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Introducing: Tendoryu Aikido in Deggendorf / Germany
Tuesday, 01. May 2012
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In May we want to introduce a dojo in the South of Germany. From the head of dojo Robert Hundshammer we hear that the idyllic location in the countryside offers not only advantages.

Introducing: TSV Deggendorf since 1864, section Aikido

In short form:

country Germany / Bavaria
established 1976
Tendoryu-Aikido since 1979
legal form registered nonprofit association
members about 50 members (including children)
head coach / Cheftrainer Robert Hundshammer
other trainer Max Birkeneder, Stephan Schmid (youth trainer)
info www.aikido-deggendorf.de

Bavaria is known for its Oktoberfest, leather shorts, pleasant beer and the castles built by the bavarian king Ludwig II. Maybe also for soccer and wintersports.

The city of Deggendorf (about 30.000 inhabitants) is located about 150 km northeast of Munich near the Czech border – at the edge of the Bavarian Forest, in an idyllic countyside, between the tourist spots of Regensburg and Passau

And here you will find Aikido?

“They didn’t know anything
They had no dojo
They had no tatami
But they succeded with the mind of beginners (shoshin)
And an idea of aikido in the heads”
(this could be the begin of a fictious movie trailer)

The history of aikido in Deggendorf is a mixture of self- initiative, friendship, effort and loyalty.

In 1975 the Judoka and school teacher Gerhard Brunner got hold of one of the first books on aikido and gathered spontanously a few people interested. Being bloody beginners, the book in one hand, the uke in the other hand they tried to explain each other shiho nage and ikkyo while they were smiled at by the other Judoka. Shortly after that, Robert Hundshammer, who is today‘s head coach, joined them. The group started to atend seminars in major cities (Munich, Nuremberg, Hannover) and in 1976 became an official section in the Deggendorf sportsclub.

“A hakama seemed to be suspicious
A shodan was similar to a demigod
They practised shiho nage
But for them sankyo and sushi would have been the same
And so a 4.kyu at the age of 17 years became head coach and head of the dojo”
(trailer text, part 2)

There was a key moment in 1979: The Deggendorf group met Shimizu Sensei on a seminar in Erlangen and they were instantly thrilled at Shimizu Sensei’s circular and dynamic aikido, which matched with their vague idea of aikido and it also really worked. Shimizu Sensei’s friendly and open character helped that the self-taught people of Deggendorf did overcome their timidity and would follow Shimizu Sensei as their role model.

Robert Hundshammer, at that time 17 years old took over the training and the section and followed with his group the teachings of Shimizu Sensei. Whenever there was a seminar with Shimizu Sensei or one of his most advanced students from Germany, people from Deggendorf attended and passed on what they have learned.

The group expanded, the techniques improved and seminars were organized.
In 1981 the first shodan was given to Deggendorf and this student became the chairman of Bavaria.

In the middle of the 80‘ Shimizu Sensei was teaching in Deggendorf for the first time. With this seminar this young group has come of age and has been repected.

Today…

  • we are recognized in the world of aikido as well as in the society,
  • each Monday and Friday we can take advantage of a nice school gym,
  • we have about 200 m2 tatami available, which is our own,
  • we have about 50 active aikidoka (children included) and qualified teachers up to 5th dan,
  • as a rural dojo we are annoyed when young promising aikidoka migrate into major cities for job-related reasons,
  • we organize seminars and we self teach seminars
  • and we always welcome guests from all over the world, – not long ago in March 2012 Shimizu Sensei and Wakasensei visited us.

“I know the Deggendorf group since 1979. During these 33 years, also during difficult times, this dojo has been loyal to Tendoryu Aikido and has always supported my aikido.”
(Shimizu Sensei, Deggendorf seminar , March 2012)

In the future we want…

  • consider building a dojo of our own,
  • to bring more young people to Tendoryu Aikido, the twa and Tendokan
  • to stick to Tendoryu aikido

During all this time…

  • we have learned that aikido is nothing you can take for granted. We started with nothing and had to pay our dues,
  • we have learned that in budo you have to bear responsibility. Aikidoka from Deggendorf always have been present in the Bavarian aikido from the start,
  • we received the support by Shimizu Sensei.

In this spirit we want to express our gratitude to Shimizu Sensei for 33 years of continuous support and solidarity!

Robert Hundshammer