Aikido on the beach - is possible on Tenerife.
A couple of years ago Björn Carsten Schultheis has opened a dojo on this island blessed with natural beauty. Our September article brings us to a very Southern part of Europe.
Seifukan on Tenerife Island
My name is Bjoern Carsten Schultheis. I began with aikido in 1992 when I was studying medicine in Bad Aachen. There I met Marcel Goergens, and I practiced at his place for my whole university time. I still can remember very well the first time I met with Shimizu Sensei. It was in October the same year, and what I saw and experienced then affirmed my decision to dedicate a big part of my life to aikido.
Since my childhood I had a dream to leave Germany and live nearby an ocean. Many years later, when I had graduated in anesthetics and intensive care, I was offered an opportunity by a friend to go to Tenerife Island. I had always known that wherever I will live I will practice aikido, that is Shimizu Sensei’s Tendoryu aikido. My mother passed away suddenly, a relationship had broken apart and I didn’t have career perspectives in Germany. So before I actually left Germany I asked Shimizu Sensei whether I could open a dojo in Tenerife / Spain. I was filled with with joy and energy when Shimizu Sensei gave me his permission. After I had completely moved, Marcel Goergens helped me to build a practice location. Within a couple of days we finished. And the tatami I had brought with me from Germany (I got them in Munich from a place that had damage by fire and water) could be laid out. Meanwhile I also found a few souls, who were keen to learn aikido.
Thus we could start with regular classes. Often we had to adjust to the weather conditions. It was truly a great experience to train outside with such a splendid view. And over the years a small but nice group developed, that practiced steadily and with great commitment. Often we got support from Marcel Goergens and Jos van Roy.
There were also Eckhardt Hemkemeier, Olaf Mueller, Lars Vollpracht and Bjoern Ole Pfannekuche who supported us. Unfortunately in the end of 2010 we had to leave our first dojo in Tabaiba Alta, because the owner of the house returned to Spain. Therefore we had to look for a new place. My brother in law had a huge garage which we changed into a dojo. From then on we practiced there and occasionally on the beach. The core of the group stayed and consisted mainly of my Spanish family. That is because in the meantime also I got married and my two little treasures were born.
Then due to the serious economic crisis we had go back to Germany - temporarily. Above all our third child is on the way. The decision to leave Tenerife was a difficult one. But I have learned to become soft. I am very happy that Shimizu Sensei and Wakasensei agreed that during my absence Nelson Falcon Hernandez and Neftali Garcia Yanes lead the dojo. I am confident, that they are taking good care of the young planted sapling.
I would like to thank all who have accompanied me on this way. Special thanks to Shimizu Sensei, Marcel Goergens, Jos vanRoy and of course to my dear wife.
Björn Carsten Schultheis