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Reynaldo Van Der Straaten

Rey first started training Aikido in August 2007 as a method to get fit.

Having left formal study and finding himself in the corporate world; he sought a way where he could maintain physical exercise after work to add to his involvement with team sports. Having loved martial arts in the books and movies he indulged in since young, he sought a martial art with meaning for a lengthy period of time before discovering Aikido via an invitation from a work colleague. What started as a way to maintain fitness and learn ‘’cool’’ martial arts soon became an avenue to the joys of training and continuing journey of self-improvement.

Rey attained the rank of 1st Dan black belt at the Aikido Shudokan in December 2010. He was awarded the rank of Nidan (2nd dan black belt) in December 2012, and Sandan (3rd dan black belt) in December 2017. Rey owes the Aikido he has learnt in the past through Joe Thambu Shihan. Rey acknowledges Thambu Shihan’s excellence in teaching and continues to apply the lessons learned in his pursuit of other martial arts, as well as instructing both adults and the children’s classes at the Melbourne Budo Academy. Rey continues to be committed to learning from and assisting Jon Marshall Sensei at the Melbourne Budo Academy.

Rey believes that apart from fitness, self-defence, and confidence that training in Aikido has imparted to him – it is Awareness that is paramount. He believes that it is the awareness of one’s self and actions that will allow the fostering of harmony between himself and his environment. It is with enthusiasm and love for Aikido that he wishes to share with others that take up this martial art also.

Rey’s passion is learning other martial arts where the opportunity affords him. He continues to study Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and has grown in understanding and respect for Aikido by learning the combative and no-nonsense approach of his native FMA. He hopes to get back into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu soon and one day hope to train in Judo.