CONTACT: Jason Laurent T: 021 045 3206   E:

Tōpana Taurite Aikido logoTo paraphrase Primo Levi; Aikido is beautiful… because it involves a metamorphosis from soft to hard, and from this once again to soft; but in this double journey, up and down, purity is attained, an ambiguous and fascinating condition, which starts with Reishiki and goes very far. And finally, when you set about training in Aikido, you acquire the consciousness of repeating a ritual consecrated by the centuries…”

The above sums up how I feel about Aikido, and the balance (Taurite) it brings to one’s life. My first experience of Aikido was more mental than physical, and this has been the theme of all my training since those initial tentative steps into the little dojo, on River road, Kawerau in 1990. Early training was conducted under the stern guidance of Sensei Eric Cryderman, himself a student of Saito Sensei and Sensei Marameno (Meno) Kapa. Shifting to Hamilton, I then enjoyed training in a friendly dojo run by Sensei Clyde Sutton. Meno moved to Hamilton from Taupō. This meant I could have the pleasure of training with both Meno and Clyde, offering me the opportunity to experience two approaches to the same problem.

In 2001, Meno afforded me the honour of grading me to Shodan at Kirikiriroa Marae, Hamilton, before she returned home to Northland. A highlight was the acknowledgement she gave to Sensei Clyde regarding the amalgamation styles expressed by my Aikido and his role in this. Since then I have travelled around, training in many different dojos both in Aotearoa and for two enjoyable years in Perth, WA. I too have since returned to my roots, back to that little dojo on River road.

Training is Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30pm to 7:30pm, River Road Kawerau ($25 a school term), Saturday 7am to 8:30am in the Whakatāne MMA centre ($5 a session). All welcome.