SEVERAL MOMENTS FROM MY CAREER AS AN AIKIDOKA
The first time I heard of Aikido was when in my third grade of primary
school, around 1978. I was watching one of the very scarce TV Sport
Programs available at that time in Romania, and in the end of it
there appeared a few images about aikido. Only once and no repeat, but
I remained very impressed of the way that a small old man was moving
amongst several giants and was projecting them relentlessly, without
letting even one of them to grab him. Much later I remembered the small
old man and now I am almost sure that the images were or master Gozo
Shioda, one of the most important direct disciples of the Founder of
Two years after this first encounter, I had the opportunity to enter a
Dojo of Aikido. It was actually the Judo Dojo of the Institute of
Physical Training and Sports of Bucharest, which shortly afterwards was
reduced to ruin together with the whole town around it in order to give
place to the monumental House of Parliament.
I can still remember even now the stench of fermented perspiration, the
exotic names of techniques, the dizziness I got after being left to
turn by myself around in a certain way, which was called Tai-Sabaki. I
also remember that I could not understand at all why the guy who guided
me now and then said to me after some thirty minutes that I was
doing better and then after another thirty minutes that I wa doing
almost well. I wonder whether he explained to me or not the basic
condition in tai-sabaki, which is that the weight is to be concentrated
on the center foot.
In the second training, I was taught how to fall forward. This time
also I tumbled away long time after I got dizzy, but grace to this I
remember this fall well enough that, a few years after this I escaped
safe and sound from a five-meter fall.
Finally, I could not resist more than one month, trainings stank, were
late in the night and very far away from my home. Actually, I gave up
even before my parents could buy me a dogi.
I started again a couple of months after the 1989 events, when Romanian
people regained their freedom to practice martial arts, and from then
on I have trained without long off-periods.
From 1996 to 2005 I stayed in Kyoto and trained in three places: Toyonaka Wakikai
and The Aikido Club of Osaka
University of Foreign Studies
, under the supervision of master
Norio Ikeda (7-dan) and The Aikido Club
of Kyoto University
, under the supervision of master Kazuo
Nomura (7-dan at that time).
From 2005 to 2007 I stayed in Kure, Hiroshima pref, from where I kept going to train with master Norio Ikeda whenever I could. I also trained with master Fujimura and master Hino from Hiroshima Prefectural Federation. They were extremely kind an hospitable to me.
In April 2007 I did the big step I had been planning for a couple of years and I moved back to Romania. Now I am training at the Center of Martial-Art Related Studies from the University of Bucharest, together with my first teacher sensei Serban Derlogea and also in close relationship with my friends Mr. Adrian Bunea and Mr. Sorin Despa from the Romanian Aikikai Foundation and Mr. Nicolae Mitu from the Romanian Aikido Center.
I could not say wheter Aikido is necessary or not to Japanese
people, since Japanese are naturally well-centered on their will,
masters at keeping distance in their relationships and not so
vulnerable to laziness, but at least from these three points of view it
seems to me that Aikido is a discipline extremely necessary to
Romanians who want to survive and to flourish in Romania.