Elisabeth Andel was introduced to the art of Aikido in 1994 by Michael Williams Sensei during an Adult Education weekend course in his Byron Bay Goshinkan Dojo, the then headquarters of the Australian Ki Society. She was immediately impressed by the way the principles of Ai (Harmony) Ki (Energy) Do (Life path) blended seamlessly into daily life and then and there became a dedicated student of the art. In 2000 she was appointed Assistant Lecturer by Master Koichi Tohei.

When Williams Sensei joined Master Koretoshi Maruyama in 2002 as International and Australian Chief Instructor of Aikido Yuishinkai, yearly Seminar World Tours were organised for Maruyama Sensei from the Australian HQ. Elisabeth Andel accompanied Maruyama Sensei and his late wife Yasuko san as PA for 8 years attending over 40 international seminars, meeting aikidoka from many countries and gaining invaluable experience and insights into the art along the way, which she shared on her return as an instructor at the Byron Bay Aikido Club.

The main lesson Elisabeth Andel has learned and wants to convey is that all action starts at the centre, tanden, the ‘one point’ in the lower abdomen. When you move with centred, smoothly flowing ki, you can move the things around you as if they were part of you. This approach to dealing with problems transfers to daily life, daily actions and conflict resolution. Through focusing and directing your ki you are in touch with the universe.

A learner goes through many stages, from the purely mechanical learning of techniques, to becoming more and more coordinated, and thus more fluent and circumspect, being able to deal with many attackers at once. The experience becomes a meditation in motion, fully centred and fully aware.

In Aikido we try to win against our own weaknesses, not to defeat a training partner. Only this kind of victory is true victory. Masakatsu agatsu.

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