GIUSEPPE DI GUARDIA

Training to be an aikido instructor, 1st dan aikido

I was born the son of Italian immigrants in Cologne in 1995. In August 2012, after graduating from technical secondary school, I began an apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronics engineer, which I successfully completed in January 2016. 

As I had always been fascinated by martial arts, I chose to take up the peaceful martial art of aikido at the age of 19. After two trial sessions, I decided – despite being mildly sceptical about his style – to register with Dirk Kropp. After a few weeks of training, I realised that it was precisely his style that embodies the peaceful and gentle martial art of aikido. 

Regular training awoke in me the enthusiasm that I had had as a child for the old masters and their martial arts. I wanted to become an aikido teacher. Dirk Kropp recommended that I took a good while to reflect on this before making my final decision. For a year, I practised a lot and pondered my plans.

At the end of 2018, I looked for a part-time job and quit my permanent job so that I could devote myself entirely to aikido. The training enables me to deepen my understanding of the comprehensive topics that aikido offers. I am particularly inspired by the training of perception and the ethics of our aikido. Practising with different kinds of people helps me to develop a sense for my fellow human beings, so that I can also recognise and de-escalate dangerous situations at an early stage. 

I dream of having my own dojo one day.