Haigerloch October 2023

Memorial for Yoshigasaki Sensei


The "2nd Ki no Kenkyukai Memorial" for Yoshigasaki Sensei took place in Haigerloch from Friday October 20th to Sunday October 22nd, 2023. As can be read on the flyer, the seminar was a joint event of five dojos. Four of them are located close together in the northwestern part of the Zollernalb district in Baden-Württemberg. They go back directly or indirectly to the Association for Ki, Aikido and Health e.V., which Bernhard Boll founded in Haigerloch-Owingen in 1985. Michael Kunst's dojo in Stuttgart was created independently.
In 2003, Bruno Maule, then 6th Dan and since 2019 the second 9th Dan of the KNK International, came from Novara for the first time to a seminar at the vhs Balingen dojo and from 2004 regularly to seminars in Haigerloch and later also to Balingen-Frommern.


On the initiative of Bruno Maule, the first "International Memorial" took place in May 2022 with six Shihans of Doshu Yoshigasaki from Italy, Sweden, Croatia, the United Kingdom and Spain. A "Remembering Doshu K. Yoshigasaki" followed in February 2023, again with high-ranking teachers from these countries and also from Germany.
The seminar in Haigerloch was the continuation of this concept with five dojos organizing the event together. Jean-Jacques from Dojo Makoto in Balingen-Frommern was in charge of the organisation and Lisbeth Sattler-Möller from Ki Aikido Haigerloch took care of the implementation in the Witthauhalle in Haigerloch. Aikidoka from the other dojos were responsible for specific tasks. Some guests from outside also helped out actively, for example in the kitchen.

Teachers and organisators

In the photo from left to right:

Bruno Maule, Eugène du Long, Ulla Michel, Iris Scanlon, Philip Burgess (in Seiza), Carsten Möller.

Organising Dojos:
Waldemar Ebisch, Stefan Neumann (Hechingen), Lisbeth Sattler-Möller (Haigerloch), Jean-Jacques Greuter, Barbara Fetzer (Balingen-Frommern), Yves Opizzo (Balingen-Weilstetten).


The six teachers taught a variety of topics. Here is a small selection:
Good posture at Funakogi. Proper holding without brute force. Working intensively in groups without chatting on the mat. Tsuzukiwaza Ryotedori. Breathing exercises. Bell Misogi. One Point. Four principles of Tohei. Tsuzukiwaza Shomenuchi. Kokyunage small person against big person with a high jump. Minute of silence for Yoshigasaki Sensei. The superiority of Ki Aikido. Ki tests are like attacks. Find the weak points and improve them. Treat the bokken like a katana. Reaction exercises with quick blows to the shoulder. Realistic dodging of Shomenuchi with the Bokken. AEIOU development of the body. Support from partners in postures of Kenkotaiso. Find and improve your strengths. Tsuzukiwaza Ushiro Katatedori. Forms and lines. Open and close. Ushiro Ryokatadori. Free forms with AEIOUm. Relations as the most important aspect of Aikido. Bowing respectfully. Lots of rolling and falling exercises. Attacks with secondary attacks. Free concatenations.

Embukai 演武会

The seminar concluded with an Aikido demonstration (embukai) lasting more than an hour. It was intended not only for the invited spectators, but also for the aikidoka who remained on the mat.
The performers: From the Balingen-Frommern dojo first the children, then Christian, Barbara and Jean-Jacques; from the Dojo Hechingen Stefan, Waldemar and Leon; from Dojo Balingen-Weilstetten Yves. This was followed by Jan Eriksson from Sweden, Carsten Möller, Eugène du Long, Philip Burgess, Bruno Maule, Sing Tan Hok from Sweden and again Eugène du Long with a game of bokken before Bruno Maule purified the hall with Kibarai.
The 14-minute video summarizes some scenes from the 75-minute demonstration.


The seminar in sunny autumn weather in the beautiful landscape of Haigerloch was interesting and it was nice to meet friends from far away dojos, and other, previously unknown Aikidoka. The organizers deserve great praise for their efforts. The spectrum of topics taught was very wide, from self-awareness to special exercises for the body and mind and Tsuzukiwaza techniques to pre-Aikido techniques with bokken. Yoshigasaki said "Aikido is not a supermarket", but every teacher finds his or her own focus and extensions in the teaching methods and content.
During Yoshigasaki Sensei's lifetime, there were already regional and national groups which had little interaction with other groups. That wasn't a problem at all because Yoshigasaki Sensei was the person of reference. At these memorial events, up to now, high and highest grades did not accept invitations to teach and maybe more participants could have come to Haigerloch from other dojos. In his Blog, Jean-Paul Lett mentions, for example, financial reasons that make participation in such central seminars difficult (travel expenses, accommodation and meals). Another reason are probably the different views on the nature or necessity of a common organization. As was seen in the seminar, the teachers have very different priorities in their Aikido lessons. Sometimes, when unfamiliar exercises were shown, the explanations were not sufficient. But even with Yoshigasaki Sensei it often took several seminars before his innovations and changes could be understood.
Ki Aikido is just a small group within the many Aikido styles and Aikido associations in the world. As long as the individual local dojos practice seriously and with commitment, there is no risk that the valuable aspects that Yoshigasaki Sensei taught will be forgotten - even without central memorial events, but probably with exchange among the dojos.

Group photo

Seminar in Haigerloch 10/2023