Chiropractor by day and Aikido teacher by night, Dr Candice Dugmore has opened her very own dojo in Port Elizabeth.
After years of training and commitment to the martial art, Dugmore decided the time had come to open the Kaigan (Enlightenment) Aikido dojo.
Dugmore believes that her dojo is the only one in South Africa dedicated entirely to Aikido.
“All other dojos share space with some other form of sport or use premises that are used for other things besides Aikido.
“This building is set up and designed especially for Aikido, and this makes it unique and different from the others around South Africa,” she said.
Construction of the dojo was completed in September last year and when opened it initially only offered adult classes. This year a children’s programme, Kaigan Aiki-Kids, for children between the ages of five and 13, was introduced. The dojo, situated in Walmer, has about 20 adult students and 15 children, with most being woman and girls.
Dugmore said the reason she had more female students was a result of the approach she used.
“I want to introduce a more gentle and harmless style that will accommodate beginners.”
Dugmore started her martial arts training in Australia with Kung-Fu in 1998. After moving home to South Africa, she began Aikido in 2002 and has pursued the art passionately ever since.
Dugmore received her shodan, a first degree black belt, in 2007 and her nidan, a second degree black belt, in 2012. In 2013 she travelled to St Petersburg, Russia to represent South Africa in the World Combat Games.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. “Aikido means the way of harmony, coming from the Japanese words Ai (harmony), Ki (energy) and Do (the way).
“In this empowering, flowing martial art we use or re-direct the energy of the attacker to blend or harmonise with them and in so doing, capture their balance, remove a weapon or gain control of the situation . . . in a harmonious way where neither party is injured,” she said.