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Instructors

Pia Moberg

Rank:
6 dan, shidoin

Club function:
Founder, chief instructor and chairman

How long have you been training?
I started in 1974 at the Gothenburg Aikido Club when I was eight years old. My father Zeth Moberg was one of the leading figures at the club and started the children’s training, partly because he wanted me to join. After a few years break in my teens, I have trained more or less without a break since I was 15 years old. The Aikido world was very patriarchal when I was growing up. When Jan Bratt and I founded the Riai Aikido Dojo in 2003, one of our goals was to create a dojo where adults, youth and children would have access to high-quality training at their level. My involvement in children pedagogy, which has resulted in the Happy Aikido concept, also develops my own training.

The best thing about training:
It is magical how you can bow in to a workout, become one with the forms in full concentration, and then after the workout, be completely revitalized. The training really is for both body and soul. Then I love aikido itself for its own sake. Power and elegance in perfect combination.

Misc:
I first went to Iwama, Japan in 1988 when I was 22 years old. It was a profound experience for me to meet and train with Morihiro Saito Sensei. After that I learned Japanese (fairly well anyway) and became interested in Japan beyond aikido training. I have written three aikido books, educate our Young Leaders in a leadership program and have attended educations in sports injuries, leadership and Physical Literacy. I am the chairperson of the IAF (International Aikido Federation) working group for children and youth: “IAF Working Group for Children and Youth” in Europe where I work internationally to advance aikido for children and youth across national borders.

Jan Bratt

Rank:
6 dan, shidoin

Club function:
Founder, chief instructor and treasurer

How long have you been training?
After a short period of ju-jujutsu training under Kurt Durevall in the late 70’s, I started training aikido in 1981 at the Gothenburg Aikido Club. The aikido training in Gothenburg was characterized by a powerful aikido with a clear functional perspective, which suited me. I trained for Morihiro Saito sensei the first time in 1988 in Stockholm / Copenhagen to become a uchi-deshi in Iwama a couple of years later in 1990. Having the opportunity to train in O-sensei’s dojo under Morihiro Saito sensei’s management was a fantastic experience for me.

In 2003, I founded Riai Aikido Dojo, with Pia Moberg, to realize our ideas for a large dojo with traditional aikido training. An important challenge for us is how to handle a tradition without solidifying in memories of the past and at the same time build a strong and progressive movement culture. A key part for us at Riai is the dojo itself, and to give those who train the best conditions to study aikido in an environment which is welcoming, inclusive and safe. Another factor is that the quality of the training with us at Riai must be in absolute top class with both our instructors and guest instructors. A way for us to maintain our quality is to be accepting of other styles and good aikidokas, but also evaluative of our own methods and ideas about how we build quality around training. Something else of importance for us is to invite and train for different aikido teachers with a perspective on the aikido we perform, and to build social networks around the training both in Sweden and internationally. In our tradition, there is, through Saito sensei, an extensive documentation of O-sensei’s aikido. This documentation is available to support anyone who practices aikido, to be able to take part in the tradition themselves, which we strongly encourage.

The best thing about training?
I am still fascinated by the techniques as an expression of the underlying principles, which are applicable both on and off the mat. My view is the “system” aikido gradually becomes communicative to the practitioner on an individual and personal level, for me completely without any kind of metaphysical connection. By repetitively practicing certain basic pattern movements, I have access to a fantastic movement system, similar to a language or art form. Physical exercise is of course an important part, aikido is mainly practiced in the dojo. Since much of the training is done together with other people, it is often difficult to train without being really focused, and the experience of concentration and presence is a big part of the fascination for me.
Aikido is both an individual journey and a group journey. It means training companions who contribute to my development through perspectives on the training, and – the simplicity, all I need to do is to get myself to training.
The dojo’s entire operations are of great importance in creating a vibrant and relevant dojo. Contributing to ultimately changing the future of aikido is, of course, very satisfying, even if our efforts in the grand scheme of things are modest.
Aikido is a significant part of my life, both on and off the mat, which makes my life rich.

Misc:
Jan has completed the Swedish Budo and Martial Arts Association’s licensed training for group instructors and club instructors.

Tomas Hellberg

Rank:
4 Dan, shidoin

Club function:
Instructor and secretary, part of the local group

How long have you been training?
I began my Aikido journey in 1997 at the Gothenburg Aikido Club and moved to Riai when the club started in 2003.

The best thing about training?
To get into the dojo and be able to turn everything off outside and focus on the training.
It becomes almost a meditative feeling as focus and energy are the key words on the mat.

Misc:
I also instruct seniors, where balance and coordination is an important theme. Have undergone a licensed club instructor course.

Henrik Martén

Rank:
3 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I attended my first workouts in the fall of 1999, at the Gothenburg Aikido Club. Have been training at Riai since we started in 2003.

The best thing about training?
The best thing for me is the constant journey of discovery, that more and more rooms are constantly opening up. This means the training never ceases to be essential, exciting and filled with pleasure. Aikido is full of wonderful paradoxes! A tangible way to develop both external and internal presence, and balance. A form of training, which allows us to develop the ability to lead by following. Everything must take place in total relaxation and compliance, but at the same time is based on a centered powerfulness both physically and mentally. Increasingly, my joy from training consists in seeing these qualities develop and strengthen in my training peers, and especially in youth and young adults.

Misc:
When you go to training camps, you notice that aikido is everywhere in the world. I am happy about all aikido friends, old and young, who continue to inspire and challenge me.

Heidi Christensen

Rank:
1 dan

Club function:
Youth instructor for group 4, 13-15 years. Member of the board – responsible for marketing.

How long have you been training?
I started training in 2009 at Riai Aikido Dojo

The best thing about training?
It is exciting, developing and meditative. I become strong and focused, happy and full of energy. In aikido I become my best self and train myself to interact with others and I learn to understand myself. I benefit greatly from aikido in my professional life. In addition, I met my love through aikido.

Misc:
The initiator of our After Gi concept; soup and company one Friday a month after training. A perfect end to the week! I have completed SISU sports leadership training, basic course in MotoriQ physical literacy and Sports Injury course.

Patric Nordström

Rank:
2 dan, fukushidoin

Club function:
Instructor, part of the local group

How long have you been training?
I started training aikido in 2000, first at the Stockholm Aikido Club and then at the Gothenburg Aikido Club. After that I took a break for a few years when my children were little. I train in the evenings and instruct Tuesday lunch.

The best thing about training?
I have trained other disciplines before, but with aikido it felt like I had found my home. Aikido has everything I like; throws, locks, timing and plenty of details. Aikido has so many levels, you think you have understood how a technique works and then discover there is so much more to learn.

Misc:
I often go to Lewis Bernaldo de Quiro’s camp and have attended the Fukushidoin training, MotoriQ course in Physical literacy and SISUs sports’ injury course.

Felix Langenius

Rank:
1 dan

Club function:
I am the head instructor for group 2A (7-9 years). I also have shared responsibility for group 3 (10-12 years), crossfit and ‘ukemitis days’ focusing on basic and advanced fall techniques. In addition to my official responsibilities as a leader, my functions at Riai include testing new techniques and falling. This is to improve or create new ukemi. Somehow this might mean that I’m the club’s guinea pig. But, in the end, that’s how I want it. Being one of the leaders in Riai Aikido Dojo is one of the best things you can be.

How long have you been training?
I started in the summer of 2011 in the children’s group, when I was about to be 9 years old. Then it was group 3, which applied to me and I went there until I was 12 years old. After that I alternated between group 4 and the adult group. Nowadays, I train in the adult sessions and instruct children and youth. I have been doing this since 2016.
The best thing about training?
To say “leadership” I think is a bit cheating, so therefore I must say ukemi. When you let yourself be thrown around on the mat, you get a real adrenaline rush. You activate the whole body as well, so to say that it is not a good form of exercise would be a lie.

Misc:
Education: Physical literacy (basic and advanced course), Young leaders, sports injuries.
Recipient of the Sports Fund’s Youth Scholarship spring 2020.

Sophia Luo Aksnes

Rank:
2 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I started training in January 2011.

The best thing about training?
The best thing about training for me is the satisfactions I have experienced in different layers: the development of physical strength and physical betterment in general; the development of mental strength (e.g. learning of mind concentration and relaxation at the same time through breathing techniques); and also the experience of kindness and friendship felt in our community. The art of this unique balance in Aikido between mind, body and spirit make it attractive to many, regardless of genders, young or old, physically strong or not-strong build, you will certainly find your own expression here if you put work and heart into it.

Misc:
Completed the training Sports injuries-emergency care and SB&K group instructor training. Responsible for the plants in the club room.

Leonard Thimfors

Rank:
1 dan

Club function:
Instructor for group 4

How long have you been training?
I trained my first workout in 2010 when I was 11 years old. I was hooked from the first moment and have been hooked ever since.

The best thing about training?
That the training has no end. Every time I learn something new, three new questions come up, and I know that if, and only if, I continue to go to the sessions and make an effort, these new questions will be answered and in turn give rise to further thoughts.

The welcoming atmosphere in the dojo is invaluable. To have a place where you; are always greeted with a smile, are surrounded by people who are all passionate about a common interest, and help, support and challenge you to become – and be – the best version of yourself.

Carl Stenmark

Rank:
1 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I have been actively training for almost six years. I started at Riai aikido dojo in 2007, and then trained for a period in Skövde, and now I am back in Gothenburg.

The best thing about training?
The energy and peace you get from the training, and the community at the dojo. Everyone can train with each other regardless of rank and develop at their own pace mentally, physically and technically.

Orvar Stenberg

Rank:
3rd kyu

Club function:
I am an instructor for group 4 (13-15 year olds), and I also train a lot myself.

How long have you been training?
I started training around 9 years of age, in 2012. My friend trained at Riai, and I thought it seemed exciting, so then I followed him once. I was hooked instantly!

The best thing about training?
What I like about aikido is that it is different from many other martial arts. I practiced karate for a while before aikido, and I noticed that it was very military and hard. When I joined Riai I was surprised at how fun it can be, although it is still great training! We work with Happy Aikido at Riai, which is about training and having fun. Community is also incredibly important, and I have made many good friends through aikido!

Misc:
I’m in the Riai Aikido Taiko Drum Circle, where we play big traditional Japanese taiko drums. It really sets the atmosphere at shows, and is a lot of fun too! I have also been involved and learned a lot about the Physical Literacy concept, which is similar to Riai’s “Happy Aikido”, when it comes to enjoying and understanding movement. I have also attended the Young Leaders program, and participated in Sports Injury Courses, so you are in safe hands!

Emmy Segerström

Rank:
4 kyu

Club function:
I am a Young Leader for group 1 (5-7 years) and group 2b (7-9 years).

How long have I been training?
I started training when I was 12 years old (2016) because my friend dragged me along. I was hooked on Aikido, after the first session. My parents were initially skeptical of the sport because they were worried it would be too violent for me. But they soon realized that I was not going to stop nagging until they let me and now they both have a positive attitude towards aikido.

The best thing about training?
The best thing about Riai in my opinion is the community and the accepting atmosphere. Everyone is open to making new friends and no matter who you are, you will be welcomed and accepted. I have never been particularly interested in sports before, but Aikido suits me because it is not competition-oriented. You can train and develop at your own pace without feeling any pressure. But at the same time you are motivated to train harder because everyone is there to support you, cheer on and help when needed.

Misc:
I am part of the theater group where I, together with the others, write and perform plays. I have attended the Young Leadership Training, SISU’s sports injury course and the Physical Literacy training.

Alina Feiner

Rank:
4 kyu

Club function:
Young Leader for different children’s groups

How long have you been training?
I started in the children’s group when I was five years old, in 2009.

The best thing about training?
With the discipline itself, I like the focus on balance; to maintain your own balance and stability, and to break the balance of others. But also how the forms are balanced so that aikido can be considered an art form. I like the stability which exists in aikido, all forms revolve around a center. However, one of the best things about training is all the wonderful people. There is good unity and a nice atmosphere at the dojo.

Misc:
I am a member of the Riai Taiko Drum Circle and also occasionally participate in the theater group. In 2017, I attended Young Leadership Training. I have taken courses in Physical Literacy and sports injury education.

Kajsa Norrman

Rank:
1 kyu youth rank

Club function:
I help and train group 1 on Fridays, and I am responsible for the theater group.

How long have you been training?
I began training in 2012, and it was the best choice I’d made in my entire life. I hope to be able to continue training all my life.

The best thing about training?
For me, the best thing about the training is all the fantastic people I’ve met, and still meet to this day. At the club there is a wonderful inclusive culture and being respectful of everyone, which allows you to make wonderful friends of all ages. I can’t think of a group that I have had more fun moments with.
Another thing which should be mentioned is the feeling of being powerful in training. In the outside world, we often see people who are powerful in an unpleasant and aggressive way, with the aim of being “the strongest.” It’s, so to speak, not so nice. At the dojo, on the other hand, we are powerful together, in a respectful way.
Of course, being a leader, and meeting the children on Fridays, is the highlight of the week. Being a role model for someone is a wonderful feeling that everyone should experience.

Misc:
I am in the theater group, and responsible for us meeting and planning. I have also taken Riai’s young leadership course, a sports injury course, a film course and a physical literature course on Bosön.

Einar Klint

Rank:
3 kyu

Club function:
Train in group 4 and the road to shodan.

How long have you been training?
I started training at the dojo about six months after I moved to Gothenburg, so in the beginning of 2015. I was 12 years old and have trained since then.

The best thing about training?
Aikido gives me a calmness and a feeling of feeling power, you do not get anywhere else. The combination of the physical and the mental makes it something very special, something I love. In addition to the training itself, I have also made many friends and the social community is in my opinion as wonderful as the techniques and the ways of falling.

Misc:
I have been a Young Leader for a couple of years and attended the Young Leader training at Riai. I have also been to Physical Literacy and taken a class on preventive measures for sports injuries. I am also part of the drum group, which is very fun and something I look forward to developing.

Jonas Nilton

Rank:
3 kyu

Club function:
Instructor for children and youth groups

How long have you been training?
I have been practicing aikido since 2003, but took a break before I luckily started at Riai again in 2016.

The best thing about training?
Movement and training in all forms give me joy. Aikido is really multifaceted training, both for body and brain. Just when I think I have grasped something, I find the next step in my learning. Absolutely wonderful! In the children and youth groups, I contribute with a lot of mischief and play. We train a kind of budo, which offers a great opportunity for me to create joy and laughter on the mat. Together we have super fun, they challenge my ability to create a fun and developing environment, and I challenge them to take the next step in their development. Then, of course, I always make sure to get some of my favorite workout into the mix, brawl play – equal parts care and battle.

Misc:
Sometimes we have informal “mischief training” even for adults, that I initiated.

Johan Eriksson

Rank:
2 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I started training in 2004.

The best thing about training?
That you feel so good about it, both physically and mentally.

Misc:
I was uchideshi with Nemoto Sensei in Iwama, Japan in Christmas / Aug 2009. Have undergone the Swedish Budo and Martial Arts Association’s licensed training for group instructors.

Kareem Kent

Rank:
4 kyu

Club function:
I have been Young Leader for group 2 and am now Young Leader for 3 (and 4 if needed). I train with the adults and in the group “The road to the shodan”.

How long have you been training?
I have been training since 2007 when I started at Riai, Then I switched to the Gamlestadens aikido club and came back to Riai in 2016. When I started training, I felt that when I showed techniques to my friends, the techniques did not work. I always wanted to understand why they did not work. But, now I understand how more and more techniques work, and how to use them in real situations.

The best thing about training?
The best thing about training is probably the connection that is created between everyone I train with. Succeeding at a task has proven to be one of the best ways to create community and I feel that after a workout I can sit and have a conversation with any person in the dojo, as I sometimes do for example on the tram home or in the dojo kitchen. This is a community that I do not have and have not had in any other group or class – and that is what I think is most wonderful about aikido.

Misc:
I have attended the Young Leadership course at Riai, participated in MotorIQ in Gothenburg and in Stockholm. I am part of the theater group and have been involved in planning Happy Aikido summer camp on two occasions.

Djamin Kent

Rank:
3 kyu youth rank

Club function:
I am a youth leader for group 2A and train with Group 4 and “The road to the shodan”.

How long have you been training?
I started training when I was five ar Gamlestadens Aikido Dojo. After a few years, I switched to Riai Aikido Dojo where I quickly felt like part of the group. I really like to train at Riai, it’s just as fun to get into the dojo and train now – as it was when I started. I became a Young Leader 2018 and think it is incredibly fun to teach, what I have learned.

The best thing about training?
The best thing about the training is the community and all the friends you get around all parts of Sweden; when you go to camp, or when you attend different courses.

Misc:
I have attended a sports injury course, several physical literacy courses, a film course and a Young Leadership Training course. I’m also in the theater group.

Stefan Bede

Rank:
3 kyu

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
Did a semester in the late 90’s. When our son started training in 2011, it whetted my appetite.

The best thing about training?
Everyone trains on equal terms, there is no competitive element, which means I get to work with myself together with my training mates. There is no competition – everyone helps each other. Being so focused on one thing, and restricting the rest of the world from access to my mind – is purifying. A workout goes by so fast! Furthermore aikido is very stylish and elegant, while having firmness and attitude! When it looks agreed upon, the form and technique is the purest. Which appeals to me a lot…

Misc:
Instructor training step 1 and 2 by the Swedish Budo and the Martial Arts Association.

Jonne Ollakka

Rank:
2 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I started with aikido in February 2010.

The best thing about training?
We have a fantastic group of friends at Riai, who make me happy every session. Aikido training makes me more alert and stronger.

Misc:
I am the association’s internal auditor and part of the local group at the dojo.

Sten Rydell

Rank:
3 dan

Club function:
Instructor

How long have you been training?
I started training in 1985. (With a longer break.)

The best thing about training?
It is so incredibly varied and you can feel satisfied after.

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