I started aikido at the age of fifteen in Bordeaux with Alain Guillabert, currently 6th dan.
One day, a school friend told me briefly about aikido. I went to observe a first class. The students in Hakama were practicing in suwari wasa... What a strangeness!
The exotic side of the discipline certainly intrigued me, but what I found most interesting was the atmosphère of study mixed with rigor, sobriety and tradition.
At eighteen years old
After my baccalaureate, I moved to Paris to train with Christian Tissier. At the beginning, I only saw Christian through a few workshops. But from the very first moments, the intensity of his presence impressed me. My beginner's eyes intuitively detected the relevance of his knowledge. A form of accuracy that a beginner cannot explain but only notice.
"The mediocre teacher recites. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The excellent inspires.” W.A.Ward
At the same time as my training, I was introduced to muay thaï at the Siam boxing club with André Zeitoun.
A new experience of contact, footing, breathing and distance.
Under the direction of Christian Derval, pioneer of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in France, I participated in the first training courses of Rickson Gracie and his brothers at the Cercle Tissier. After one year of practice, I fought in the first JJB French Cup and finished second in my category.
The dramatic art
I started with theatrical improvisation for a few years, then I joined a professional acting school for seven years.
The theater has aroused in me the spirit of the researcher, i.e. to understand the anthropological principles that give life to a raw material by identifying the limiting factors. These limitations, of course, are the same ones that we will find in aikido and elsewhere.
Whatever the art, at a certain level of practice (independently of the learning of the know-how itself), the difficulty encountered is often the same: oneself.
This "seeker's mind" then spread to all areas of my life, like a web made of exponentially number of connections.
"The arts are similar in their principles but not in their works." Étienne Decroux
At the time, the "stretching" done roughly bored me. With the passing of years and practice, I became aware of the necessity of stretching. Whishing to open the body intelligently, this is how I discovered Iyengar yoga; a yoga of extreme meticulousness, of a rare subtlety regarding alignments, symmetry and proprioceptive sensations.
"Art is born of constraints, lives of struggles and dies of freedom." André Gide
Relaxation, breathing and non-opposition in all its splendor. Short, but inspiring passage with Jerome Kadian.
"Good movements are a source of joy." Mikhail Ryabko
The whirling dervishes
I approached the Sufi universe through music with the learning of the Ney (emblematic flute of Sufi ceremonies). Then, I was initiated to the whirling of the dervishes. The rotations, the circles and the dizzying spirals did not fail to echo my practice of aikido.
"The beauty of dance comes not from the dancer but from his absence."
The art of toreroing
At the end of an aikido course in Athens, a Spanish practitioner came to me to confide his astonishment at some of my attitudes. The resemblance with the bullfighters had struck him.
Curious, I asked around and discovered the world of the Recortadores and bullfighting, in other words, the art of the body in dodging.
This approach is intended to enrich my martial path as an aikidoka, I am currently experimenting with the conquest of the fixed point, the dodge and the lure when facing horns.
"Sensitivity is the most direct way to access the truth." Antonio Ordóñez
Driven by a taste for research, experimentation and study, I have enriched my career with various martial and artistic studies. At a certain level of understanding, these practices which could, at first sight, appear as radically different, even contradictory, only point out and illuminate common principles.
After more than thirty-five years of practice, today 6th Dan, I share my experience with as many people as possible, trying to build, with rigor and creativity, more bridges than walls.