Memories of a good friend, Alan Ruddock
In 1979 I saw an advert in the paper for a "sports for all" event where you could have a go at Aikido among other things. Previous to this I had studied judo and a bit of karate.
I have always loved to join in and Alan kindly invited me on the mat and asked me to strike him, which I did.
He disappeared and somehow re appeared behind me.
I thought this is really something. In judo there was a number of techniques we learned and that was it, but this seemed something completely different in a strange sort of way almost mystical and endless.
Alan was humble, kind and not aggressive but yet very focused and relaxed when he moved and most of all, very effective.
Some years after the demonstration I saw an advert for an Aikido beginners course and went along. That was over 30 years ago.
I remained a student of Alan's for 25 years until I left the Isle of Man and came to live in North Wales where I set up my own club with my wife.
I greatly appreciate the time Alan taught me and always talk about him when I teach.
He had a great way of teaching me always patient and never flattering.
We had a great course recently with Alan and this gave me a new focus for the future.
Alan was always a great friend and helped me through some difficult times and I will dearly miss him.
Dyffryn Nantle Aikido Dojo
Wales, april 7 2012