Training Across Borders

Almost three years ago I was assistant Manager (dogsbody) of an aikido seminar on Cyprus called Training Across Borders which changed my life and lead me to do what I do today.

It was done with the UN and involved people from various conflicted countries, mainly in the Middle East, training and living together. It was organised by Aiki Extensions. The following was my New Year’s message to the Yahoo group of some of the people who were at Training Across Borders, in response to my friend Ayman of Jordan.

TAB Brochure

Turkish and Greek Cypriot aikido instructors pictured

Happy 2008 to all my TAB friends! On the one hand and Cyprus seems like only yesterday, on the other so much has happened since:

World politics and violence has if anything got worse, with many of our countries engaged in hostilities. What Cyprus gave me was the hope that while conflict and prejudice while common, isn’t inevitable.

Cyprus also opened a new world to me in the form of work with Aiki Extensions, in the US, Brazil and Ethiopia primarily, and for that I’m very grateful. I‘ve also seen UKAE grow in the time: http//

Personally since Training Across Borders, I‘ve lost a grandfather, an aikido teacher (RIP William Smith), a good friend through suicide, broke my shoulder, had a tape worm, got addicted and sober again, almost died in a car accident and helped my mother overcome cancer. That’s life.

On the other hand I gained a brother in law in Cyprus just after TAB, and have made many more friends in the aikido world as a result. I’ve studied with Senseis, Levine, Strozzi Heckler, Linden and Buneo after Cyprus and gained a lot from that. I’ve had wonderful experiences teaching the children of Brazil, US and Ethiopia and seen beautiful sights in all the countries I’ve visited…I won’t dwell on the girlfriends…

Now I’ve finally settled down and am starting the challenge of setting up a business in Brighton UK. I hope I can in bring a bit of health, peace and happiness to people in my home country through my TAB inspired work, and wish you all the same in 2008.