"Create each day a new day"
Founder of Aikido has stated so well, what I now after 33 years of trainig this martial art feel and think of aikido. The enthusiasism and rigorous training in my early years have changed towards understanding.
I started aikido in the midst of great changes in my life. When I moved away from my childhood-home and started studying history in university September 1984, I enrolled also to beginners course in aikido. My first instructor was Mr. Seppo Laurila (2. kyu), who has a year earlier moved from Turku. Course ended in November and I graduaded my first rank, 6th kyu. This gave naturally my first aikido diploma and a permission to attend seminars outside my new hometown. I can still remember great Japanese masters that I saw - Ichimura and Sugano -sensei.
Training was not so easy during 1980's, because practising times were not optimal, my first instructor moved to South-Finland etc. I also trained judo at the same time and injuries made me confront a major decision. I wanted to concentrate only to aikido.
I lived in Joensuu for ten years.During that era I gradually became also an intructor in my home club. I was also very active in participating seminars all-over Finland. Thats how got acquanted with Mr. Jorma Rissanen (5. dan Aikikai | Tenchikan Aikido Club), Mr. Hannu Reinikoski (2. dan Aikikai | Aikijo Aikido Club), Mr. Juhani Laisi (7. dan Shihan | Akebono Aikido Club) etc. I also visited seminars held by Japanese masters like Mr. Yasuo Kobayashi (8. dan Shihan), Mr. Kazuo Igarashi (7. dan Shihan) and Minoru Kanetsuka (8. dan Shihan).
My aikido-life changed dramatically in 1994, when I got a history teacher's post in Harjavalta Junior High School. I naturally started training in a new aikido club called Porin Fudoshin. I became the dojo-cho next year.
During this time, I trained a lot according to the teachings by Mr. Juhani Laisi and Mr. Petteri Silenius (6. dan Shihan | Turku Aikikai Aikido Club). Furthermore I got more and more interested in Igarashi-senseis aikido.
I have practisen aikido now over 30 years. Of this time I have also been a instructor over 20 years. This has given me opportunity to give also aikido seminars in various clubs. These friendship dojos are Fudoshin Aikido Club (Pori), Kaigan Aikido Club (Rauma), Joensuu Aikikai Aikido Club and Ryukikai Aikido Club (Lapinlahti). My work and life in aikido has also spred this martial art in Finland - I have been a founding member in 3 aikido clubs.
Mr. Risto Tenhunen