Instructors at Pacific Shizen Aikido teach on a voluntary basis, for the love of the Art. They come with rich and diverse backgrounds in Aikido and in complimentary studies.
Alix Flavelle – Co-founder and Lead instructor
Alix started her Aikido practice in Nelson, BC in 1996 with Jean-Rene Leduc Sensei. She has made several intensive training trips to Japan to train with Takeda Sensei and other teachers in AKI. She received her 4th-dan through AKI and Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2017.
In 2019, she opened a dojo space built at her home near Prospect Lake.
Alix Flavelle was first introduced to Aikido by Tamami Nakashimada Sensei (Suganuma Shihan) in 1989 while completing an M.Sc. in Forestry at UBC. She traveled extensively in SE Asia and Africa working with environmental organizations and indigenous communities developing and teaching community mapping methods for the purpose of resolving land use conflicts. During those travels and many trips made exclusively for training Aikido, she has visited dojos in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Greece, Switzerland, and around the USA and Canada.
Philipp Gawthrop – co-founder and former lead instructor
Philipp began Aikido training while living in Kobe, Japan, at the Seibukan Dojo with Yokota Sensei and Nakao Shingo Sensei, in 1987. By the early 90’s he was a founding student member of Kootenay Aikido Kenkyukai, and trained for over 15 years with Jean-Rene Leduc Sensei in the West Kootenays. He attained 5th degree black belt in 2017.
While completing graduate studies in Music-Thanatology in Missoula, Montana, Philipp also trained with Raso Hultgren Sensei of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. He is a founding member of the non-profit society Pacific Shizen Aikido in Victoria, BC, which is a member dojo of Aikido Kenkyukai International, headed by Takeda Sensei. Philipp has made numerous return visits to Japan for intensive training, and continues to promote local and global exchanges of Aikido, attending many seminars and gasshukus with teachers of various affiliations and styles throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In 2020, Philipp moved back to Nelson, BC. where he continues to practice and teach.