Aikido is taught all over the world, but Vanderhoof dojo’s have an advantage, learning the martial art right from the source.
Censé Tony Hind is a sixth dan based out of Vancouver who teaches instructors throughout BC. As the only Canadian to ever live at the Aikikai Foundation, he started training in Aikido at age 16 and at 25 moved to Tokyo, Japan. There he trained with the founder of Aikido’s son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the current Aikido Doshu. Censé Hind is one of five foreigners to ever live at the martial art world headquarters a.k.a ‘Hombu Dojo’.
“I was very fortunate to live there for 14 years where I eventually got to teach seven of my own dojos,” said Censé Hind, who now runs his own Canadian Aikido Association which includes dojos in Vanderhoof and Prince George. “It takes years to master Aikido, it’s not just an instant gratification like punching someone in the face. Some like it for the spiritual side and some for the physical side but to reach the top of the mountain it doesn’t matter why your doing it just that you reach your goal.”
Unlike Tia Kwan Do, Aikido has only white, brown and black belts with various degrees of black. Each step or ‘dan’ is a personal accomplishment earned by the individual. Known as the martial art of peace, Aikido is mainly throws, demobilization holds and defensive strikes. Greg Duncan, a fourth dan instructor in Vanderhoof, says it’s great because there’s not much competition.
“Especially for kids, it gets them away from confrontation. They are taught to use their body and work with one another,” said censé Duncan.
Currently both adult and junior classes are offered in Vanderhoof and Censé Moyer, whose been teaching Aikido since 2008 in Vanderhoof and Prince George and is also a sargent with the RCMP, is hoping to start a weekend women’s defence class. “I have a lot of real-life practise,” he said “If people were interested we would extend it to be a full program, just depends.”
At one of the junior Aikido classes in Vanderhoof, Censé Hind teaches students how to throw and be thrown.
Aspen Craig 10, takes junior Aikido classes in Vanderhoof.
“I like the way these teachers don’t mind being thrown around,” she said.
Since Censé Hind delegates on behalf of the world headquarters, anyone completing one of his classes receives certification directly from Japan. “It’s incredible, my teachers were taught by the founder of a martial art and I trained with his son,” said censé Hind. “I was very fortunate to do what I did and now I can pass it down.”