Miranda Saarentaus is an aikido instructor ranking 6. dan from Helsinki, Finland. She started practising aikido in 1972 as a student of Ichimura Sensei, a teacher sent from Hombu Dojo in Japan in the 1970s to teach aikido in Sweden and Finland. In 1987 Ichimura Sensei left back to Japan, and in 1990, Miranda found her present teacher, Endo Shihan, 8th dan, who also was one of Hombu Dojo’s teachers in Japan. In 2015, she was announced as Endo Shihan’s Deshi. At present, Miranda is the dojocho at ‘Akari’ (Japanese for ‘light’, ‘illumination’; see www.akari.fi) dojo. She was one of the three founding members of Akari in 1998 and the dojo has currently close to a hundred members, including both juniors and adults. Miranda gives around eight yearly seminars in Finland and abroad. She actively attends Endo Shihan’s seminars around the world and arranges his yearly seminars in Finland. Her aikido style emphasizes the flow of movement: not going against the force, always trying to find a way to guide your partner without coercion, and drawing strength from contact and communication. Not surprisingly, jiywasa (free-flowing technique), is one of her trademark exercises in class.
Taina started aikido in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland. Her main teachers are Endo Shihan, Jan Nevelius Shihan and Miranda Saarentaus Shihan. She is currently practicing and teaching at Miranda’s dojo “Akari” in Vantaa, Finland. She holds the rank of 5th Dan Aikikai Tokyo.Taina has travelled widely and always takes her keiko gi with her so she has ended up practicing and teaching aikido in many places on the globe, among the most exotic places maybe Ramallah in Palestine and Awassa in Ethiopia.At the moment Taina is working on keeping the contact between uke and tori alive and playful. She emphasizes the role of uke being active and giving energy to tori. Tori’s aim is to listen carefully to this energy in order to be able to gently but determinedly control it and to free the partner’s movement just at the right moment. She aims at making the working deep and enjoyable for both participants, tori and uke.
Nikolai Kleiman 3.dan