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The Establishing of movingeast 1999

In 1992 Aikido & Kashima Shinryu master, Inaba Sensei, selected 10 Aikido practitioners from Europe and the USA to attend a course in Japan. The participants were selected with the advice of Sekiya Sensei, by then an instructor at The Shiseikan, who had travelled widely and perhaps knew more foreign practitioners than did Inaba Sensei at that time. Among those participating were Bjorn Eirik Olsen, Director of The Norwegian Aikido Federation, Elias Papathanasis, Head of Athens Dojo, and his wife, Aphrodite, myself and my partner, Sasha Roubicek.

Whilst in Iwate we were taken to the Kenji Miyazawa Memorial Centre. Kenji Miyazawa, born 1896, was a geologist, poet, novelist and amateur astronomer, he set up a kind of inter-disciplinary centre in which industrialists, artists and scientists came together, exchanging ideas and worked with the local community attempting to improve the lot of impoverished farmers. Kenji Miyazawa was also concerned about ecological issues believing that man needed to find a balance with the rest of nature.

The visit to this centre inspired me and I decided that, sometime in the future, I would establish an inter-disciplinary centre in London. I talked with colleagues in both the dance and martial arts worlds about founding an interdisciplinary centre where we could bring our expertise together. The premises at St. Matthias Church Hall became available in 1999 and with the invaluable support of my partner, Sasha Roubicek, Robert Cowham, Simon Arridge, Joe Mulvey and other members of my Aikido practice, we opened the doors of moving
east in March of that year. I was honoured that on my invitation, Inaba Sensei, accompanied by Endo San, led the ceremonial opening of movingeast that May.

Paul Douglas

Director, moving
east


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movingeast gratefully acknowledges
financial support from
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