Ara Schorscher-Petcu, Nidan, 2nd Dan
Ara started Aikido in 2004, then a graduate student in neuroscience at McGill University, Montreal. She joined the student club McGill Aikido run by Daniel Laurendeau Shihan, and trained in parallel at Montreal Aikikai with Massimo di Villadorata Shihan. Both dojos are part of the US Aikido Federation under the umbrella of Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan (New York Aikikai).
In 2010, then 2nd Kyu, Ara moved to Paris and discovered the precise, dynamic Aikido and Kashima Shin Ryu inspired Kenjutsu of Cercle Tissier. There she had the privilege to study with Christian Tissier Shihan and his expert assistant instructors, in particular Patrick Bénézi Shihan, Bruno Gonzalez, and Fabrice Croizé. Ara was awarded Shodan (2014), then Nidan (2018) by Christian Tissier Shihan.
Relocating to London in 2016 to take on a research position at University College London, Ara became a member of UCL Aikido and found her new home at Go Shin Kai. With the invaluable mentorship of Barbara Sotowicz, Ara has been leading UCL Aikido jointly with Andy Washbrook since 2017.
“When I picked up Aikido, my background was in Tango Argentino and I was fascinated to re-discover not only the same bio-mechanic principles of efficiency, but also the same feelings of harmony in a martial practice. This pushed me to venture into other disciplines - Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and various forms of dance. I wish I had time for all of them! So far, however I have always returned to Aikido … “