The art of Nikidokai was founded by Hanshi Nico. Based in the knowledge of 5 disciplines Nikidokai is as diverse as it is complex. Yet at its core its simplicity is rarely seen in the Martial Arts.
Nikidokai was given its name based on what the art represents as most all Martial Arts are given their names. The name is made up of mostly Japanese words, being that 4 of the 5 disciplines are Japanese and that the teachings are representative of what is known in Japan as Budo, (The Way of the Martial Arts.)
Ni (Nico) Ki (Universal/internal Energy) Do (the Way) Kai (Participant)
The Ni of Nikidokai first represents its founder, which is often customary. But this has a dual meaning and gives a great clue to the purpose of Nikidokai. Ni (in Japanese) also can mean 2 or dual/multiple. So translated can mean “The Multiple Ways in which Ki Participates.” And this is a very important meaning to understand. As students you should contemplate and meditate on this meaning.
Hanshi Nico had grown up in the Philippines and literally grew up with the Martial Arts. His Father and Uncles were students of Master Latino Gonzales and served as bodyguards for the Filipino Government. They were all Champions at various times in the “Old School” Asian bare knuckle tournaments and formed the Siete Paires (seven pairs) Dojo in the Philippines. For many years Hanshi taught Shorin-Ryu and only taught the arts of Judo, Aikido, Muay Thai and Kobudo to his Black Belts and high ranking students. He felt it was a form of disrespect to advertise he taught Shorin-Ryu when in fact he taught so many other disciplines. This is how the name Nikidokai was created. But Nikidokai evolved.
Hanshi grew tired of seeing all the robot-like movements and techniques of Martial Art students. It is commonly a world where the student begins to emulate the instructor. And equally many instructors force a “style” upon their students. When in fact a simple technique like a straight punch or a wrist reversal can be executed in so many ways but most instructors will discourage this and say, “No, you must do it OUR WAY!”
Hanshi encourages his students to explore technique for themselves and make it their own. And though this may sound like a simple and obvious approach it is very, very uncommon in today’s Martial Arts.
Hanshi believes in giving his students a strong foundation in the arts and then to help guide them to build from that foundation an art that works for them. No two people are alike and to make the Martial Arts a part of you the student must have freedom to discover the arts on their own terms. That is Nikidokai. As Hanshi often says, “the student must learn to put the arts into their bloodstream.” That is how they learn Self Mastery.
The diversity of the 5 disciplines allows each student to explore all aspects of the Martial Arts, the hard, the soft, the circular, the linear, the physical, the mental, the spiritual, stand up, ground work, foot work, blending, entering, angles, defense, attack, striking forms, philosophies, etc. For instance you may never have an interest in striking another person, and through Nikidokai you can confidently defend yourself without ever having to, but you will do so with an acute knowledge of how strikes work, the effect they can have, the power they can develop and so forth.
Most importantly, Nikidokai is a way of life. Your training here will be fun, but it will also be hard and require discipline. It can take you places you may never have imagined you could go. But the journey will be worth it and everything you learn and develop here can be used within all aspects of your life. Remember, Self Defense does not mean just defense against an attacker, but defense against all obstacles you face. Adversity only appears to come from the outside. Look deep inside for that Master that is waiting to emerge. This is your art! Enjoy it!
Nikidokai is based on a philosophy of growth and family. That’s why we use the Bonsai tree as a symbol. As a tree begins with a single seed and breaks open and begins to root itself firmly to the earth creating its foundation for growth it eventually sprouts from the soil and begins to branch in many directions. Each branch different from another yet bound but not limited to the single tree, and from each branch, leafs, flowers or fruits are produced giving life and nourishment to the whole existence on earth from which it grew. The tree gives back to that which gave it life and eventually that tree will create new seeds that will begin the cycle all over again. The tree never asks for anything more than life itself. The tree is at ease at all times, even during moments of turbulence and strife the tree stands erect, strong and relaxed, simply flowing with the tides of nature.