I started Aikido at the age of 17 (1987) joining the Grenoble University Aikido Club under the instruction of Eric Matton
As from 1988, following Bruno Mathis's arrival from the "Cercle Christian Tissier" Paris, I was able to also start classes under his instruction.
In addition, I was able to meet Philippe Gouttard and attend his monthly classes that he was giving in Grenoble.
During these first years of practice, I was attending numerous courses within the Rhone Alpes region. Including regular attendance of the summer ones such as Mens led by Christian Tissier.
In 1992 and for personnal reasons, I decided to move to Dublin in Ireland. I joined the Irish Aikido Federation under the instruction of John Rodgers and guidance of Kanetsuka Sensei with whom I was attending numerous courses.
The years that followed, I got more committed and ended up as a permanent instructor first at UCD (University College Dublin) & Trinity College and thereafter DCU (Dublin City University). I continued to have a very intensive practice between courses held in Ireland & UK. I was also travelling numerous times every year to France specially in Paris to train with Christian Tissier during his monthly seminar in Vincennes and Easter courses.
In 1995 I opened my first Dojo in Dublin at the Phibsborough shopping Centre (gym). Several Dojos were opened the following years and the final name of Dublin Aikikai Aikido was eventually chosen to represent them all. I was teaching 7 classes per week for a good number of years while keeping my daily job.
With the Celtic Tigers years many foreigners came to Ireland. A good few, already practicing Aikido or not, trained for a short or long term period within our dojos. I was able to train with various styles of Aikido and this did shape my own personal way of teaching and practicing.¨
Tens of students who trained within our clubs reached various Yudansha ranks (black belts) and some did continue their Aikido path abroad (Michael O'Donovan, Mark Ryan, Brian Milton Ireland, Anna Noonan Paris, Radio Othla Estonia, Brian Byrne Texas, Guillaume Erard Tokyo, Graham Murphy & Anne Sofie Laidain Poitier France, Susan Hensel Dresden, Sergio Azorin Spain, Angela Wuensche Zurich, Benoist Soulard Bordeaux France, Carole Bouldy Cullerier London, Owen Russell-Hill Netherland and many more).
Many instructors were visiting us occasionally or on a regular basis for over 20 years to held seminars in Dublin of which Bruno Mathis, Philippe Gouttard, Luc Mathevet, Marc Bachraty, Franck Noel, Christian Tissier, Yamina Khodja, Philippe Orban, Ellis Amdur etc.
First, my Aikido got shaped up by Eric Matton who was teaching very smooth, flowing, clear and structured techniques. Then upon Bruno's arrival my past learning got impacted by his dynamic, spontaneous, impulsive and fast practice Aikido. This suited my own character and greatly helped to shape some of what my practice was to become. I was also at the time practicing French Savate boxing twice a week and this for 2 consecutive years.
During the following years Philippe Gouttard was my main influence. I was attending several of his courses of which some abroad such as in Chicago. Even though I was training regularly also in Vincennes and many other places, Philippe remained my sole permanent influence and guidance. He initiated my first of the seven visits to Japan as we went along together with Luc Mathevet for 3 weeks. Obviously the regular visits of Luc and Marc to Dublin also brought other perspectives and visions for the Aikido I am teaching and practicing nowadays.
1994 - Shodan Aikikai - Kanetsuka Sensei
1995 - Opening of 1st Dojo in Dublin
1996 - Nidan Aikikai - C. Tissier
1998 - First of seven trips in Japan with P. Gouttard & L. Mathevet
2001- Sandan Aikikai & FFAAA (exam also done in France)
2008 - Yondan Aikikai FFAAA après passage (exam also done in France 2005)
2011 - Opening of dojo in Geneva which I close in 2014
2014 - Godan Aikikai - P. Gouttard
2018 - September 2018 opening of the Aikido Club de Péron
I had the opportunity to practice Aikido in several places throughout the world: Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Canada, USA (San Francisco, New York, Chicago). Also give courses in Estonia, Hungaria & Ireland.
In addition to practicing Aikido, I studied Judo for 3 years when younger, French Savate for 2 years as mentioned above, Kick boxing and recently attended for over a year private Muay Thai classes as well as regular classes.