“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”
It was at our parent’s kitchen where I made my first aikido technique. My brother, who had just attended his aikido basic course, wanted to demonstrate his new skills and made a shihonage using me as his uke – but smoothly I just slipped away with a perfect kaeshi waza. I’m still trying to rediscover the softness and fluency I had at that time.
Next September, the year was 2001, my brother took me with him to the Sports hall of Pori where Fudoshin Aikido Dojo practiced. I was a 14 years old girl with no knowledge or experience of aikido or any other martial arts. I had been dancing for few years and partly because of this when I for the first time saw how aikido is practised, my undivided attention was drawn to the way how the trainers used their bodies. At that moment I was and I still am fascinated by the way how people move in aikido.
In a nutshell: I started aikido because it was beautiful.
The main teacher of Fudoshin Aikido Dojo was mr. Risto Tenhunen. And there, under his strict but supportive instruction I little by little build the basic knowledge and expertise of my aikido. There’s plenty of things I can be more than grateful for mr. Tenhunen and one of them is that he couraged me to take part in the seminars of different teachers and also introduced to me some of the first-rate teachers, including mr. Petteri Silenius, mr. Kazuo Igarashi and mr. Tetsutaka Sugawara. All of them have impressed me deeply and have had a huge influence on my aikido – as well as mr. Tenhunen.
When I moved to Helsinki at 2006 because of my studies I joined the University Aikido club Seitokai Dojo and also started to practice in Aalto Aikikai dojo and more or less occasionally in Meidokan Dojo. Even though I was a bit confused after changing the dojo where I practiced, I graduated my 1. dan at the December 2007.
Next milestone was 2010 when I fulfilled my dreams and traveled to Japan. I spent 5 weeks in Hashimoto as mr. Kazuo Igarashi’s uchideshi. During these weeks, filled with training, first-rate teaching, new ideas, astonishment, experiences, cherry blossoms and confusion, I learned much about aikido but even more about myself.
At the spring 2012 I made my second trip to Japan, this time together with my good friend mrs. Jenny Tervakari. For the first month we worked as Kobayashi Dojo’s uchideshis and lived in mr. Yazuo Kobayashi’s home dojo in Kodaira. For the next two months we stayd in Hashimoto under mr. Kazuo Igarashi’s instruction.
In addition to aikido I also studied in Helsinki and finally got my master degree at 2013. And soon after that I got a job from city of Jyväskylä. So I left my familiar dojos in Helsinki area and joined Jigotai Dojo in Jyväskylä.
As already mentioned, I was just 14 years old when I started aikido, just a teenage girl, so until this moment I have been practising during half of my life.