calendar dojo facebook instagram language vimeo

Dirk Kropp

Aikido instructor and dojo leader, 8th Dan


As a teenager, I wanted to learn how to defend myself. Attracted by the aesthetics of the movements and the philosophy behind Aikido, I started training. Even as a child, I had meditated a lot and liked to move. In Aikido, I found the possibility to combine both and, at the same time, to learn an ethically valuable art of self-defence.


After school and military service, I decided to abandon the studies I had just begun in order to devote myself entirely to my daily training. I made aikido my profession.

In my early 20s, I started teaching aikido, for five years in the Judo Club "Samurai Porz". This is where my deep joy in teaching was born.

History of the dojo

  • In 1985, Hans-Jürgen Klages and I opened the dojo in Hürth-Efferen. Since then, I have been continuously leading practice sessions day after day.
  • In the winter of 1988-89, we moved the dojo to Silcherstrasse in Cologne-Bickendorf.
  • In the 80s and 90s, in addition to my daily dojo routine, I taught aikido classes at the German Sports University in Cologne and gave courses in many other cities.
  • In 1997, I assumed sole responsibility for the dojo.
  • January 2022: the road continues – in a former church in Cologne-Ossendorf.

I am now in my mid-60s...

Since 2022 the place of my path

Volunteer work

Since the founding of the Bundesverbandes der Aikido-Lehrer in 1987, I have been working on its behalf in a variety of areas. In 2018, I was elected to the "Policy Issues" board.


From 1975-88, I was guided by the teaching of Master Katsuaki Asai. Since 1984, I have been to Japan nearly every year. Here I maintain my connection to the roots of Aikido. In the Aikikai Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, I practise with the founding family, in its third generation: Kisshomaru, Moriteru and Mitsuteru Ueshiba

Until his death in 1988, Dr Kokichi Hatakeyama encouraged my development. The respected doctor and swordmaster enabled me to spend several months in Japan. He introduced me to the martial arts world and gave me insights into his holistic approach to life and his peaceful philosophy of swordsmanship.


The first five trips to Japan touched me deeply. I did not want to close myself to the experiences and insights from this: In the 90s, I developed a meditative Aikido practice style. It puts more emphasis on the healthy and peaceful potential of this martial art. I have written a book about this path of practice and experience in collaboration with Christina Barandun. It was published by Kösel-Verlag.

The time was ripe to pass on my knowledge personally: in 2005 I started to train aikido teachers.


Maintaining the very personal characer of the dogo is a matter that is very close to my heart.

Samu, 作務, refers to the work of maintaining a dojo and its atmosphere: planting flowers, vacuuming the mat, cleaning bathrooms ..., gardening. With support from among the practitioners, I dedicate myself to these tasks.


Far away from AI, the metaverse and the like there are abilities and values within us that are worth developing, strengthening and nurturing. In the fine interplay of my teaching and my understanding of dojo care, I work on a place of strength for body, mind and soul that can be felt and experienced in real terms - with plenty of space to practice.

33 years of dojo in Silcherstraße