top of page

The teacher

Aikido mouvement

Stéphane Le Derf

Godan Aikikai (5th dan), DEJEPS (French professional martial art teacher diploma), certified Professional and Sports Mental Coaching


His path in the martial arts began as a child with karate; then came the discovery of Aikido in 1985 in the Nice area. After a few months' practice, he took part in the first summer seminar in France with Mitsugi SAOTOME, 8th dan Shihan and one of Morihei Ueshiba's last uchi deshi. This encounter became the common thread running through his practice.
After a brief stay at the Tokyo Aikikai in August 1990, he decided in July 1993 to move to the United States to join SAOTOME Sensei. Stéphane Le Derf spent four years at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington D.C., where he was taught by Saotome Sensei and his senior students. It was during this stay that he also met and practiced with IKEDA Sensei, 7th dan Shihan. 
It was at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo that he began teaching in 1995.

Stéphane Le Derf continues to travel regularly to Washington DC, keeping in close touch with Saotome Sensei and his organization, Aikido School of Ueshiba (ASU). In 2017, the organization offered to formalize this link by integrating the Aïkido Club du Baou into ASU, recognizing more than 30 years of involvement and commitment to Saotome Sensei and his school.

In 2019, he receives the title of "Ueshiba Juku", recognizing his commitment to Saotome Sensei's teaching and Ô Sensei's vision.


On several occasions, Stéphane Le Derf has had the honor of being part of the teaching staff at the annual flagship ASU Summer Intensive in Washington DC.

Today, he is a member of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba board of directors, in charge of international development.


Since 1991, he has participated in the Stage International du Vigan, organized by the Aïkido Harmonie association and led by Saotome Sensei for 18 years, and now under the direction of Ikeda Sensei; he was its interpreter from 1995 to 2022; he held the position of president from 2016 to the anniversary stage in August 2022, celebrating the association's 30th anniversary by reuniting Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. 


In France, he practices with Alain Guerrier at various clubs in Nice, Marseille and Fréjus.

He also follows Yamashima Sensei and Endo Sensei Shihan's training courses in France.
His passion for martial arts led him to other arts such as Iaido and Taï-Chi.
After passing his Brevet d'Etat d'Educateur Sportif 1er Degré in November 2007, he opened the Aikido Club du Baou in 2011, then became secretary of the Ligue Côte d'Azur FFAAA during the 2012-2016 Olympiad.

Today, Stéphane Le Derf leads training courses in France and abroad.

Vidéo des 30 ans du stage du Vigan, organisé sous la présidence de Stéphane Le Derf

Reportage France3 Sud Aquitaine : Stage de Stéphane Le Derf  2023

articles DM

Articles de Stéphane Le Derf
publiés dans Dragon Magazine Special Aikido
et articles de presse, et retrouvez d'autres articles dans la section Blog.

bottom of page