Niko and Ki Aikido
Niko started his first Aikido class at the age of 14 in 1996. He was entering 8th grade, and the Lindbergh Center attached to Hopkins High School had been recently opened. He had no idea what it was about, nor the existence of any other styles of it. The only reference of Aikido he had was a suggestion from his father to observe movies with Steven Seagal for several years.
The early development of Niko's training had been intermittent at best. Upon walking into his first class, he was immediately welcomed by Sensei Gerry Kelly. He did not know whether to just watch or leave. He was invited to participate in learning the basic principles of Aikido. He learned the unbendable arm exercise which completely changed his way of thinking. He had no reason to believe such an exercise existed. The source of much of his own strength was not coming from his body, but his mind.
Before this point in time of his life he had quarelled with his younger brother a lot. He had always expressed frustration. After this class, he was transformed. He had not initiated any quarrel with his brother any longer and felt the confidence of his own power, not needing to display it any longer.
Over time, he had grown into a person who just wanted to help, heal, protect and educate my friends and loved ones. There have been many instances where dealing with dangerous conflicts were in his path.
The best parts about training is that it can easily apply into the real world. In a simple handshake or hug, to driving to having quality conversations are examples of practicing having your mind and body unified.
Currently Niko holds the rank of Jokyu in Shinshin Toitsdo (Ki Development) and the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido