Swedish Shihan to the Combat Games

Evenas-400pxUlf Evenås Shihan. Photo by Viktor Kazarin.Ulf Evenås was born 1946 in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he still lives. After training karate he turned to aikido in 1968. He was one of the first western students to have an extended time as uchideshi in Iwama, 1973, under Morihiro Saito Shihan. He remained a close student of his for 29 years.

The last ten years of Saito's life, Ulf Evenås was his personal representative in Europe, Russia and Australia, even co-teaching with him at a seminar in Australia in 2000. Ulf Evenås continues to teach aikido as it was taught to him by Saito, at countless seminars around the globe.

His first Russian seminar was in St. Petersburg 20 years ago, in 1993. Back then, Russian aikido had little means, facing many difficulties.

“I slept on somebody's couch, and even payed the travel costs myself,” he recalls.

But friendships were made. Each year since, he holds a St. Petersburg seminar in May, but also regularly in Moscow and other parts of Russia. For many years, Russia is the country in the world outside Sweden, where Ulf Evenås holds the most seminars.

“During these twenty years, Russian aikido has grown tremendously in both quantity and quality.”

In his professional work with conflict management and negotiations, he uses aikido based principles. He received training at Harvard University and the FBI National Academy, whose methods are also based on aikido principles.

Still his main focus is on aikido practice, where he works to improve his proficiency and to understand its deeper meaning. And he is devoted to sharing his knowledge with others.

Ulf Evenås has contributed significantly to the development of Swedish aikido, on its board, its grading committee and other functions. He is a recipient of the highest medal of honor from the Swedish Budo & Martial Arts Federation. He is 7th dan in aikido.