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Alexis Berthot (2nd Dan – Aikikai):

Alexis Berthot (2nd Dan in Aikikai – Nidan so Hombu) has trained in Aikido for over 17 years and is a qualified black belt in both Aikikai and Kokikai traditions of Aikido. He has trained at the University of New South Wales Dojo under the instructions of Sensei Allen Iu (6th Dan Kokikai) and at the Central Coast Aikikai RenshinKan Dojo under Sensei Colin Hackett (6th dan Aikikai so Hombu). Alexis is the head instructor at the TaiZenKan dojo in Erina Central Coast.

Alexis grew up in France and practised Judo as a child. He is now also cross-training in Judo at the Judo Central Coast Erina dojo. Alexis works in coastal and oceanography science and consulting. Some of his other passions include surfing and windsurfing.

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Richard Cresswell (3rd Dan – Yoshinkai):

Richard Cresswell holds a 3rd degree black belt (sandan) in Aikido Yoshinkai, which was awarded to him in 1993 by Sensei Takeshi Kimeda (9th dan Aikido Yoshinkai), shortly before he left Canada and move to Australia. Richard then spent 25 years in the wilderness (often literally, as he focused his attention on natural horsemanship) with occasional visits to local dojos as work took him around the country. He has returned to serious training with the Central Coast Aikikai under Sensei Colin Hackett (6th dan so Hombu). Richard joined Taizenkan Dojo in 2015 and now also teaches some of the adults’ classes.

Richard is a groundwater scientist working for an environmental consultancy and spends any spare time with family and working his small property in the Central Coast hinterland.

Oscar De Toffol
Oscar has been training with the Australasian Akikai since 2016. Initially seeking a martial art for his sons to learn confidence and self defence, he soon joined them on the training mat. Oscar is passionate about developing himself physically and mentally through training in Aikido, which has principles deeply rooted in Budo (martial way). Oscar and his family train regularly at Taizenkan Dojo, where he is a Sempai (senior student) and teaches in the children’s class.
Outside the dojo, Oscar works with his wife, Esthel, in their clinical psychology practice. In his spare time, he is a keen fisherman and enjoys quality time with his family.

Esthel De Toffol
Esthel commenced her Aikido journey with the Australasian Aikikai in 2017 after watching her husband, Oscar and their 3 boys on the mat. Esthel was drawn by the grace and power she could see demonstrated in the techniques. She also loved the ability to learn and train with her family and they have been training together ever since. Esthel joined Taizenkan dojo in 2022 and is a Sempai (senior student). She also teaches in the children’s class.
Esthel is a clinical psychologist working with children, adults and families. When she is not practicing Aikido, Esthel enjoys watercolour painting, sketching, reading and spending time with her family (on and off the mats!).