It’s very surprising that the federation development in the last 10 years has resulted in 600 individuals, 150 black belts, 10 organisations as members from 4 countries. There has been no marketing, no advertising for the federation. We’ve just been doing what we are good at: Organising aikido seminars and tours.
The member dojos and teachers themselves organise 58 seminars and teach elsewhere 63 seminars. It is maybe this that creates the attraction. People ask: ”Where do you practise normally? Which seminars you participate? With what kind of people you practise?”
The underlying theme is soft Aikido. That is what we share: the desire to be gentle.
The idea is not that strange; it is the search to be natural, easy and flowing. It’s the “Be like water, my friend” by Bruce Lee. It is the original meaning of “Ju” in judo…the gentle way.
There are many aikidokas, and especially when growing older, who are tired of pain, and material twisting of hands or another clever technique. Many people are looking for the meaning of “AI” and “KI”…the common energy.
I feel that we are very blessed to have gentle teachers – 8 of them are professionals – and gentle students in the federation. We don’t focus on administration, and therefore have no administration costs. Everybody understands that when the yearly membership fee is 30€ per club, there cannot be unnecessary committees, rules, hierarchies or important titles. All the focus goes to aikido, and all the effort to develop quality.
It is that simple.