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Francois Laharrague

Francois began his training in Aikido in January 2011, conveniently picking a dojo on his way back home from work to get some exercise. What he found instead was beyond his expectations. He discovered a way to release the pressure, bring spiritual balance, and most importantly, a way to improve oneself day by day. He dedicated his free time to the art, and after 2 years of rigorous training under the supervision of Sensei Jon Marshall, he received his 1st Dan black belt in march 2013.

Feeling the benefits of martial arts, Francois decided to further commit himself, and went on a break from the corporate world to pursue his passion. Guided by Sensei Jon Marshall, he left Australia for Japan in order to get a deeper understanding of Aikido. He undertook the intensive Senshusei course for a duration of one year, at the former Aikido Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, under the teachings of Saburo Takashima Sensei, Dojo-Cho of Aikido Sengenkan. On top of being Senshusei, he was accepted as Uchi Deshi ("live in student"), which made his training year invaluable. After completing the course, he received his Nidan (2nd dan black belt) and an instructor certification in march 2014.

Francois is now back in Melbourne, teaching at the Melbourne Budo Academy, giving back and sharing the invaluable lessons he received.

Amongst the many important aspects of Budo, like focus or self-discipline for example, Francois feels that the respect taught through Budo is the essential life lesson for human beings. If one can get better at it, the world can get better.