As a child, Martin Moreau Sensei was gang bullied repeatedly by a group of neighbourhood boys, which spurred a strong interest in the martial arts. Moreau Sensei did a couple of years of Judo as a teenager, but did not like the competitive aspect of the martial art. At the age of 22, Moreau Sensei got serious about finding a martial art he could dedicate himself to long term. After trying over 10 martial arts, Moreau Sensei chose Aikido. He began his training in September 19, 1994 at the Camosun Aikido Club, under Chief Instructor George Khouri Sensei. Less than one year later, Moreau Sensei joined the Victoria Aikido Centre under Scott Macphail Sensei, where he remained for 26 years, until July 2020.
As a dedicated student he immersed himself in training, averaging 6-14 classes a week between training and teaching. Moreau Sensei’s aikido has been greatly influenced by Scott Macphail Sensei, Bob Moline Sensei, Kawahara Shihan, and Ishiyama Sensei, as well as the many great instructors who taught at the Victoria Aikido Centre, and other locally affiliated dojos. In addition to attending the majority of Kawahara Shihan’s many yearly seminars across Canada, Moreau Sensei also travelled extensively throughout Canada and the USA to train at seminars with other Shihan such as Doshu, Yamada, Kanai, Sugano, Chiba, Saotome, Bookman, Berthiaume, Tamura, Waite and more. After Kawahara Shihan’s passing in 2011, Moreau Sensei started following the teachings of Canada’s new technical director, Osawa Shihan, 8th Dan, from Hombu Dojo Japan. Moreau Sensei has also been strongly influenced by Steve Erickson Sensei, of Big Rock Aikikai in Calgary, for his technical skills, as well as his passion for teaching Children, Teens and Young adults.
In the fall of 2002 Moreau Sensei was asked to take over the Camosun Aikido Club as Chief Instructor until the dojo was forced to close down in 2005. Moreau Sensei was also asked by Ralph Kopperson Sensei to take over the YM-YWCA Aikido Club as chief instructor in 2005 and ran that dojo until 2009. For one full year while running both the Camosun Aikido Club, and the YM-YWCA Aikido Club, Moreau Sensei also taught Aikido at Selkirk Montessori School as part of their weekly Physical Education curriculum to grades 3-7.
Moreau Sensei taught children’s aikido classes at the Victoria Aikido Centre for 21 years from 1999 to 2020. It was here that he developed his passion for teaching and encouraging young people in Aikido. In 2013 he was asked to take over the Victoria Aikido Centre’s Children’s program. There were only about 10 students in the program at the time, with just two classes offered a week. Thanks to a constant pursuit to improve programming for young people, Moreau Sensei quickly grew the kids program to over 50 students, offering 8 classes a week, plus quarterly weekend and sleepover seminars, social events, retreats and more.
Over the decades, Moreau Sensei has been deeply involved in strengthening his Aikido community, both in the dojo, and outside the dojo. He has taken on many executive positions and roles within the Aikido Community, and brought forward many initiatives and proposals to strengthen both his dojo, and the greater Aikido community.
When the COVID 19 pandemic hit the world in 2020, and dojos had to close, Moreau Sensei immediately sprung into action, recording YouTube home tutorial videos for his students. He quickly devised and started 9 online zoom classes per week for his students, with the help of his ITP (Instructor Training Program) students, including outdoor socially distanced classes/events each week with up to 30 kids attending. While many dojos and businesses were struggling during the pandemic, he had the passion and vision to expand, and open a new dojo, Rock Water Aikikai, dedicated to the next generation of Aikido practitioners!