Hind passes on aikido from the best
Tony Hind grew up in Vancouver, and received top martial arts advice while living in Japan.
But the weekend marked his first visit to Prince George. The chief instructor of Gastown Aikikai in Vancouver, Hind travelled north to run a seminar for Prince George Aikido.
The relationship between Prince George Aikido Sensei Mike Moyer and Hind played a leading role in making the visit a reality. Moyer lived in the Lower Mainland for a few years from 2009 to 2012. During that time, he trained with Hind.
Hind has decades of experience in aikido. He is the only Canadian, and one of only a handful of foreigners, to ever reside in Hombu Dojo, the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. He lived and trained there from October 1990 until February 1992.
At the Aikido World Headquarters, Hind received direct training from the founder’s son and successor, Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who passed away in 1999.
“That level of experience is very hard to come by. Sensei Hind is one of our higher-ranked instructors in B.C., let alone Canada,” Moyer says. “His knowledge and experience, where most instructors have spent most of their time in Canada, he’s actually gone to the source right in Japan and you can’t get any better than that, the numerous years that he spent over there training. No other Canadian has ever lived at Hombu Dojo so that level of experience, it’s not read in a book or watched on YouTube, that experience is a craft and it takes many years to hone. For me, to have that technical experience is second to none.”
Hind, a 51-year-old Port Coquitlam product, established himself as one of the few foreign instructors in Japan. He ran seven dojos in Tokyo, providing instruction to international students, CEOs, and other professionals. He also taught the discipline to military security officers from the Canadian embassy, American FBI agents, and naval attaches.
After living in Japan for nearly 15 years, Hind relocated back to his home country in 2001. Canada is also where he started his aikido path. He attended Kawahara Shihan’s first B.C. Summer Camp in New Denver in 1979.
Hind, despite his level of expertise, wasn’t blowing his horn too much during his Prince George visit. He appreciates the interest shown by the students in Moyer’s club.
“He has a core group of people and the only way to build up a core is to train them, so they can pass it on to other people,” Hind says. “That’s why I came up to help him. It’s not about numbers.”
The seminar included sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They unfolded at Prince George Aikido, located at 1200 La Salle Ave.
The seminar was between 10 and 12 hours long. Hind says he worked on basics with the students.
“I always focus on the footwork and the falling because, to fall properly, you can throw people harder.”
Sunday’s session wrapped up with weapon training.
“At the end, the knife techniques, it’s just kind of an award, it’s kind of fun,” Hind says. “It’s a martial art, people forget that.”
Moyer expressed appreciation for the aikido instruction provided by Hind.
“That level, when you’ve trained and worked that hard at it, it is a very effective martial art, probably more so than some of the other martial arts that are out there.”