He returned to France in the summer of 1958. He practiced alongside Tadashi Abe when the latter came to France. In 1959-1960 Abe returned to Japan, leaving Nocquet to teach aikido in France. Nocquet received the rank of 8th dan in 1985,from his French Aikido federation.
Nocquet founded the Groupe Historique Aikido André Nocquet (GHAAN) in 1988 within the Fédération Française d’Aïkido et Budo (FFAB) headed by Tamura Sensei. This structure gave him the possibility to teach autonomously while participating in the technical organization of the FFAB. After his death, Nocquet left the technical direction of his group to his four most advanced students (sixth dan) Jo Cardot †, Claude Gentil, Claude Cébille and Hervé Dizien.
The world war years
Nocquet fought during World War II in anti-aircraft artillery but he was taken prisoner at the end of the battle of Dunkirk on June 4th, 1940. He managed to escape on October 11th, 1943 and joined the French Forces of the Resistance. After the war, he received the Escapees’ Medal and the Combatant’s Cross for his bravery.
Post-war practice and discovery of Aikido
After the war, Nocquet resumed his professional activities in Angoulême. On September 12th 1945, he became Kawaishi’s 56th Judo black belt and also received a self-defense certificate from him. Nocquet created the first Judo club in his region and he also taught Judo and Ju-jutsu to the Bordeaux police.
In 1949, Kawaishi invited Mochizuki Minoru to give an Aikido demonstration, which he had studied under Ueshiba Morihei. The circularity, elegance, and refinement of Aikido techniques made a strong impression on Nocquet and he enrolled as a student of Mochizuki on the spot. He studied with great dedication until Mochizuki left France in 1952.
To be continued…