Last Tuesday evening I attended a meeting of the NOC-NSF, the main sports/Olympic committee in the Netherlands. Sam, a student of my own teacher Wilko Vriesman, and I opened the meeting with an Aikido demonstration.
The entire committee's board, as well as its previous chairman - former Olympic medal swimmer and the government's Secretary of Sports - Erica Terpstra watched as we showed various facets of Aikido.
It was a great pleasure and honour. We had been invited because a demonstration by Wilko and his students during the recent celebration of 50 years of Aikido in the Netherlands had impressed Andre Bolhuis, the current chair of NOC-NSF.
Our demonstration showed the meeting two things: that Aikido can be practiced throughout one's entire life and that Aikido can make a meaningful contribution to top sport.