AikiSkills was developed by Francisco Andres, after some years of Aikido training and some more of working with effective communication.
I want to tell my story taking advantage of the opportunity to celebrate and thank some special people that I believe are the teachers that have motivated me.
When I entered the Faculty of Sciences of the Central University of Venezuela, the 1st subject that captivated me was Biostatistics, dictated by the great JESUS ALBERTO LEÓN, outstanding and recognized as a biologist, as a mathematician and as a poet and storyteller.
Hence my love for teaching mathematics, statistics and those abstract languages that confronted me with how difficult it is to communicate so that people, after they listen to you, want to learn.
I tried and I did not manage to make people want to learn biostatistics and most of the students were rejected.
Then I tried to teach mathematics at high school senior years and always got very poor results and very few students learned.
The fatigue and uneasiness that the failure of my student caused me, which was also my failure, led me to look for different ways of teaching. First I went to the School of Education of the UCV and there I did not find a satisfactory answer for the situation I wanted to solve. How to make the students have a desire to learn and how to teach them?
In 1982, a dear friend invited me to a self-hypnosis course and there I learned that a Bulgarian scientist, Georgi Lozanov, had been investigating what produced the suggestion and had applied to teaching and learning and called Sugestopedia. I devoured the book (SUPERLEARNING Sheila Ostrander) and I told myself, I’m going to learn that.
Due to these coincidences of fate, at the end of that year I saw an ad that invited two learning weekends with a Bulgarian who had worked with Lozanov and came to Caracas and in February 1983 I met IVAN BARZAKOV and his system called OPTIMALEARNING.
In addition to the 2 weekends in Caracas with IVAN BARZAKOV and his wife, the great actress and professional clown PAMELA RAND, in that same year 1983 I went to the OPTIMALEARNING Summer Camp in San Francisco, CA. There, for almost 2 months, we underwent an intense training in which we deepened the suggestologics bases of OPTIMALEARNING and enriched our training as facilitators doing art courses (especially classical music and painting), folk dances from around the world, games Cooperatives and Pamela Rand gave us an extraordinary Clown course.
When I returned to Venezuela I dedicated myself to train a team of very interesting people who had worked with me to attend the Optimalearnimg Summer Camp and having to explain what I had learned was an excellent learning situation for me and the group.
In 1984, Ivan Barzakov, the Bulgarian teacher invited me to participate in the Summer Camp that year but as a staff. Once in San Francisco, I was hired as a research assistant to help in the writing of an Optimalearning book and I spent 8 months working and learning with the Optimalearning team.
On my return to Venezuela in 1985, with a team of psychologists, educators and organizational coaches we open CRESCO (Center for Educational Recreation and Systems Optimo Growth) and the team started to give workshops to the public on topics such as “learning to learn” “strategic Management of oral communication” and “Training of Trainers”
Since 1984, in San Francisco, I had become interested in aikido, but in 1986, when I join with Sensei NELSON REQUENA and start practicing the martial art. In the next 7 years I will practice with intensity and go mixing concepts and ideas of aikido in training and consulting.
In 1993, I was attracted to the world of multimedia learning by computers and I worked in that direction, separating myself from consulting and face-to-face training and dedicated my time to multimedia education. With the arrival of the internet and the WWW I focus on the world of technology and I continue to practice aikido and give workshops and conferences with low intensity.
In 1999, working on a technological consultancy with PIZZOLANTE Comunicación Estratégica, raises the possibility of training spokespeople business and I added my experience as a coach to the skills and knowledge of ITALO PIZZOLANTE and especially of THONY DA SILVA. I learned a lot from both of them and together we designed several workshops and conferences on Reputation and Strategic Communication.
So I started a new phase of my life in which, along with the team PIZZOLANTE, I will go throughout Latin America serving corporate customers in virtually all sectors of production and services, focused on the training of spokespersons for:
• Media Training to assist journalists.
• Crisis Situations Management.
• Execution of internal communication strategies
During the following 10 years of my work, aikido has been a fundamental part of all the trainings that I have dictated since I compare the attitude of the ideal spokesman with the attitude of aikido teacher. We use that metaphor to approach the conflict that always appears in complex communication situations. We are always associated with good communication practices with external and internal customers of the company to the good Reputation Management.
In 2010 I started working with JUAN CARLOS JIMENEZ and his company COGRAF COMUNICACIONES and I had an extraordinary learning when I begin to connect my work in strategic communication with the work that Juan Carlos has been doing for 30 years about Customer Service, his vision of and It helped me to deepen the importance of the concept of CULTIVATING TRUST has a special impact in supervision, leadership, sales and communication in general.
In the following 7 years of sharing with Juan Carlos Jiménez those concepts have become central in my work. They have enriched and deepened my previous ideas of communication and aikido and this whole history of teachers and learning has allowed me to reach the central elements of AIKISKILLS.
Now in 2018 I am looking for new markets and adventures in the United States and Spain and I am sure that my connection with Cristina Costanzo, while maintaining and enriching all my connections from the past, will be a new source of learning.
The story will continue…