Pacific Shizen Aikido is part of Aikido Kenkyukai International (A.K.I.). which was founded by and currently directed by Takeda Yoshinobu Shin. Takeda sensei holds the rank of eighth dan and was a senior student of the late master Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan. Takeda Sensei’s main dojo is in Yokohama. His senior students have opened A.K.I. dojos in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and Chile, Peru, and France. A.K.I. dojos are registered with Aikikai Honbu Dojo Tokyo.
Pacific Shizen Aikido was started in Victoria in 2007 by Philipp Gawthrop, Miryam Huchet and Alix Flavelle - all students of Jean-René Leduc, 6th dan, who founded A.K.I Canada with a first dojo in Nelson, B.C. in 1992. Members of the Kootenay and Victoria dojos gather together winter, spring, summer, and fall for intensive training together, led by Jean-René Sensei. Over the years, we have hosted several international seminars - with Takeda Shihan and other visiting instructors from Japan. As well we've travelled together to Japan to train.
A new dojo space was created at Alix's home in West Saanich and opened with an international seminar led by Takeda Shihan in 2019.
The dojo at the Scouts Hall in Cadboro Bay was closed due to Covid. In September 2020, after 13 years of teaching adults and kids there, Philipp and Miryam moved back to Nelson, BC. We expect regular visits!
During the pandemic, we continued training outdoors, on zoom, and had occasional indoor practices when as Public Health Order allowed.
Pacific Shizen Aikido resumes a regular schedule this fall, at our new home in Saanich, with Alix as lead instructor.
The scroll found in an A.K.I. dojo comprises only two characters: ai, meaning harmony, and ki, meaning spirit or universal energy. The third character do (meaning path or Way, as in Ai-ki-do) is omitted. This is because Takeda Sensei encourages us to find our own Way, to discover and develop the Art for ourselves. This approach is inspiring and challenging and fun.
Pacific Shizen Aikido aims to nurture friendship and exchange with the broader Aikido community. We welcome visiting Aikidoka of any affiliation.
Alix started her Aikido practice in Nelson, BC in 1996 with Jean-Rene Leduc Sensei. She has made several trips to Japan to train with Takeda Sensei and other senior teachers in AKI. She received her 4th-dan through AKI and Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2017. She has visited dojos of a variety of affiliations in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, Greece, Switzerland, USA and Canada.
Not physically large, Alix learned pretty quickly that resistance is futile, and began studying how to relax more, with alignment, so to use the weight of gravity, timing, position, and energetic connection, to redirect an attack. This is an ongoing inner study, how to change our mind-body habits to ones that smooth and enliven our interactions on and off the mats, as well as our beingness in the world.