Osaka, together with training in a couple of local dojos in Hiroshima.

At the beginning of 2007 he was granted the fifth-dan degree by master Norio Ikeda. Soon after this, he returned to Romania and in few days began again the activity of aikido instructor. He has never ceased to be a disciple of master Norio Ikeda, who has basically granted to Manabu-dojo the right to exist as an organization up to now.

The activity of Manabu-dojo consist mainly in training, but we also study Japanese culture and civilization. We participate several times a year to seminaries held by Aikido masters in Romania, especially focusing on the seminaries held by Aikikai masters.

The main training dojos are: the dojo of C.A.S.A. (Center for Martial Arts and Associated Studies), and the multifunctional hall of the organization SOS- Satele Copiilor.

CASA Dojo is located within the Student Dormitory of Bd. Mihail Kogălniceanu Nr. 34-36, Block A 2nd floor (between the Justice Dept. of the University of Bucharest and the Opera House).

The SOS dojo is located on Calea Floreasca 165.

In Japan, each organization having an autonomous instructor bears a name. Trying to keep to the spirit, I named our group "Manabu-Dojo" (learning hall).


Newcomers are always welcome, under the conditions below:

1. Before the first training, newcomers have to write down a request form by which they accept to respect a minimum set of conditions (regarding discipline, cleanness, attendance, etc.).

2. Newcomers can practice for the first few times using any kind of long-sleeve T-shirts or so, and any kind of trousers. Decency is a must.

3. Training tasks are designed so that to allow every practitioner to progress steadily and safely. Practitioners have to use caution and concentrate in order to perform all of them.