Georges Stobbaerts, a Belgian by origin and Portuguese by nationality, was born in Casablanca (Morocco) in 1940. He graduated in Biochemistry in Belgium in 1961. He extensively travelled in Asia with a passion for the traditional forms of arts and spirituality in Japan and India. In 1971 he left Morocco – his birthplace – and moved to Portugal.

Fascinated by the Arts of Budo, he was trained in Belgium, Morocco and the Far East. He practiced with Japanese masters from around the world who also introduced him to Zen meditation. With Indian gurus he deepened his knowledge of Yoga. He practiced Judo, Aikido, Kendo and Iai-Do under the guidance of eminent Eastern masters and formed closed contacts with scientific research centers, such as the French CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique).

In 1962 in Casablanca he founded a Dojo, the first in Africa. He taught there for over a decade on the spiritual and didactic side of the fore-mentioned disciplines. He was distinguished in several world championships of Kendo (Sapporo 1970, Los Angeles 1972, San Francisco 1973).

Georges Stobbaerts’ first contact with Portugal dates back from 1965 introduced traditional Japanese forms of arts such as Zen, Aikido, Kendo and Iai-Do. In 1970 was invited by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to teach Aikido. He eventually moved to Portugal and opened a Dojo – Budokan of Portugal- in Cascais and in Lisbon (Alcantara), where he experimented with new forms and pedagogies, and in 1985 he created a new discipline Tenchi Tessen, art of movement, where a traditional katana is replaced by a fan.

Kata of Iaido – Georges Stobbaerts- Budokan de Portugal in Cascais- 70’s


Presentation Ten-Chi Tessen – Antonio Carlos Piano and Guida – Portugal- 80’s
Presentation Ten-Chi Tessen – Students of the Dojo in Fribourg, Switzerland- 90’s

In 1978 he founded the project TenChi in the region of Sintra in Portugal. This cultural centre located in the nature was dedicated to the practice and the research in various forms of arts and movement. The project of Tenchi was to define the inclusiveness of the art of movement by challenging and bridging the boundaries between the east and the west.

Ten with Sun, Portugal, 80’s


As the world globalized with deep social transformation and scientific progress, he promoted an approach on arts and movement with multidisciplinary activities developed around the Tenchi Project. The purpose was to practice, to gather expertise and exchange experiences, connecting the local and the global and establishing bridges between cultures. He strived to create a space that could be host and be the guardian of traditional riches as a part of the world heritage with modernity. Many leading figures such as of spirituality are received such as Lanza del Vasto, SriSri Sachidananda, Faouzi Skali, Gérard Blitz or Claude Durix.


Planting a tree with Satchidananda- Tenchi, Sintra- 80’s
Satsang Yoga- Tenchi, Sintra.- November 1983

He always insisted on the risk of mechanization of the gesture in favor of technicality and effectiveness-efficacy leading to the loss of the soul of the movement and the absence of reflection to learn and progress.

His interest to theater begins in the early 1970s at the Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa where he applied his practices and experiences of motion arts to theater. He meets worls figures of the art among which Peter Brook and Maurice Béjart. He collaborates with various theater directors, theater schools and institutions, namely Carlos Avilez, Filipe La Féria, Jorge Listopad, Mário Barradas, João Lourenço, Adolfo Gutkin together with the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Teatro casa da Comedia, the Teatro Experimental de Cascais and the Centro Dramático de Évora.

In 1999, Georges Stobbaerts signed a protocol with the Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education of the [[University of Chile]] to promote and organize training courses in the practice of Aikido and Associated Disciplines, with a curricular and university extension.

In 2001, in collaboration with the Faculdade de Motricidade Humana de Universidade de Lisboa, he performed a show – The Dance of Breath – with the aim of demonstrating the aesthetic interconnection between the Arts of Budo and dance in Centro Cultural de Belém. The following year, at the invitation of the Olga Cadaval Museum, there was a show where there was an integration and a merger in the movement and the traditional music of the arts of the West and the East.


Show Georges Stobbaerts with Maria João, Mário Laginha and Rao Kyao- Teatro São Luis- Lisbon – May 2008
Kata Tessen Teatro São Luis – Lisbon – May 2008
Kata Tessen , Ana Oliveira and Miguel Raposo, Teatro São Luis – Lisbon -May 2008


He was representative for Portugal of the Dai Nippon Butoku-kai (Kyoto, Japan), that granted to him the graduation in Hanshi, 8º Dan and his school was declared a Ryu by the same institution.

Georges Stobbaerts passed away in Estoril (Portugal) in January 2014.



Gardens of Ten-Chi

Faleceu em janeiro de 2014. Conta com quarenta anos de experiência no estudo, ensino, demonstrações e organização de estágios internacionais relativamente às Artes do Budô e do movimento. 


Summer International Seminar- Georges Stobbaerts and Magali Stobbaerts- Dojo Tenchi- July 1998
Georges Stobbaerts Dojo Tenchi – Sintra