Martin Moreau

Chief Instructor, 4th Degree Black Belt

As a child, Martin Moreau Sensei was bullied repeatedly by a gang of neighbourhood boys, which spurred a strong interest in the martial arts at an early age.  Moreau Sensei did a couple of years of Judo as a teenager, but was not keen on the competitive aspect of the martial art.  At the age of 21, Moreau Sensei got serious about finding a martial art he could dedicate himself to long term.  After trying over 10 martial arts, Moreau Sensei decided to pursue Aikido seriously.  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 25 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 was fortunate to have excellent teachers and was influenced most noteably 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 seminars across Canada, Moreau Sensei also travelled 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. 

In the early 2000’s, Moreau Sensei met Steve Erickson Sensei, of Big Rock Aikikai in Calgary. He was very impressed with Erickson Sensei’s system for teaching Children, Teens and Young adults. Moreau Sensei became passionate about teaching Aikido to young people in the early 2000’s as a result, and started pursuing instruction of young people seriously, including his own 3 daughters.

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.  Moreau Sensei quickly grew the kids program from about 10 students to over 50 students, quadrupling the number of classes per week, and creating quarterly 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.  He quickly devised and started online zoom classes for his students with the help of his ITP (Instructor Training Program) students; recorded Youtube instructional videos; and held outdoor socially distanced classes/events each week with up to 30 students attending.  At a time when dojos and businesses were struggling just to survive during a global pandemic, he took the unprecedented action of opening a new dojo, Rock Water Aikikai, dedicated to the next generation of Aikido practitioners!

Moreau Sensei now works closely with Steve Erickson Sensei, 6th Dan, visiting him in Calgary regularly for instruction, while following the technical direction of Osawa Shihan, 8th Dan.