Joël Chemin’s Itinerary

Who is Joël Chemin?
Born in a working class family, product of may 68, Joël left France in 72 with his wife Annie, to travel the world.
First they hitchhiked from Nantes to Istanbul, and then they travelled throughTurkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmere and India with local transports. They stayed four months in India, where they were shaken up by their experiences. Joël who used to be very rational started to be interested by Benares and Khajuraho.
Their travel continued on and when money ran short they need to go to Australia by boat to find work. In order to get there however, the authorities in Singapur insisted on themalready having a return flight ticket.
Annie and Joël didn’t have enough money to buy it. Vietnam was at war, Cambodgia too. Annie and Joël decided to go to Laos to work, even if the situation there was tense. The stayed for 7 month. They worked on small jobs, and Joël caught malaria. Their financial situation worsened.
During this time they heard that it was easier to find work in Japan. So they sold their camera, and bought plane tickets to Japan.
They arrived in Japan in september, 1974.
It is the beginning of another travel, with the discovery of Aïkido and Tai ji Quan at its centre.
In September 1981, they came back to France.
Opening of the « Dojo », in Toulouse, in 1982

1974 : Discovery of Aïkido

Aïkido ( the Way to be in harmony with the energy that governs the universe)
Morihei UESHIBA, the founder of Aïkido, is bornt on the 14th of december 1883, and died on the 26th of april 1969.

In december 1974, Joël registers in the Aïkikaï in Tokyo, the Aïkido world’s center.
Nothing predisposed him to do such an activity. He is not really a sportsman. But these two years of travelling, which were not always easy , pushed him to get interested in a  » non violent activity of self -defence », and this is what people said about Aïkido.
Joël Chemin has been practicing for seven years daily with the biggest Aïkido’s experts, many among whom have had a great impact on his life:

Kishomaru UESHIBA
OSAWA Sensei
TADA Sensei

1984 : He meets HIKITSUCHI Sensei

1984, he meets HIKITSUCHI Sensei, decisive meeting, during a training period in Toulouse. From then on, Joël questionned his whole previous practice, and decides to follow the Aïkido, taught by Hikitsuchi Sensei.

HIKITSUCHI Michio Sensei (Born on the 14th of july 1919, died in 2004)

He followed the founder of Aïkido for 40 years, until his death.
He is a witness of his evolution, on a martial level, as well as on a spiritual level. In this sense, he represents the founder of the Aïkido.
He is the only one who received the rank of the 10th Dan, from his hands.
He is a man of Budo, since he practices Judo, Karate, Kendo, Yari (the art of the spear), Iai (the art of getting the sabre out of the sheath), le lancer des armes à jet and to complete all that, the art of riding horses and the Ba-Jutsu.

He is a good teacher. In spite of the japanese tradition that wants to teach only through an endless repetition of gestures, he has been able to adapt his teaching to Europeans, by revealing the rules which are behind the practice, and therefore to enable to reach a profound experience of the body quicker.

1977: Discovery of Taï Ji Quan and of Qi Gong

Joël and Annie start the Taï Ji Quan and the Qi Gong in 1977, with Master YANG MING SHI, who took refuge in Tokyo, since the Cultural Revolution.

1990: Meeting of GU MEISHENG (1926-2003)

Master of Tai Ji Quan, specialist in Taoïsm, his Taï Ji belongs to the line of Yang Cheg Fu and Dong Ying Jie. He lives in Shanghai. In 1991, he is invited to Paris to hold a conference about Taoïsm. France 2 devotes a one hour broadcast onhim talking about Taï Ji quan.
Gu Meisheng’s teaching is a really important step in the practice of Annie and Joël. From this point on they fly regularly to Shanghai to work with him.