Testimonials

Royal Dutch Shell

As a seasoned Learning and Development professional and a trained Executive coach, I am inspired by Anita’s approach translating Aikido and body awareness to relate to organizational dynamics. Her unique combination of corporate, coaching and martial arts experience, combined with her gentle yet firm approach, provoke profound awareness and change possibility.
I have personally benefitted from conversation, training and practice with Anita and have leveraged her expertise to broaden the perspective of coaches within my organization. If you are looking for someone who can enable profound transformation within your team and organization using innovative approaches, I would highly recommend Anita.
Joe Crownover, Learning & Development Adviser

Welzijn Teijlingen, Sassenheim

I can very much recommend the Effective Communication coaching by Anita Paalvast. With the theory of Aikido as a foundation, I am now able to experience the connection between my head and my own base with much more awareness. The Aikido based exercises help you to discover and consolidate that.
Anita is a patient and consistent coach. With her humour, her supportive stance, ability to put things into perspective and her wisdom, she helps you to discover for yourself change possibilities in your instinctive ways of responding. She was very well able, together with me, to point out the patterns and struggles.
I have found more peace in my communication, realised that I can stand next to another rather than oppose, and at the same time I feel strengthened to reach my own goals.
Maria Zwart, beleidsmedewerker

Inner Voice Consultancy, India

Power, balance and being anchored is what I remember Anita for from her Aikido based training sessions during our international training conference in Shanghai. She has a beautiful way of helping individuals realise how to be centered and take advantage of that power to understand one’s emotions and to connect with others meaningfully. This is very helpful in our work when we need to address sensitive or challenging topics with our clients. Thank you, Anita, for the Aikido sessions which I will always cherish and remember.
JaiKumar Chandrashekar, international consultant

Ren-new sàrl, Switzerland

When I first had a workshop with Anita I was floored: she showed me I was physically stronger and clearer-headed when I was centered than when I was fighting back or resisting. Push as she might I was invincible. Until! Any provocation broke my centeredness and I tipped over. "No perfection, just adjustment" she said. Once I let go of resistance, I could work with the 'attacker', to see the world together.
Since then I have worked with Anita as often as possible - bringing her to workshops in China and Switzerland because the way she brings leadership forward is deep and insightful and transforms groups as well as individuals. I am much, much better able to manage myself in real time, and to switch my focus from what I'm against, to what I want, to seeing and working together. The benefits are as clear to my colleagues and my husband, as they are to me!
Caroline Rennie, international consultant

Innovation Radicals, Germany

Thanks to the support of Aikido@Work I know a short sequence of exercises by heart now. I use it in our team meetings as well as in workshops with clients. The effect is amazing, it helps us become more present, calm and aware! I did it recently with a group during a workshop before they did user interviews. The atmosphere in the room was super focused and collected afterwards, it felt incredible!
Johanna Rosenbusch, Co-Founder

Beyond Boundaries, Switzerland

I was looking for an opportunity to work on some patterns I have been having for years when interacting with specific profiles and situations in organisations.
The training was very well designed and tailored to our individual needs. I became more aware of some ingrained patterns and, very importantly, it enabled me to considerably progress on a key personal development area. Anita was continuously sensing into our respective needs and tailoring her approach accordingly, which made a real difference. My needs were met at a level of depth that I did not expect within only two days.
Back in my professional environment I noticed that I was already able to shift the way I am managing specific kinds of situations with individuals and teams.
Jany Barraut, Organizational Development and Change professional

Draaktaal, Leiden

Anita gave me valuable tools in the introduction and deepening training “Communicating with Impact”, which strengthened my mental resiliency. During the training, a lot of attention was put into physical centering exercises and developing a better awareness of my own thoughts and emotions. These skills allow me to better meet others in difficult and challenging situations and to regain my focus and balance much more quickly. This capacity to feel stability within myself helps me to make more conscious choices how to respond from an authentic self. I can highly recommend this training to everyone who wants more insight into their personal awareness and to learn to communicate more effectively.
Liang Wai Chan, projectleider en gecertificeerd vertaler

De Broekriem, Schiedam

I have organised a short series of workshops with Anita as subject expert. She made a big impression on me with her approach. The workshops made me realise that you are stronger than you think, in every respect of the word. This power is in everybody and Anita knew how to beautifully make us feel that through the philosophy of Aikido.
Through conversation and practical exercises, she teaches you to look at yourself in a different way and you discover quite quickly where you are in resistance. This takes a lot of energy that can better be used to stay balanced, both from a personal as a professional point of view. The result is that you can really put yourself out there powerfully and avert negativity, and that gives energy! I would want the same for you - highly recommended!
Alen Vukorepa, event manager

La Vie Verte, Den Haag

As a participant in a workshop that Anita offered to jobseekers, I was impressed by the insights that Aikido gives. Or rather, by the principles as Anita applies them. The goal was to literally and figuratively place yourself stronger in the market. In an unconventional and effective way, she shows you the possibilities that Aikido offers in order to grow from physical ‘understanding’ in your personal development, and how you can increase your personal power and awareness.
The way Anita gave us the exercises was very insightful and helped us to get the principles. I believe this is a very good method both for individuals and for organisations and offers a strong foundation for leadership! Anita’s way of working is calm and involved. She flawlessly pinpoints the sensitive area and even more importantly, provides tools to reverse them.
Erika Teeuwisse, zelfstandig redacteur en copywriter

Edutel, Eindhoven

It was very inspiring to experience how the philosophical approach of Aikido mirrors situations in the workplace. Anita helped my colleagues to gain new insights about themselves - ow and why we react in certain ways and how to avoid reacting from impulse.
The atmosphere during the workshop was very relaxed given Anita’s open attitude, even though the exercises could be quite confronting, so this speaks highly about the quality of the trainer. There was time to learn, reflect, react, laugh and be open to something new. This was a complete workshop about how to communicate from your own power.
Bob Jacobs, social media expert

I knew about Aikido only as a martial art. I didn’t know you could use it for spiritual development in harmony with your own energy/ki. Connecting with yourself and staying connected in situations at work. Moving with the other party in order to achieve a ‘victory’. Anita has a very nice way of communicating, very relaxed.
Ankie Sueters, personeelszaken

Gemeente Amsterdam

Going my own way had brought me a lot - greater freedom in my work and personal life. However, the flipside of this independence was that I tended to walk around resistance (big or small). I didn’t want that anymore. I wanted to learn to discover possibilities, to grow and to develop myself with more self-awareness and together with others (family, friends, colleagues and superiors). Also when meeting resistance!
Anita’s coaching made me more aware of my own inner power and authenticity. She helped me experience how I can access that and use it in contact with others, in conversation and in my work. Anita’s approach is very accessible and pleasant. She does make you work! She has a strong personality, a lot of experience, knowledge and is very involved and passionate.

Sandra Hirs, Intern online community manager (social intranet)

Budget Energie, Amsterdam

With a lot of passion Anita has given two great trainings for a diverse group of our staff. She knew very well how to blend the sometimes esoteric side of Eastern wisdom and knowledge, which she obviously masters, and the outgoing and pragmatic corporate culture which we are used to. The physical exercises during the training gave us unique (and therefore unforgettable) experiences, that were then translated to verbal situations.
Anita is respectful and open to everyone and can receive feedback and input. We had a good collaboration and really received a customised program with thorough preparation, including some preparatory interviews with a few colleagues. Highly recommended to everyone who wants to experience communication in a completely different way!
Klaas van der Meulen, Training & Development Specialist

Triodos Bank, Zeist

Anita Paalvast is one of the sharp women you’d like to know and keep in your network. She is focused on a balanced outcome while remembering that the foundation of success is through cooperation with yourself, people in and outside the team and with mindful and aware steps. Anita has made me aware how my personal stance has an impact on my results and therefore our results.
She worked with us on the program of the day with exquisite care of every detail. We came up with a plan and executed it thoroughly and thoughtfully. She operates with integrity and sophistication.
Anne Mieke van der Werf

Consumentenbond, Den Haag

Anita is a very down to earth and open facilitator who know how to put Aikido forward in a very practical way. She connects the principles of Aikido to situations in the workplace, which makes it easy for people to see how you can apply them. She confronts people and gets them out of their comfort zone, with respect and without pushing them excessively. Her way is inviting and determined with a sense of humour.
Kirsten Kolkman, Manager P&O

NS Reizigers, Utrecht

Aikido from and with Anita has helped me to communicate more effectively. Not pushing and pulling to get your way or to force cooperation, but moving with the motions towards a solution. This will bring you a lasting relationship and a solution that brings you further. Why didn’t I do this earlier?!
Sjaak Delforterie, Operationeel Manager Klantbegeleiding Noord-Oost

De Nederlandsche Bank / Dutch Central Bank, Amsterdam

'Working with Anita has been a great way for the team and me to experience how seemingly small changes in approach can make a big difference! A great experience!
Gisella van Vollenhoven-Eikelenboom, Head of department Supervision Policy Insurers and Pensionfunds

IBFD, Amsterdam

Anita coached me in a very challenging phase of my career. Her way of coaching made a big difference and helped me to redirect my goals and to look to the future with confidence and optimism.
Carlos Gutiérrez, IBFD Principal Research Associate

Eurocross Assistance, Leiden

Anita’s workshop during our team away day focused on dealing with emotional customers gave us a lot of insights. As trainer she is clear, enthusiastic and she radiates calmness. It was valuable to notice that you are not only stronger physically, but also mentally when operating from a centered physical posture. I had never thought this would work until I experienced it.
Wouter Oosting, international assistance coordinator

Europees Parlement, Brussel

I was surprised by the use of principles of a martial art in daily situations. It is amazing to see how it can help! Most inspiring was 'centering' and the importance it has. Of course you have to train regularly, but now I can agree with what is behind the quote Anita presented ‘Don't let people pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace’.
Claudine Sioens, Training Officer

TNO Defensie en Veiligheid, Rijswijk

For business developers, negotiating is often part of their work. As a sales team, we have undertaken a workshop to learn how striving for harmony – specific to Aikido – can be used during our sales programs. We discovered that we were not only going home better equipped for negotiations, but also for many other aspects in our daily life and work.
Rogier Kalkhoven, Business Developer

Woonstichting Den Helder

I participated in the Change Masterclass based on Aikido and led by Anita. It made me experience, through physical exercises, how it feels to bring about change. The resistance that often comes with changes became tangible, which was insightful and gave us a way to redirect. Feeling the changes was a welcome reinforcement for the theory of change.
This type of training could be very well suited for other processes within organisations where people interact. It was a very instructive training in a relaxed atmosphere.
Irma Noordeloos, Stafmedewerkster Procescontrole en Kennisbank

Just Working Better, Bloemendaal

I hired Anita in our Servant Leadership Program for her expertise in leadership and communication through Aikido. It is unbelievable how the Aikido postures and performance are similar to the characteristics of servant leadership. It was wonderful to work with Anita and I highly recommend her.
Arlette Bout, Just Working Better

FlexWater Consultants BV, Utrecht

I worked with Anita for a couple of team building sessions in various contexts. She is an exceptional Aikidoka who is able to get people into their own power, away from the thinking mind into a grounded and centered posture. With a few simple, but effective, exercises this result is achieved in a playful way and with a sense of humour. With her professional and calm way of working, Anita makes you experience personal leadership principles. When I look at the successes that I achieved with my teams, I will surely hire her again.
Johan van 't Zet, Sr. Project Manager Philips Consumer Lifestyle

Lincoln University, New Zealand

Having experienced a week of Anita's workshops I can highly recommend her approach to Aikido. The physical movement of flowing and blending with your opponent helps to embody the principles that can also be applied in non-physical verbal or organisational settings. The discussion of these parallels was as useful as the Aikido sessions. This was my first experience of any martial art and I found it empowering and somehow 'dignifying' - bringing out my true inner warrior perhaps!
Richard Moreham, PHD candidate & teaching assistant

Hazelwood House, Devonshire, UK

My experience of Aikido with Anita was part of a four-day course, The Art of Protection. We had only an hour a day but this hour was truly enlightening for me. I am 73 and have never done any martial art, and so I was thrilled with how much this experience gave to me. Anita's teaching was so clear and easy to follow, and it was exciting to feel with my body the ability to meet challenge fearlessly and then to re-direct it. I also became aware of how much power we have available to us. This gave me a sense that age is irrelevant when we are connected to that source. This was a wonderfully affirming experience.
Anabel Farnell-Watson

Servant Leadership BV, Hilversum

Everybody was very enthusiastic about the Interactive Aikido & Leadership Workshop that we organised. Participants really stepped out of their heads and into their bodies, guided in a professional way by Aikidoka, Anita Paalvast. Stop thinking, let go and act.
Anita’s calmness, experience, enthusiasm and professionalism make people feel at ease and allow them to experience leadership principles in a physical way. This parallel gave us a lot of insight. Her own leadership and the Japanese martial art Aikido expertise gave us a unique experience which will certainly get a follow-up!
Lars Mallant, partner Servant Leadership BV

Beekery Executive Sales Coaching, Haarlem

A participant in the Beekery programme shared the following experience:
I have experienced my introduction to Aikido as very special and surprising. I have gained insight into the stability of my body and mind and power towards my surroundings. I have also gained insight into my movements and awareness about what I send out non verbally to others and how I can put myself forward more powerfully. The different exercises were a revelation and have made a lasting impression on me.
David Andreas

Do you recognise this? Successfully responding to and achieving change often fails due to habitual behaviours.
It is not necessarily unwillingness. Human nature and reality simply are obstinate.
Your potential to navigate change stands or falls with your ability to break through fixed patterns and habits and subsequently substituting them with new ones.
That requires courage!
My work will support you to grow and practice this courage.

Aikido@Work
Empower yourself, empower your team
Lead lasting change!

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