Westville Country Club
1 Link Road, Westville,
Sensei Kevin Gounden
082 413 7986
082 257 0142
Andre Coppejans is a mechanical engineer employed Toyota South Africa. Having trained Karate from an early age, André decided to broaden his martial arts experience, and was lucky enough to have discovered the graceful art of Aikido at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York. Back in South Africa, André put aside his 1st Dan in Karate and started anew, joining the Tuks Aikido club at the University of Pretoria in 2008. Here he trained under Paul de Beer Sensei (6th Dan), one of the founders of Aikido in South Africa.
In 2010 he moved to Durban, joining the Durban Aikido Club under Kevin Gounden Sensei (4th Dan). He obtained his 1st Dan in 2013, testing before Velibor Vesovic Sensei (6th dan), chief instructor of the Japanese Aikikai affiliated Serbian Aikido Federation. In 2014, André had the opportunity to go to the city of Nagoya, Japan, where he would live and work for the next two years.
He trained at Kimori Dojo, under the tutelage of Toshiharu Sawada Shihan (7th Dan), where he was exposed to the principles of Ken (sword) and Jo (short staff) that form the base of Aikido. He tested for, and was awarded, 2nd Dan by Sawada Shihan in 2015.
During his two years in Japan, André trained with a wide variety of instructors and students, joining classes and seminars all over Japan, including at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo, the yearly Enbukai at the Budokan hall in Tokyo, and Kimori Dojo's yearly Gashuku in the mountains of rural Japan. He was fortunate enough to train with the 3rd and current Aikido Doshu, and attend several seminars taught by Waka Sensei.He returned to the Durban Aikido Club in 2016, where he continues to train in, and teach, the principals of Aikido.