Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aikido School in the Middle East

by Mel Villareal
Saudi Arabia

Yoshinkan Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art taught to the Japanese kidoutai, which when used for self-defense can counter many different attacks. Yoshinkan Aikido began in 1955 at a Dojo (training place) in Tsukudo-Hachiman, Shinjuku Tokyo. Now, the headquarters (Honbu Dojo) is located in Kami-Ochiai, Shinjuku Tokyo.

The All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Federation and International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation were founded in 1990, both of which are now led by Shioda Yasuhisa Kancho, the son of the founder Shioda Gozo Soke. All of these organizations contribute to the spread of Yoshinkan Aikido not only in Japan, but all around the world.

The Dojo
Our journey is to master and understand the basics utilizing the Yoshinkan approach. Powerful, flowing, and dynamic movements should only be attempted once a good understanding of the basics has been established.

In this dojo, we train very seriously, and yet interact with each other like family members. Our instructions are minutely detailed, as we pay special attention to the position of the hands and feet, guided by kihon dosa/waza - an innovation by the Yoshinkan Foundation to help the beginners and advanced students understand the fundamental principles.

We practice basic techniques over and over to learn how to move our bodies in response to different types of power exerted by the opponent. Repeated and correct practice of these basic techniques eventually enables the aikidoka to react instinctively and to apply the appropriate technique in the situation in which he finds himself, whether it takes place in the dojo or at unexpected moments in daily life.

Chief Instructor
Romuel Villareal, Chief Instructor, began his study of Aikido in 2000 under the direction of Mr. Flor Bisin and Mr. Alvin Valero. He took over the day-to-day operations of the dojo upon Mr. Bisin’s retirement in March 2005.

To further his study and understanding of Yoshinkan Aikido, Mel made two very significant trips. The first was in March of 2006 when he went to Japan and trained at the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo and at the Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu dojo where he was tested and awarded 6th kyu by Tsuneo Ando Shihan.

While visiting the honbu dojo, Mel was also privileged to observe proper testing protocols as administered by Inoue Kancho and Chida Dojocho, the former director and chief instructor.

The second event took place in 2007 when Mel visited Mr. Sonny Loke, Yoshinkan 6th dan, while vacationing in Malaysia. Mel spent several days training at Mr. Loke’s dojo.Upon meeting all the requirements of his advisors and the honbu dojo in May 2008, Mel was awarded his shodan and level 6 instructor certificate by the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo, making him the first AYF registered instructor in Saudi Arabia with grading authority to 4th kyu.

Mel is assisted by Aikido Instructors Fernando Sakay, Roque Amparo, and Omar Seracarpio.

Dojo (place of training)

We welcome all those interested in learning Aikido, and we assure you that you will enjoy your training with us whether your reason for training is cardio-vascular exercise, self defense, or just simply working out. More so, Aikido teachings adhere to the same principles of anger and risk management. At the end of the day students become fit, strong, and ethically disciplined to better serve the community.


Rouxer said...

thanks for publishing this article. i attended a training with this club and found it so authentic on their technical information about yoshinkan aikido. i found the instructors and the student alike are so polite and friendly im sure they were molded and train thru the aiki budo spirit thus i found my self training with them permanently.

Rouxer said...

just a follow up comment: by the way mel villareal - the chief instructor of this club just received last year his instructorship certification from humbo dojo japan. a first yoshinkan aikido instrutor in saudi arabia.