French Aikido School to conduct International Spring Aikido Seminar in Malta

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 10:00

A top French Aikido master, Jean Francois Riondet (VII Dan), will be in Malta between 1-3 April 2011 to conduct an International Aikido seminar of his Provence-based Buikukan-Provence Aikido School. The seminar is being organised by the school’s Maltese branch dojo the Bu-Iku-Kan Yamato Club.

The seminar has attracted over 20 senior Aikidoka from France and Italy who will be travelling for the purpose. Attending will also be Yamato Dojo’s Malta-based students from Russia, Serbia, France, Tunisia and Spain.

Photo by Reuben Chircop

Photo by Reuben Chircop

Participating in the seminar will also be Italian Aikido master Renato Tamburelli (V Dan) from the Aiko School in Italy. Aiko and Master Tamburelli were instrumental in assisting in setting up the Yamato Club.

In what is also believed to be a first in Malta, and of particular interest to the club’s female Aikidoka, a Japanese female Instructor will be assisting on the mat. 

Jean Francois Riondet Shihan has an impressive Aikido pedigree. He started Aikido in France at the age of 14. In the mid 70’s, in Paris, he met the late Japanese Master Hirokazu Kobayashi (VIII Dan), a direct disciple of Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido. Impressed by the simplicity and powerfully fluid movements of Kobayashi’s Aikido, Riondet followed Kobayashi to Japan where he lived for 2.5 years as his live-in student. When he moved back to France in 1985 he founded the Bu-Iku-Kan Aikido School based in Provence. The School now has branches in Aix en Provence, La Ciotat, Gardanne and two in Marseille where Master Riondet is based. The Malta dojo is the first branch of Buikukan-Provence outside France.

Riondet’s Aikido is one of dynamic fluidity and complex techniques that look misleadingly simple, disarmingly natural and graceful in their execution. This is particularly impressive given Riondet’s stature (he is over 6ft tall) and despite his size he is sometimes called the ‘poet of Aikido’.

Aikido is a Martial Art based on ancient Japanese Samurai tradition. It focuses primarily on the study of natural body movements, a supple approach to physical techniques and the development of a harmonious, co-operative spirit. Aikido is highly effective against violent aggression and an effective self-defence system which focuses on the neutralisation of an attack without inflicting injury.

The Seminar will be held at dojo’s premises located at the Maria Assumpta Girls Secondary School in Hamrun between 1-3 April 2011. It is open to all practicing Aikidoka and the general public is welcome to watch. Further details can be obtained from or Aikido Malta on facebook or dial +356 9989 9733.

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