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OliveraLekic`, Novi Sad, SB, 1.Kyu Tendoryu Aikido, 2010

Posted 11/2/2019

My aikido story


I started training aikido when I was fifteen years old, influenced by my physics teacher, who also practiced this martial art in our home village Stapar, in the north of Serbia. The beauty and simplicity of aikido is almost enchanting and this is one of many reasons why I kept practicing it trough years.

Later, when I was in high school, I traveled to Sombor, a nearby city. Every month there was a change in school timetable, so one month I had classes in the morning and the other month in the afternoon. When I had morning classes, I could make it in time for aikido training in my home village, but when I had afternoon classes I stayed in Sombor and practiced in another aikido club. During that time I was absent from home almost for entire day, but I never felt tired and I was eager to go to training. There was always something new to learn, a chance to improve a movement or a way of doing a certain technique.

After the training I spent a lot of time thinking how everything works and what is the best way to learn a technique. This way of thinking was useful to me in other areas of life. It made me observe things from a different angle and to think outside the box, because if something works well while practicing with one partner, it might not work when practicing with another. Adaptation is in my opinion very important and training aikido is excellent way of developing it.

When I began my studies in Novi Sad, I started training Tendo-ryu aikido in Seiunkan dojo, as instructed by my former trainer from Sombor. It was a bit difficult at the beginning to change some things I have learned and got used to in techniques, but after some time large and clear movements became natural and easier to do. I attended many seminars, some led by Sensei Kenji Shimizu and some led by Eckhardt Hemkemeier. Seminars are excellent opportunity to practice and improve oneself. A great number of participants makes atmosphere very different from the one at regular training, and I believe it is easier to notice what should be changed in technique and also what is done well.

During my studies, there were hard times when I couldn’t manage to go to training or simply was not in the right mood to practice efficiently. I even made a few large breaks in my training which led me to think if I should continue training aikido. But every time when I imagined myself not training aikido it felt like a part of me would be missing. Hard periods are normal, but they pass eventually and it is important to stay true to oneself. When people ask me “How long are you planning to train aikido, 1st Dan or ..?” I like to answer “As long as I can”. For me it is a way of life, not a path from one point to another. And I will do my best to keep it that way.


Olivera Lekic`, Seiunkan Novi Sad, Serbia, 1.Kyu Tendoryu Aikido, 2010