About Us

Novum Experience is an idea by Andrea Merli and Sara Caruana.

We live our time as husband and wife, professionals, educators and martial arts enthusiasts.

About our track record

Andrea was born in Turin in 1977, entrepreneur and specialized in Project Management and Innovation in international research and development projects.
After his classical and humanist education, he completed his studies in Management Engineering, specializing in Economics and Organization. For years he has been involved in the training of pre-adolescents in the educational and spiritual fields. Teacher of Innovation Management for post-graduate courses and of Business Planning and Project Management in academic courses, he has twenty years of experience in the field of communication and corporate training. Among his passions, he cultivated the study of piano from the age of 4. After an initial period in the nineties dedicated to the study of Shotokan Karate, he began studying Aikido together with Sara in 2012.

To strengthen his skills in the training field, he successfully attended the courses on Conflict Transformation at Emory University, taught by Prof. Ellen Ott Marshall, and Science of Well-being at the Faculty of Psychology at Yale University, taught by Prof. Laurie Renee Santos, and Monash University’s Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance masterclass by Prof. Craig Hassed.

Sara was born in Turin in 1982 and works as a lawyer. After her scientific education, she completed her studies in Law, specializing in the comparison of Civil Law with Canon and Ecclesiastical Law.
For years she collaborated in training of children and pre-adolescents in the educational, recreational and spiritual fields. After a period of work in the commercial sector, she refined her preparation with specialization courses for the legal profession. She has always been sporty, and successfully practiced various sports disciplines thus starting a new path together with Andrea in Aikido. Sara has actively participated in initiatives to promote the culture of the right to defense for victims of domestic and gender violence; in such projects she supported the teaching of courses at the Palestra dei Diritti (Rights’ Gym) and carried out several training and seminar activities on the legal profiles of personal defense.

Some projects and formats

Thanks to the experience gained at a technical and professional level, in which Sara came into contact with the numerous problems of family law, the world of addiction and gender and economic violence, Sara created a format of meetings aimed only at female audiences (Stress & Defense Response -Conflict Transformation).

In this perspective, Sara and Andrea are involved in the FIJLKAM training course of the Global Self-Defense Method (MGA). They are currently second level certified trainers.

About the topic of strengthening women’s defensive tools in conflictual and oppressive environments, Sara was a speaker and trainer in the meetings of the DEFCON and CON3 projects, sponsored by the Municipality of Turin, Italy, while Andrea provided support in the coordination of project activities.

Continuous technical training

Andrea and Sara deepen their martial discipline at the Hara Kai Dojo of Marco Rubatto Sensei. Hara Kai and Novum Experience are members of the Evolutionary Aikido Community led by Patrick Cassidy Sensei, which brings together Swiss, Italian, French, German, Belgian, Dutch, Lithuanian, American, Canadian and Mexican practitioners. They participate in international events, coming into contact with the experience of world-famous teachers such as Miles Kessler Sensei and practitioners from different cultures.

Sara and Andrea, in addition to the mandatory training for Aikido and MGA teachers provided by FIJLKAM at regional and national level, follow continuous training provided by Marco Rubatto Sensei with special classes on a monthly basis. Aspects relating to the group’s training and management methodology are explored in depth in retreats held on a regular basis every two months.

Special attention to the little ones. The Aiki-Gioco® method

Educate the youngest and teach them something useful so that they grow according to healthy principles and with motor patterns useful for their development, supporting families, schools and educators for harmonious growth. This is our goal in children and teenagers’ classes.

To do this, Andrea and Sara were assistants for several seasons at numerous training sessions for children and teenagers held by Marco Rubatto Sensei.

They recently completed the training course created by Fabio Ramazzin Sensei on the Aiki-Gioco® method. The method allows us to benefit from continuous discussion with professional teachers and a network of teachers specialized in teaching for the little ones and for pre-adolescents, thus offering an updated teaching system with respect to the needs of the varied world of minors.

Ranking, certifications and lineage

Sara and Andrea currently hold the rank of II Dan (nidan) Aikikai and FIJLKAM and are engaged in the training course for teachers in the FIJLKAM Aikido sector, in which they qualify as coaches, federal technicians of II level SNaQ according to the provisions of the 2013/55/EU directive. For some it is important to talk about lineage: anyone interested in understanding what ours is and knowing some of the names of the teachers with whom we have trained to date, may click here.

A bridge with Japanese culture and language and an interdisciplinary approach

Since 2019, Andrea and Sara have been studying Japanese language and culture at the Italy Japan Sakura Intercultural Association in Turin. Thanks to this path, they participated in the Washoku Japanese Culture & Food Fest, on the occasion of the celebrations of the fifteenth anniversary of the twinning between Turin and Nagoya, with a public performance in front of the authorities of the two cities and the Japanese embassy in Italy.
Sara and Andrea have been speakers for Budo conferences moderated by Yuko Fujimoto. Sara and Andrea offer performances during events organized in city parks dedicated to poetry (haiku) and host calligraphy artists (shodo) in their educational events in the area.

In collaboration with the Adler Institute of Turin, they were speakers at the Psychology and Aikido meetings. On conflict management they held technical didactic modules for FIJLKAM, which complement the technical and legal teaching held in recent years in regional seminars for both the Aikido and MGA sectors.