I am delighted to share this excellent news with you. The Peace Dojos International network is pleased to welcome two new Peace Dojo candidates.
In order to facilitate the access of new dojos to the Peace Dojos International network, the steering committee changed the recognition procedure to become a peace dojo. A new intermediate step has been put in place, that of Peace Dojo Candidate.
Once a member of the steering committee contacts a dojo cho who has explicitly expressed his intent to establish a peace dojo and finds that both the practice and the spirit of the dojo are oriented toward greater peace, the steering committee member may recognize the dojo as a Peace Dojo Candidate. This first step opens the door to the “more formal certification” that will take place and will be declared by the steering committee.
That’s the approach I followed. In April 2017, I met with Jack Richford in the United States. I had known Jack for years and I was eager to get acquainted with him in his dojo. There, we chatted, we had discussions, we practiced, and we did plenty of brainstorming about how to make Aïki practice a practice of reconciliation and peace.
And at the beginning of June I met with Jean-Rock Fortin, who was spending a few days on vacation in Paris. Amazingly enough, it is in the Luxembourg Gardens that we talked and even practiced some exercises. This was amazing because nine years earlier, to the day, at the very same place, I met with Don Levine, the founder of Aiki Extensions .
For me, meeting Don Levine was an extraordinary opportunity to discover that I was not alone in the world in my quest to adapt aikido applications to daily life. Nine years later, I was back in Paris myself, in the position of welcoming another sensei to introduce him to the existence of a network of dojos desiring to go beyond mere physical practice to contribute to a better world.
The first Peace Dojos International Peace Dojo Candidate is SHAMOKIN AIKIDO KAI.
Led by Jack Richford and assisted by Ted Kendris, this dojo is located in a former church in Shamokin, Pennsylvania (USA).
Jack Richford is committed to sharing the values of dialogue, listening, and respect through his aikido classes for adults and children. Jack is an avid researcher of what his martial art can bring to those who practice it.
The second Peace Dojo Candidate is located in Quebec (Canada) and is directed by Jean Rock Fortin, shihan. Jean Rock defines himself as a globetrotter for both business and pleasure, a martial arts instructor (Ki-Aikido), an artistic knife maker, and an author. He is also a consultant in sustainable development. His dojo, the KI-AÏKIDO-KAÏ QUÉBEC, already bears the label of peace dojo, clear evidence of how the dojo is oriented towards listening to oneself, working with Ki in its dimension of reunification of body and mind, and practicing aikido for more harmony in all the dimensions of one’s being.
On behalf of the steering committee, I would like to welcome these two new members of the Peace Dojo International network. Their new status as Peace Dojo Candidate opens the doors to invite them in and show us their dojo and their project. Their dojo presentation will be submitted to the Steering Committee to begin the certification process..