Juan José Dólera Martínez

# Early times
As a teenager, I started my journey with Karate.  Getting almost black belt I learned the principles of discipline, Kihon (base work) and the value of personal growth. Thanks to Ryoichi Onaga, currently 9th Dan, master of Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate Do

# The spark
Before starting university I met Aikido by chance. A teacher came around my city for a small seminar and in the very first class he took me and stared at me while doing Nikyo: “It is said that the pain of Nikyo reaches your heart…”. At that moment I knew Aikido will be with me forever. My body (not me) understood that the movement came not because of a wrist-twisting but because of a deep connexion (straight to the “heart”). Now, many years later I know that this is the principle of Aikido, “Ai”, harmony, connexion…

After that episode, I looked for my local teacher and I started practicing. Thanks to Jose Antonio Bernal for those years and his patient training almost alone and continuous searching for an adequate dojo.

In these times, Yasunari Kitaura (8th Dan) was a great reference.

As an adult, I continued studying Aikido with my “true” teacher, Jesus Arce (5th Dan), to whom I owe the aikidoka I am today. Thanks to him for showing the principle of learning beyond the technique and the principle of transmission. Thanks to him for his friendship.

In this years I belonged to the Spanish Association of Aikido but the major influence came from great master Tamura Sensei (8th Dan). I had the privilege of meeting him and some people of his school such us Claude Pellerin (8th Dan) or Gilbert Milliat (7th Dan). Special mention for Michel Prouveze who combines Iaido (4th Dan) and Aikido (7th Dan) seamlessly. In a different line, I trained with Endo Sensei (8th Dan) as well.

# Recent times
Moving from Spain to Ireland I continue my journey with Detlef Sensei (5th Dan). Thanks to him for giving me the opportunity of teaching, which is the next step in the process of learning.

Now references are Shihan Saotome Sensei (8th Dan) and Shihan Philippe Gouttard Sensei (7th Dan).