Aikido Interview – Hélène DOUÉ 5th Dan Aikikai (Part 1/2)

Interview with Hélène Doué, 5th Dan Aikikai and long term student of Christian Tissier Shihan. This interview was shot at the Aikikai Ibaraki Banch dojo during the 74th National Sport Festival in Japan.

Many thanks to the Aikikai Ibaraki Branch teachers, Isoyama Hiroshi Shihan and Inagaki Shigemi Shihan, and to the International Aikido Federation [], for making this video possible.

0:00 – Start
00:47 – How did you start Aikido and hy?
01:41 – Many people trained at Le Cercle Tissier, but very few actually started there.
02:19 – What are the advantages and disadvantages of starting Aikido at Le Cercle Tissier?
03:23 – Through the last 30 years, things must have changed, if only with regard to Christian Tissier’s involvement in terms of day-to-day practice.
08:42 – Le Cercle Tissier welcomes a lot of visitors. What is the usual ration of full members on the tatami?
10:20 – Did you ever practice in a different style of Aikido?
11:00 – When did you decide to do Aikido full time?
11:58 – You and your husband now teach in your own respective dojos, right?
13:02 – Does your practice still essentially revolve around your dojo, rather than seminars?
14:41 – After 30 years training in the same budo, in the same environment, what motivates you to keep stepping on the tatami every day?
16:37 – Does the fact that you and Fabrice are both full-time Aikido instructors help you deal with the ups and downs?
17:28 – Fabrice and you being both prominent Aikido teachers, do you sometimes get competitive with each other?
20:10 – Do you teach techniques differently compared to the way that your own teachers did, in order to make sure that your students don’t get the same injuries as their elders?
23:06 – What do you bring to the table, compared to other advanced practitioners from Vincennes who teach seminars?
24:47 – How important is it for a female practitioner to have access to female teachers?
27:40 – There are more males than females in the Aikido teaching staff. Is it the fruit of political decisions or is it just that less females are interested in taking on teaching responsibilities?
29:01 – Though the numbers are decreasing, what is the main motivation for young people to start Aikido today?
32:40 – Regarding the role of Aikido outside the tatami, what did aikido bring to your life that no other discipline could have done?

Additional footage by Dozo Aikido


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  1. Bonjour Hélène Loïc enchanté j ai pratiqué l aïkido 5ans j adore cette harmonie entre les gens du monde entier congratularions mon n'amie loic votre élève

  2. Great Sensei!
    I would add that she is one of the most respectuous and soft (but not weak) teacher, very careful and never hurting her students or partners.
    Very good spirit!

  3. Salut Guillaume!
    Tout d'abord, j'aimerais te dire que j'admire beaucoup ce que tu apporte au milieu de l'aikido par le biais de ta chaine YouTube. C'est un milieu presque secret que peu de gens connaissent ou comprennent. Je me permet juste une petite remarque libre à toi de la considérer ou non. Je fais pas mal de montage vidéo et je trouve bien que ce soit super intéressant que l'atmosphère des interview est un peu triste. Peut-être qu'un fond musical ou une transition plus tonique entre les questions pourrait donner un peu plus de de rythme dans les vidéos.
    En tous cas un grand merci pour ce que tu fais.

  4. Super interview. Merci a Hélène et à Guilluame pour ce moment de partage. Comme Hélène je pense que l'Aïkido a un public dormant qui ne demande qu'à participer. C'est à nous d'harmoniser notre message et notre pratique pour faire fleurir l'Aïkido à nouveau!

  5. Very interesting video. It’s always refreshing to have the testimony of a female sensei. However when it comes to why aikido popularity is decreasing (especially in regards to 18-25 demographics) it’s mostly because of it’s lack of effectiveness. The attacks are not realistic, so the defenses are not realistic either. Also, there’s no sparring (not even low-light intensity) and with availability of information and videos on the internet, potential students “shop” around and realize very quickly that judo, karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kung fu, May Thai, Krav maga, etc…, also provide a way to exercise, to relieve stress but also are more effective than aikido. Unfortunately modern day aikido is no more than “moving yoga” disguised as a martial art. Still very nice video and Sensei Doué seems very nice and genuine.

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