The Aiki Dialogues present some of the most established voices in the world of Budo and Aikido while giving space to the most interesting emerging characters of the martial community
The Body-Mind Educator
Interview with Paul Linden
The Aiki Dialogues #14
by Simone Chierchini, Paul Linden
Founder of Being in Movement, Paul Linden, an Aikido teacher based in Columbus, Ohio, is a world leader in embodied training, having been active in the field for 40 years. He holds a BA in Philosophy and a PhD in Physical Education.
Paul has been practising and teaching Aikido since 1969 and holds the rank of 6th dan. He is also an instructor of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education.
Paul Linden has used his extensive experience to teach people such as musicians, athletes, business people, computer users, pregnant women, adult survivors of child abuse, and children with attention deficit disorder(…)
Interview with Jacques Payet
The Aiki Dialogues #13
by Simone Chierchini, Jacques Payet
Jacques Payet has been a student of Aikido since 1980, when he first moved to Japan to learn under one the Aikido greatest, Gozo Shioda.
It was during this time that he became the longest serving foreign uchideshi to serve at the Yoshinkan.
In the Yoshinkan organisation he achieved the rank of Hachidan (8th dan) and the title of Shihan.
Today Payet sensei is the Head Instructor of the Mugenjuku, his own dojo based in Kyoto, Japan. He is also the creator of a well-known Senshusei course, the translator of several important Aikido works and an author himself. (…)
Interview with John Bailey
The Aiki Dialogues #12
by Simone Chierchini
John Bailey studied Aikido under Tony Graziano and Tom Walker. He is a graduate of Executive Security International and has an extensive background in security and investigations, having worked as a bouncer, security officer, bodyguard, undercover operative and tactical instructor. He was a practical firearms competitor and instructor and has provided tactical training for law enforcement and private security agencies in Florida, Colorado, California and Oregon. He’s a life-long student of violence, the behavioural factors and practical implications of it. He is a certified clinical hypnotist, and co-creator of the Motivational Literacy system of self-development, (…)
Lia Suzuki, founder and director of Aikido Kenkyukai International USA, began her Aikido training in 1982 under William Gleason. She soon moved to Japan to train with Yoshinobu Takeda, one of Seigo Yamaguchi’s most accomplished students. She lived in Japan and trained extensively in Aikido from 1987 to 1996. At the urging of Takeda shihan, Lia sensei returned to establish dojos in the USA (…)
About Yoji Fujimoto
The Aiki Dialogues #10
by Simone Chierchini, Roberto Foglietta, Ugo Montevecchi, Roberto Travaglini
This publication endeavours to accomplish a very difficult task: that of bringing to life once again the voice and works of one of the most beloved figures of International Aikidō.
Yoji Fujimoto sensei has been gone for nearly 10 years and has left behind thousands of students who have never stopped mourning him.
Since 1971, the year of his arrival in Italy, Fujimoto sensei (…)
Interview with Simone Chierchini
The Aiki Dialogues #9
by Marco Rubatto
Simone Chierchini did not choose Budo, he “was there”.
For 50 years at the forefront and in an enviable position in the Aikido community, he had the opportunity to witness first-hand the major events that have accompanied the birth and development of Aikido in Italy and Europe.
Simone began practising Aikido at the age of eight and has travelled the world (…)
Interview with Hiroo Mochizuki
The Aiki Dialogues #8
by Adriano Amari, Hiroo Mochizuki, Michihito Mochizuki
Hiroo Mochizuki is the heir of a samurai family.
Creator of Yoseikan Budo, he is a world-renowned expert in Japanese martial arts.
Son of the famous teacher Minoru Mochizuki, who is considered a Japanese national treasure and was also a direct student of Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba, the successor of a line of samurai, Hiroo Mochizuki was inspired by his forefathers combative spirit to create Yoseikan Budo.
Interview with Paolo N. Corallini
The Aiki Dialogues #7
by Simone Chierchini, Paolo N. Corallini
Paolo Nicola Corallini, Iwama Ryu 7th Dan, Aikikai 7th Dan, is the Technical Director of the Takemusu Aikido Association Italy.
From Iwama and the meeting with Morihiro Saito sensei to the complex interweaving between the different pedagogies present in Aikido, from the memories of the man Morihiro Saito to the future of Aikido, in the course of this conversation, Paolo Corallini offers his learned and refined approach to the sense of what exists below the visible level of Aikido.
Interview with André Cognard
The Aiki Dialogues #6
by Simone Chierchini, André Cognard
André Cognard is one of the most authoritative voices in contemporary international Budo. Born in 1954 in France, he approached the world of martial arts at a very young age, dedicating himself to the intensive practice of various traditional Japanese disciplines. In 1973 he met Hirokazu Kobayashi sensei, a direct disciple (…)
Inryoku – The Attractive Force
Interview with Gérard Blaize
The Aiki Dialogues #5
by Simone Chierchini, Gérard Blaize
Gérard Blaize, the first non-Japanese Aikido expert to receive the rank of 7th dan Aikikai, spent five and a half years in Japan where he studied Aikido at the Hombu Dōjō in Tōkyō following mainly Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Seigo Yamaguchi. In 1975, he met Michio Hikitsuchi, one of the most respected personal students of the founder (…)
The Traveler – “Find Your Way”
Interview with William T. Gillespie
The Aiki Dialogues #4
by Simone Chierchini, William T. Gillespie
William T. Gillespie, the author of the book “Aikido in Japan and The Way Less Traveled”, is a pioneer of Aikido in China.
As the sign in his first Aikido Dojo in Los Angeles read, “Not even a million dollars can buy back one minute of your life”. This is why W.T. Gillespie resigned from a professional career as a trial attorney in Los Angeles, also leaving his position as an assistant instructor in Furuya sensei’s dojo. (…)
Interview with Rionne “Fujiwara” McAvoy
The Aiki Dialogues #3
by Simone Chierchini, Rionne McAvoy
From Taekwondo wonder kid to Karate State Champion, from Hiroshi Tada Sensei’s Gessoji Dojo to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and Yoshiaki Yokota sensei, Rionne “Fujiwara” McAvoy, a star in the toughest professional wrestling league in the world – Japan, has never been one for finding the easy way out.
In “The Wrestler”, Rionne McAvoy tells his story in martial arts and explains his strong views (…)
Interview with Christopher Li
The Aiki Dialogues #2
by Simone Chierchini, Christopher Li
Christopher Li is an instructor at the Aikido Sangenkai, a non-profit Aikido group in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. He has been training in traditional and modern Japanese martial arts since 1981, with more than twelve years of training while living in Japan. Chris calls himself a “hobbyist with a specialty”, however, thanks to his research and writing he has made an important (…)
Interview with Ellis Amdur
The Aiki Dialogues #1
by Simone Chierchini, Ellis Amdur
Ellis Amdur is a renowned martial arts researcher, a teacher in two different surviving Koryū and a former Aikidō enthusiast. His books on Aikidō and Budō are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes. His opinions are also backed by solid research and boots-on-the-ground experience. (…)