A MARTIAL arts instructor and some of his group members travelled more than 500 miles to exchange tips with other enthusiasts.
Tony Hudspith and members of the Kazo Kuryu Aikido Club in Hartlepool, are fresh from a trip to Belgium, where they took part in Akido courses with more than 200 participants from England, Belgium and France.
It follows the success of a similar course in Brussels Tony was involved in in January.
Other instructors involved in the course were Jacques Mosbeux from Brussels who Tony classes as a dear friend who he says “helped immensely in bringing all the instructors together under one roof” and Fabienne Herbillon, chief instructor in Liege who is celebrating her 40th year in Aikido.
Also involved were top master Michel Desroches, from France, who was a direct student of Master Andre Nocquet who was the first ever westerner to train under the Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba.
Also there was France’s Philippe Chardonnieras who has vast experience and respect in Aikido circles.
Tony said: “I class it as an honour to share this course with such well-respected and talented Aikido instructors and I hope this will forge stronger links with our own group and theirs in the future.
“Aikido is classed as a friendly martial art and this course was called ‘Le Stage de l’amities’ – the course of friends.
“I have been to many courses in my 21 years in Aikido and have thoroughly enjoyed the family atmosphere on and off the mat.
“That goes for normal training sessions too and in the classes in our region there is always a good social aspect between all practitioners.”
Tony’s club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at The Stranton Centre, in Hartlepool’s Southburn Terrace.
The Northfield Akido Club from Billingham has started to join the group on Friday nights.
For further information call Tony on 07970413437 or visit www.kazokuryu.co.uk