A promotional video realised by Joseph Kennedy after the Takemusu Aikido Ireland weekend in County Kilkenny last May
Basic Aikido Techniques: Shomenuchi Ikkyo 1
by Simone Chierchini — Aikido Italia Network
Aikido Organisation of Ireland Summer Course 2007
Sligo, Ireland, July 2007
Intensive Course in Takemusu Aikido
Simone Chierchini – Aikido Organisation of Ireland
24-25-26 May 2013
Camphill Jerpoint, Thomastown
Training Times: Fri 6:30-7:30 Bukiwaza Jo, 7:30-8:30 Bukiwaza Ken, 8:30-9:30 Taijutsu
Sat 9-11 Bukiwaza Jo, 11-12.30 Taijutsu; 3-5 Bukiwaza Ken, 5-6.30 Taijutsu; From 6.30 Aikikai Dan Grading Session
Sun 9-11 Bukiwaza Jo, 11-12.30 Taijutsu; 2-3.30 Bukiwaza Ken, 3.30-5 Taijutsu
Fees: Full Course: 45 euro, unemployed 30 euro, U18 20 euro; Free of charge for Camphill for volunteers
Info Ireland: Joseph Kennedy (+353) 085 724 5321 email@example.com
Info Italy: Simone Chierchini (+345) 3453943286 firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/468307516568704/469595229773266/?notif_t=like
Organisation: Aikido Organisation of Ireland – Takemusu Aikido Ireland Association
Originally published in 2002 by an Irish newspaper, this is a vivid memory of a typical martial arts trip to Japan
“I am just back from Japan. Yes, believe me, a lifetime experience”. This is the answer that 5th Dan Aikido of Organisation of Ireland Head Instructor Simone Chierchini repeated to his many students and friends around the Irish Northwest welcoming him home. Simone rejoined the Aikido Organisation of Ireland activities at the beginning of November (2001 Ndr) following his two weeks instruction trip to the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. At the beginning of September Simone got an official invitation by the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo to take part to the celebrations in occasion of the 70th Anniversary since the establishment of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. He was to represent Ireland at the celebration and that would also give him the chance to train at the Hombu Dojo for the third time in the last 20 months.
Fundraising activities were promptly organised to finance Simone’s participation and thanks to the generosity of sympathisers and sponsors and a greatly successful table quiz held in The Harp Tavern, a convenient sum was raised and jointly with the Sligo Aikikai own resources the trip became a reality.
As said earlier, this was Simone’s third trip to Japan in the last 20 months. Like the previous times he attended intensive training at the Aikido World Headquarters. Each day Simone started his schedule at 6.30 in the morning attending a most interesting class under the instruction of Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, Aikido World Chief Instructor. Many foreign high ranked practitioners present in Tokyo for the 70th Anniversary celebrations would join the activities every morning alongside local yudansha, to make training of consistently high quality. As Simone is well known to Doshu Ueshiba since 1982, he always enjoyed special attention and personal advice by Doshu, who asked Simone of the achievements of the Aikido Organisation of Ireland and about Ireland itself.
The second class of the day at Hombu starts at 8 am and is taken alternatively by top Sensei like Yokota, Endo and Seki to mention a few. They are the cream of the Aikido Instructors in Japan. Particularly Yokota Sensei’s impressive moves and powerful style gained Simone’s respect and attention. Most of the new Aikido material he brought back to the Sligo Aikikai originates from Yokota Sensei.
At lunch time it was time for Simone to travel to Kawasaki City, about one hour away from Tokyo city centre by subway. In Kawasaki Simone attended training with sword fighting Sensei Yakuhiro Sugino 9th Dan. Sugino Sensei is the Head of the Katori Shinto Ryu, an ancient and very respected style of Sword-fighting (ken-jutsu) still in activity since 1450. His Dojo is in traditional style and the atmosphere in it is strict like in the old days. Sugino Sensei is also the head of the Kawasaki Aikikai and holds a 7th Dan in Aikido.
Under Sugino Sensei’s direction Simone practiced quick drawing techniques (iai-jitsu), as well as paired sword-fighting (ken-jitsu), and stick fighting (bo-jitsu). All the techniques he was shown recall their origin in 15th & 16th centuries and can only be taught to the initiates of the Katori Shinto Ryu School. The only Irish section of this school is active in Sligo under Simone Chierchini. Tuition is open to a handful of selected Aikido students of proven maturity and high technical standard.
After getting some rest, Simone would then move on to get further training alternatively in 9th Dan Tada Hiroshi Sensei’s own club, the Gessoji Dojo, a wonderful training space situated inside a Shinto Shrine, or in Ichikawa visiting 6th Dan Jun Nomoto Sensei, or finally training alongside college students at Meiji University.
Tada Sensei is one of the most famous Aikido Sensei in the world. 72 years old, over 60 years in martial arts, a direct pupil of the founder of Aikido, he is a man of charisma and power unusual even in a master 30 years younger. He was particularly fond of seeing Simone in Tokyo, whose parents – both formerly involved in Aikido – he had first met in Rome in October 1964 when Simone was a few days old.
Nomoto Sensei’s dojo instead is a typical town Aikido club, populated by ordinary people and boasting a huge hoard of 120 kids in their uniform. Nomoto Sensei’s manners are extremely friendly yet is Aikido is surprisingly powerful. He loves to train and also to build up with his students a warm atmosphere in the dojo and after it in the izakaya, the Japanese versions of a pub. “Be careful when you come to visit the Nomoto Dojo” he likes to boast. “Practice is fine, it’s after that we become dangerous!” he laughs alluding to the enormous quantities of beer they can make disappear.
College students in Meiji University train Aikido in a very hard and army style way. They treated Simone with absolute respect and devotion, carrying his bag, folding his clothes, supplying clean and warm towels, etc. and also organising generous quantities of food, beer and sake after training. Meiji University former member Asai Sensei 7th Dan, now Chief Instructor of Germany Aikikai was present for the occasion and gave a special class enjoyed by all.
The special celebration for the 70th Anniversary of the Aikido Headquarters was held on Sunday 21st October and about 2000 delegates congregated to make the event an absolute success. Simone caught the occasion to invite Jun Nomoto Sensei to teach a week long Aikido seminar in Sligo. Nomoto Sensei thankfully accepted the invitation and hopefully will be the second Japanese top Aikido Sensei to held an instruction course in Sligo next year alongside Fujimoto Sensei 7th Dan. A schedule as rich as one would find in big Aikido locations like London or Paris.
Wherever Simone trained, he was made to feel welcome and he said he found himself at ease in Aikido terms. He brought the name of Sligo and Ireland to Tokyo and shared his love and appreciation of the Irish ways with all his many new Japanese friends.
For more pictures of my 2001 Japan trip check:
First published on the web at: http://sportales.com/martial-arts/aikido-lifetime-experience-in-japan-a-memory/#ixzz2NV6eQkMb
Aikido Organisation of Ireland
Summer Course 2007, Vol. 1 –
Simone Chierchini Sensei
From “The Sligo Champion”, 01/04/2001
Three days of great Martial Art action where held at the beginning of this month in Sligo with the long awaited Aikido Organisation of Ireland Spring Course 2001.
The course was held by top Japanese Master Yoji Fujimoto, a 7th Dan Aikido Sensei from the Aikido World Headquarters. Fujimoto Sensei was the highest ranked martial artist to have visited the West of Ireland and he is amongst the few top Aikido Instructors in the world. Fujimoto Sensei is based in Milan, Italy, where he is in charge of a 300-member club. He is also Chief Instructor of the Italian Aikido Federation, the Italian Aikikai, an organisation with over 100 clubs registered and about 6000 members.
Fujimoto Sensei, now 53 tears old, has an outstanding career in martial arts that stretches for over 40 years of training in Aikido. He trained thousands of students in Aikido and his name is well known amongst martial artists of all styles. A student of Tada Sensei, Masuda Sensei and the Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru, Fujimoto Sensei is resident in Europe since 1970. He has taught innumerable courses all over the world, from South Africa to the former Yugoslavia and up to Germany and Wales.
His seminar in Sligo was hosted by the Sligo Aikido Club in the Sligo Regional Sports Centre. There were 150 practitioners gathered on the mats for this huge Martial Art event that resulted to be the Aikido course with the highest attendance ever in Ireland. Students travelling to Sligo included a 25 people strong contingent of Italian Aikido practitioners of high rank to make the course even more interesting. Respected 5dan Italian instructor Roberto Foglietta from Pesaro shared his experience with local practitioners along with 3rd Dan Valentino Guzzinati from Ferrara and Giorgio Rizzi from Verona.
Advanced Aikido students from all over Ireland met in Sligo for the week-end with Fujimoto Sensei. An incredible variety of Aikido styles was easily spotted during training. Irish Aikido students travelled to Sligo from Dublin, Swords, Belfast, Enniskillen, Donegal Town, Galway, Limerick, Cork, Drumshanbo and despite the obvious differences in their approach to Aikido, harmonised together under the experienced guidance of Fujimoto Sensei turning the occasion into an unprecedented success and a real Martial Art celebration.
The course was open by Sligo Deputy-Mayor Mr. Tommy Cummins, who welcomed the large attendance to Sligo. Mr. Cummins pointed out his appreciation of the work that Sligo Aikido instructors Simone Chierchini and Lara Natali carried on since their coming to Sligo in 1996. He said he understood the value of a discipline like Aikido, centered on mutual respect and control and appreciated the commitment the Sligo Aikido Club always shown towards the local youths. Mr. Cummins said that as a sportsman himself he would like to see more people picking up sports and enjoy the true values present in them of which Aikido was an outstanding example. He thanked Great Master Yoji Fujimoto for coming to Sligo and offer his unvaluable knowledge for the common growth of both local and national Aikido practitioner. He finally showed to be a great sportman himself by sitting on his knee the Japanese way for a group photo with the students in attendance.
The seminar with Fujimoto Sensei was actually the largest Aikido Course ever organised in Ireland and, of course, the most important event organised so far by the Aikido Organisation of Ireland. We remind that the AOI – of which the Sligo Aikido Club operates as Central School – was set up in 1996 by Italian Aikido Instructors Simone Chierchini 4th Dan and Lara Natali 2nd Dan. Registered clubs of the Aikido Organisation of Ireland now include – beside the Sligo Aikido Club – Enniskillen, Sligo Institute of Technology, the Drumshanbo based Leitrim Aikido Club and Ballinamore Youth with over 100 members.
At the end of the Spring Course Fujimoto Sensei held a Dan Grading test for the Aikido Organisation of Ireland’s students. Sligo members Declan Bray, Eamon Coyne and Trevor Pigott will underwent their 1st Dan black belt grading and were successful, to the satisfaction of their Instructor. Declan, Trevor and Eamon are the first black belts to come out of the Sligo Aikido Club. Their achievement was as good as their commitment to Aikido, strong and constant over their five years of Aikido training in Sligo. Dan Grades given will be now registered by the Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan and the new black belts will be entitled to instruct classes.
The Italian guests spent a week in Sligo and surroundings areas, with lots of entertainment for them, including a trip to Westport and Croagh Patrick, and a boat trip along the Shannon on the Moon River. A social was held on Saturday night after the training, with a dinner in Rosses Point open to all the participants and sympathisers, with celebrations continuing locally.
All in all the course was a huge and unexpected success. What is more, Fujimoto Sensei already announced he will be back to Sligo again in 2002 for another great course.