Origins

Pacific Shizen Aikido is part of Aikido Kenkyukai International (A.K.I.).  which was founded by and currently directed by Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan. Takeda Shihan holds the rank of eighth dan and was a senior student of the late master Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan. Takeda Shihan’s main dojo is in Yokohama.  His senior students have opened A.K.I. dojos in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Chile, Peru, and France.  A.K.I. dojos are registered with Aikikai Honbu Dojo Tokyo.

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. 

Pacific Shizen Aikido

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 continued to gather together winter, spring, summer, and fall for intensive training together, led by Jean-René Sensei (on pause due to Covid19).  Our dojo was based out of the Scouts Hall in Cadboro Bay. We ran classes for adults and children, and have hosted several international seminars - with Takeda Shihan and other visiting instructors from Japan. As well we've travelled together to Japan to train - and hope to again soon!

A new dojo space was created

........ in West Saanich and opened with an international seminar led by Takeda Shihan in September 2019. 

The dojo in Cadboro Bay was subsequently closed due to Covid, and 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 Public Health Orders allowed. Pacific Shizen Aikido resumes a regular schedule this fall. 

Alix Flavelle - lead instructor

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 fairly quickly that resistance is futile, and began studying how to relax more, with alignment, so to use the weight of gravity, plus 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.