Nguyen Thanh Thien teaches in France in Saint-Brice sous Forêt, Vincennes, Le Pescher and Vielle-Aure. Outside France, he only goes to the Netherlands at John Luijten sensei’s dojo in Brunssum.
I was born in 1962 in Vietnam, to Vietnamese and English parents.
And yes, I did come to France, I did spend some time in England, I did go to University and learn Econometrics. I entered my first Judo dojo as a child and hardly left the dojo since I came to study Aikido, Kinomichi, Taichi Chuan Yang and Chen and kenjutsu within Musashi’s koryu. Things I did in the past are meaningful, still who I am now is mainly a question of daily choice.
Every day I make choices. Some say it is difficult to make choices in life, that I do not believe. A martial artist should have no difficulty in making choices. What is difficult is to live up to the consequences. When the blade is thrust, when the fist comes fast, when the fall is hard, there is no time to pounder the difficulty of choice making.
For my students, it is important that they know I made the choice of teaching what I have received from my masters. I do not withhold anything from the one who does not withhold his efforts and insights. I act now in response to the attitude of my masters. As one master said:
Teach in the way you were taught.
Some react to our decisions with misunderstanding, jealousy or mistrust, all of which are in the human nature. As a martial artist, I have no concern for them. These reactions come and go as do rain and wind. I have a road to walk, a meeting to reach, a summit to climb, whatever the weather, with some help from my students and good friends.
I choose to teach the noble art of Ringenkai Aikido in the way I was taught by Noro Masamichi sensei who learned from Ueshiba Morihei sensei.
This is my state of mind. This is me today as I enter the dojo.
Nguyen Thanh Thien