A SPECIAL WORK AREA ESSENTIAL FOR AIKIDO
The place where aikido is practiced is at least as important as what is done there.
- ALAIN PEYRACHE
The dojo is a unique and indispensable space for the development of Aikido. It is the place "jo" where one studies the way "do". Since words have meaning, it is important to be faithful to the meaning of the dojo and to function in a coherent way.
The dojo is not a place of confrontation where one measures who is the champion.
It is a friendly place where everything has their place, or everyone has to find themselves and seek to improve.
The dojo is the master's place of business. It is the equivalent of the baker's bakery, or the gallery of a painter. The master gives his vision of his art and people come to this dojo because they appreciate his product. His students are both his clients and his employees. They choose this teacher for the quality of his or her teaching. They consume, but they also develop their own autonomy by assisting the teacher in his tasks and learning the basics of the profession, so that the student may open his own dojo one day. The practice of aikido therefore calls for much more than simple martial practice.
The notion "a master-dojo" is at the center of our philosophy. Our schools are affiliated with EPA-ISTA, which is the name of Alain Peyrache's world dojo. Eric Plamondon, his student, represents him here in his dojos and tries to reproduce as faithfully as possible the teaching that was transmitted to him. Alain Peyrache was himself the pupil of Master Tamura, probably one of the world’s greatest experts of aikido. Our aikido and what we practice is neither more nor less than the logical continuity of traditional aikido.
This is the origin of the name of our schools "IstaQuebec"
(International School of Traditional Aikido, Quebec section)
Our dojos are therefore branches of Alain Peyrache's global dojo.
"At our place there are no grades"
This is what makes us unique.
Aikido is an art like painting, so how can one realistically be graded (was Picasso a black belt, Da Vinci a second dan?)
Aikido is a tool for self-knowledge. How can we say that we have reached a certain degree of personal development? And even if this were possible, no one but yourself could ever really valuate you. Aikido is a long journey of infinite self-improvement.
As a result, you will not find in our system any grades, rather serious and rigorous practice where we constantly put our work to the test. We work toward "misogi", the elimination of all that is not essential to our work. This includes grades, titles and competitions.
Knowing yourself through the practice of aikido is already quite complex enough. We cannot waste time with frivolities.