While staying in the city of Niš, I wanted to keep practicing aikidō, if only to somehow counterbalance Serbian hospitality: new year, then christmas, then the host family’s Slava. Lots of food. Luckily, there is a dōjō a few hundred meters from the place we stayed in: the aikido dođo Ikeda (the letter đ should be read ‘dj’).
I was welcomed to train, even though I don’t speak Serbian and managed to get to two training, which were very interesting experiences. The training was pretty standard, with a pretty intense warmup – something I really needed in these days of bloat. The second was weapons, something I’m pretty bad at. The teacher was, thankfully, very patient with me.
The interesting thing of this dōjō is the building itself, it was completely built out of raw wood and plastic sheets. The mats themselves have been improvised out of some kind of tarp, which worked pretty well. The transparent walls with the wooden structure made the place look more like a strange Japanese temple than a sports-hall, which is pretty cool.
In short, a place I recommend if you want to train Aikidō and you are in Niš.