The devil-mind will go down in defeat and the Spirit rise up in victory. Then Aikido will bear fruit in this world.
Morihei Ueshiba


Giorgio Veneri Sensei 6th Dan (1937 - 2005)

AFSA’s previous Technical Advisor and Chief Instructor 1995-2005


I have been a close student and colleague of Giorgio Veneri Sensei since 1995 and would like to give recognition and present him to my friends and students in the following pages. Please join us and salute this great man and teacher:
“Giorgio Sensei played a vital role in the development of Aikido in South Africa. He was a wise and remarkable ambassador for aikido and served as our role model during his life. He also bridged the gap of instructor to become a close confidant. To me, personally, he played the cherished role of a father. We have lost a great leader. His warm memories will continue to guide us and live on in our hearts………………”
-- Paul de Beer




Giorgio Veneri was born in Italy in the town of Mantova on the 25th of February 1937. He grew up in this medieval fortress in the Lombardy province where he lived his life in the same four-storey house that his family had inhabited for six generations.

However, when he passed away on the 31st of March 1995, he left behind an illustrious Aikido career spanning over 40 years and a wealth of friends in the Aikido fraternity across the globe.

Giorgio Veneri was already a black belt in Judo when he began his Aikido training in 1964 under the direction of Master Kawamukai and Hiroshi Tada Sensei.
Sensei was a founder member of the ‘Aikikai d’Italia’ and remained a Council Member thereof for most of his lifetime. He was also the first Italian to be graded Shodan at the historical Venetian Aikido Summer School of 1968 directed by master Tada. Ever since those early days he became a very close student and confidant of Tada Shihan (now 9th Dan) and took up a very active and prominent role in the development of European and International Aikido. He eventually acquired the rank of 6th Dan in 1994. He remained an active practitioner and devoted student of aikido throughout his lifetime and continued to teach Aikido at his Budokai Dojo in Mantova.

 Veneri Sensei is respected internationally and left deep footprints in high places. He was a founder member of the European Aikido Federation (EAF) as well as the International Aikido Federation (IAF), and had been president of both.





In his later years he was elevated as a member of the exalted High Council of the IAF by the late Doshu. He also became a member of the Teaching Committee of the Italian Aikikai. Furthermore he was Technical Adviser of the Irish Association of Aikido and served as the Technical Director of both the Confederation of Aikido groups in Russia. In 1997 Giorgio Veneri became the Technical Director of the Aikido Federation of South Africa (AFSA). Since his first visit in 1995, he had a deep love for country, its landscape and its people. As a connoisseur, he held its wine in great esteem. He could appreciate a traditional South African braai and often remarked about it. 


For a period of ten years and until his untimely passing in 2005, Giorgio Veneri Sensei was extremely influential in shaping the future of Aikido in South Africa. He led the federation from many years of isolation to embrace its rightful place in the world of Aikido. He was adored and respected by all as a mentor and a father, but also as a friend.

A big man in posture, Giorgio Veneri left a huge gap in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. The Aikido Federation of South Africa mourns him together with his loving wife Anna, his only son Giulio, his twin grandsons whom he adored and their mother. But we also salute him for the wealth he had brought into our lives through the privilege to know him on and off the tatami.

DATE OF BIRTH: 25/02/1937
PLACE OF BIRTH: Mantova, Italy
DOJO: Budokai, Mantua. (Mantova)
DECEACED: 31/03/2005 at the age of 68

Shodan 01/08/68 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu
Nidan 01/08/70 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu
Sandan 10/08/74 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu
Yondan 05/08/79 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu
Godan 01/08/86 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu
Rokudan 14/01/96 H. Tada Aikikai Hombu