Ann Reekie Sensei commenced aikido training under Saburo Takayasu Sensei (7th Dan) and Michael Marelli Sensei (6th Dan) in 1994 at the North Sydney Dojo. She was awarded her black belt in 1999. Soon after this, Ann began teaching as an assistant instructor at Ian Thomson Sensei (5th Dan)'s Camperdown dojo.
Ann has traveled extensively to attend intensive aikido seminars and to be immersed in the world of aikido as a live-in student with many internationally renowned senior Sensei. She has studied with the late Morihiro Saito Sensei 9th Dan and his son Hitohiro Saito Sensei 7th Dan in Iwama, Japan. She has also studied with Ulf Evenas Sensei 7th Dan in Sweden and Patricia Hendricks Sensei 6th Dan in the USA.
Ann was awarded her current ranking of 4th Dan by Ulf Evenas Shihan who is now Ann’s Sensei. This rank is recognized by the Aikikai Foundation (Aikido World Headquarters) in Japan. Her dojo is a member of the Australian Takemusu Aikido Renmei incorporated (ATARi). Ann is also an accredited Martial Arts Instructor through Australia’s National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS).
Aikido is much more than a martial art for Ann. It is a way of life which develops capacities of awareness, sensitivity, respect and nurturing. It is great for physical exercise, balance and flexibility. The comprehensive and complex array of techniques keeps one mentally and spiritually alert. And it’s fun! The magic of aikido – a fascination and awe at how it all works – is what keeps Ann ‘hooked’.
With a Japanese mother, Ann grew up creating origami, playing Japanese games and singing Japanese songs. As an adult, Ann lived in Japan studying many of the cultural arts including ikebana (flower arrangement), shuuji (calligraphy), ningyo (traditional doll-making), Sadoo (green tea ceremony) and Nihonbuyoo (Japanese traditional dance). She also has a background in music and dance. Ann draws on these combined experiences to enrich the Aikido Japanese program for children.
Professional and Educational Background
After studying electrical engineering, Ann’s first career was in finance and operations strategy. Having moved to Canberra to start a family, Ann is now living her passion: teaching Aikido and Japanese. She did her post-graduate studies in Japanese and Education at the University of Canberra. In each year 2009, 2010 and 2011, Ann was awarded a Dean’s Excellence Award. The focus, discipline and creativity required to achieve this shines through in the unique teaching methodology and original syllabus ideas that Ann has developed for the children.
"Aikido means the way of harmony. Aikilife dojo will plant a joyful seed of harmony in all who come."
Ann Reekie Sensei