Philippe Gouttard (born 23 February 1954) is a French Aikido instructor 6th Dan Aikikai member of the Fédération Française d'Aïkido Aïkibudo, et Affinitaires (FFAAA). Philippe is also a certified Osteopath.
After many years playing soccer at the AS Saint-Étienne, Philippe Gouttard began practicing Aikido at the age of 16. He made his first steps on the tatami during the classes led by Johannès Blachon at his Dojo du Portal Rouge in Saint-Étienne in which other famous practitioners have also started Aikido such as André Cognard and Daniel Pabiou. Philippe quickly completed his regular practice at the dojo with numerous seminars under the direction of the Japanese Sensei who were present in Europe at the time, including Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei, Hirokazu Kobayashi Sensei, and Masamichi Noro Sensei. It is during a course led by the latter that Philippe Gouttard met Katsuaki Asai Sensei, whom he will eventually join at his dojo in Germany and train there for the next seven years.
It is in 1978 that Philippe Gouttard met Christian Tissier for the first time, at a course that Tissier was giving in Saint-Étienne. The influence of Christian Tissier completely reshaped his practice and led to him to the expression of his current technique. Via Christian Tissier, Philippe also met Seigo Yamaguchi Senseï, who became nothing less than a mentor, and who inspired the development both the external and internal aspects of his practice.
Following the example of Christian Tissier, Philippe Gouttard decided to travel regularly to Japan and he went there every year, starting from the early 80's, a tradition that he still observes today. During these several weeks Tokyo, he made a point practicing every day at every of the five daily classes held at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, which allowed him to extensively train with all the Sensei of the Aïkikaï, with in particular the second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, Kisaburo Osawa Sensei, and of course Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei. He also could extensively train with partners belonging to the next generation of instructors such as the third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei, Seishiro Endo Sensei, and Masatoshi Yasuno Sensei, with whom he still keeps close contact today.
Back in France, Philippe Gouttard has assumed several official and technical functions within the FFAAA, in particular that of technical director for the Rhône-Alpes region for over 15 years. In addition to his regular classes at his dojos in Saint-Étienne and Grenoble, Philippe Gouttard also teaches extensively abroad, in Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Holland, the United States, as well as in the overseas regions of France (Réunion and Martinique).
Philippe is also a prolific author essays about the practice of Aikido, which he publishes on his own website.