Aïkido is a martial art, which was created in the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba, a master who attained the highest level in the traditional Japanese martial arts. There are no competitions in Aïkido; an aggressor’s attack may be stopped without harming or injuring him/her. Aïkido is a path which aspires for the unity of humankind, the unification of the self with the universe, the union of Spirit and Matter. Seen as such, and in the perspective of the integral development of the being as emphasized by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, it is no wonder that Aïkido has always been greatly valued in Auroville.
Aïkido was introduced in Auroville right at the beginning of this international project by the late André Pithon. Then later on, it was taught by Aurovilians Ananda and Michiko, and finally by Aurovilians Serge Brelin and Luisa. Serge and Luisa both had studied in Paris for two years with Jacques Bonemaison, 6th dan, belonging to the school of Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan “Tamura Sensei”, himself a close disciple of the founder of Aikido.
Today Cristo (C. Mabilat), a student of Serge Brelin, is responsible for the Auroville Aikikai and follows the same line of teaching. Presently, a dedicated group of over 40 children and 12 adults of all nationalities study Aïkido in Auroville.
Classes are held at Pitanga Hall. There are a minimum of three classes of 1h1/2 per week for the adults, and two classes of 1h weekly for each of the 2 age groups of children. Visitors (beginners and practitioners of all grades) are welcome to join classes if they so wish. During the past 15 years, we had the privilege to have been visited by high ranking Aikido teachers who conducted workshops in Auroville. We have seen the importance and necessity of organising such workshop every year for the evolution and progress of all Auroville aikido practitioners (students and teachers). These workshops helped us not only to enrich our practice but also to have our progress evaluated. Unfortunately, they are too rare.
We are happy that this year, the construction of a Dojo in Dehashakti sports ground has been approved under SAIIER scheme. It will be done in three phases. That is a great step in this long standing practice of the martial arts in Auroville, and all of us feel happy and grateful about it.