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Paul Muller in Aïkido

My teachers :

May 1963: I started practicing Aikido in Strasbourg, France, under Fernand SIMON (6th Dan Aikido,  and 6th Dan Judo) in May 1963.  In this time, NAKAZONO Sensei and NORO Sensei came frequently to Strasbourg to teach one-week training courses.

1964 – 1968: In 1964, TAMURA Sensei arrived in France. I attended several trainings (some in summer were 4-weeks long, with 5 hours daily practice) with NAKAZONO Sensei and TAMURA Sensei who often worked together at that time. NORO Sensei maintained good contacts with the two Hombu Dojo delegates, but he left the then-existing common federation.

1968 – 1971: As a student in Paris, I enrolled in NAKAZONO Sensei’s two dojos there. At the request of the Paris University and with NAKAZONO Sensei’s permission, I started teaching Aikido in October 1968 at the Centre Sportif Universitaire of Paris (Quartier latin). 

1971 – 1973: I taught Aikido at the Strasbourg University Sports Center and in two other dojos, and continued following NAKAZONO Sensei and TAMURA Sensei’s classes.

1973 – 1978: NAKAZONO Sensei left France for the USA. TAMURA Sensei requested CHIBA Sensei, who was living in London at that time, to help him in his teaching activity in France. He also asked his senior-most students to attend CHIBA Sensei’s training courses in England and to invite him to France as often as possible – which is what I did.

1974 – 1982: First reunification of French Aikido within the FFJDA (Judo Federation of France) – a golden age for Aikido in France, with an increase in membership by 15% each year. TAMURA Sensei chose five assistants on the national level to assist him in leading official training courses on French soil. I was one among them, in charge of the northeast region of France.

June 1982TAMURA Sensei left the official French federation (UNA - FFJDA). 40% of practitioners followed TAMURA Sensei and left the FFJDA. They joined the FFLAB (the present day FFAB). The other 60% (among whom his senior-most students included me) chose to remain within the FFJDA. 

1983: These 60% of the aikidokas who remained within the FFJDA, ended up leaving it as well, but they did so in full agreement with the FFJDA. They then created the FFAAA.

1986: During my trip to Japan and in parallel to my daily training at Aîkikai Hombu Dojo Tokyo, I met NISHIO Sensei. I took the initiative to arrange for a teaching invitation for him through my federation (FFAAA) as early as 1989. 
At the invitation of the FFAAA and under my responsibility, NISHIO Sensei made 12 visits to France in order to lead official training courses, from 1989 through 2000.

1986 – 2005: I followed NISHIO Sensei’s teachings and also continued attending classes regularly at Aikikai Hombu Dojo each time I visited Tokyo.

Since 2005: I try to go at least once a year to Japan to attend classes at Hombu Dojo.


My teaching commitments and responsibilities in the field of Aïkido :

1966 – 1968: As a student in Strasbourg, I taught Karate classes in 1967-68. Following Nakazono Sensei’s advice, I started practicing Karate in 1964.

1968 – 1971: During my years as a student in Paris, I started teaching Aïkido classes in October 1968 at the Paris University Sports Center, (Jean Sarrailh Sports Center), Boulevard du Luxembourg, located right in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

Since September 1971: I have been teaching Aïkido at the Strasbourg University Sports Centre (CSU), at the rhythm of 3 to 4 sessions per week. 

Since 1972, I am also in charge of classes in another dojo at the Strasbourg Railwaymen’s Sports Association. 

Thanks to these two dojos, my students have the possibility to train every day, and even twice on certain days.

1974 – 1982 : At TAMURA Sensei’s request, I served as one of the five national assistants within the official federation UNA – FFJDA.

Since 1983 : I am a member of the joint technical committee: CTP (2001 – 2008)  of the UFA (Aikido Federation Union) which brings together the five topmost rankers of the FFAB (French Aïkido and Budo Federation ). 

Since 2008, I chair the CTF (Federal Technical Committee) of the FFAAA.

Since 2003 : Besides teaching at the CSU, I have also been teaching at the National School of Administration (ENA).  

Abroad: Since several years, I am a visiting for Aïkido teaching, several Aïkido groups in Germany, Austria, Russia, Canada, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Morocco. 


My ranks :

Shodan Aïkikai:  06 August 1966
Nidan Aïkikai: 22 February  1969
Sandan Aïkikai: 11 August 1971
Yon dan Aïkikai: 12 February 1977
Godan Aïkikai: 13 January 1991
Roku dan Aïkikai: 27 May 1995
Nanadan Aïkikai : 13 January 2013

Since 1976, the Aïkido grades in France are issued by the State (state grades). Therefore, it is now compulsory for a French practitioner to take the French Aïkido grade exams before taking those of the Hombu Dojo.

5th Dan (French) in Aïkido: May 1981
6th Dan (French) in Aïkido: 07 January 1991
7th Dan (French) in Aïkido: September 2004.

IAIDO  : 5th Dan in Iaido Toho from Nishio Sensei.