Connect with us


A moving meditation

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Making a guest appearance at the Aikido of Phuket dojo across from Bangkok Hospital, Aikido Grand Master Nobuo Maekawa exceeded my per-conceived expectations of the quintessential Japanese martial artist. Small in stature but huge in confidence, aging but incredibly able and agile, lighthearted yet deeply philosophical and reflective.

“It is a moving meditation. Blend, like cafe au lait. If the coffee [is] too late, milk too fast, not a good taste – same time, together. It’s a middle point.” said the 65-year-old Sensei Maekawa while gesticulating with fiery enthusiasm. Maekawa has been studying Aikido since the early 60s when it was first being popularized as a distinct form of martial arts.

“I wanted to do karate, but my father said no. I found one person, a school teacher and calligrapher, a very famous person – not a professional, but my father said ‘it’s ok’.” And so it began.”

After organizing an Aikido club at his high school and another when he attended Tottori University, Maekawa began practicing karate in Okinawa and continued building on his skills by practicing various other martial arts.

From 1980 to 1997 Maekawa trained students in Aikido at Tottori University and in 1988 continued passing on his martial arts skills and philosophical teachings to students at Ryukyu University, where he continues to do so today.

As a major name in the world of Aikido, and having reached the 6th degree black belt, Maekawa finds himself travelling the world, accepting invitations to impart his knowledge and skills to those who share his passion.

The martial art of Aikido was developed following World War II out of the skills and styles of the samurai of feudal Japan. “Techniques are centered around harmonizing with your opponent. They are characterized by circular, natural, flowing movements,” says Aikido of Phuket’s website.

Aikido of Phuket co-founder Gerald Tuckwood compares it to the slower, more meditative martial art of tai chi. Although in practical use, Aikido movements to defend oneself are initiated quickly, it is practiced and trained at a slower pace.

Watching the students of Aikido of Phuket in their practice with Sensei Maekawa, it was apparent that there was a strong focus on manipulating pressure points on the arms, wrists and neck and controlling the momentum of incoming attacks to throw opponents. These throwing methods allude to judo and jujitsu influences.

Of equal, or even more importance than the physical methods used in Aikido, are the philosophical and spiritual doctrines adhered to by practitioners. Credited with being the original founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba is also responsible for the ideologies associated with Aikido, such as the concept that it should be used in such a way as to avoid injuring attackers, and that instead of going against an opponent, defenders should harmonize with them.


While talking with the Gazette, Maekawa likened Aikido philosophies with those of Gestalt psychological theory which concerns perception and the, “essence or shape of an entity’s complete form.”

Maekawa and his disciples, such as Aikido of Phuket owners Gerald Tuckwood and David Bare, are carrying on the legacy of Morihei Ueshiba and continuing the traditions of Aikido.

“To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real ‘Way of a Warrior’ is to prevent such slaughter – it is the art of peace, the power of love.” – Morihei Ueshiba.

Interested in trying Aikido? Visit the dojo in person at 266 Yaowarat
Rd, Talat Yai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000, call 086-007 4010
or visit them on the web at:

— Jeremie Schatz


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of10 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 most family-friendly resorts

Transport10 hours ago

Transport Company announces bus services are suspended until August 31

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 29 provinces now on curfew, booze ban in Phuket

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Insurgency13 hours ago

Volunteer ranger killed in grenade attack by suspected insurgents

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 Spas in Koh Samui

Thailand13 hours ago

Hemp ice cream hits the Thai market

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chon Buri14 hours ago

Chon Buri sets local order, restaurants in malls to only offer food for delivery

Thailand14 hours ago

Samut Prakan man dies in fire, possibly self-inflicted

Thailand15 hours ago

Royal Thai Police say bitterleaf can’t cure Covid

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand16 hours ago

Air Asia technician arrested for allegedly stealing electronics

Pattaya16 hours ago

“Pattaya Move On” reopening likely to be postponed as Covid cases surge

Thailand16 hours ago

3 metre long python caught near family’s house in Phuket

Thailand18 hours ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

Phuket18 hours ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8