Friday, 14 February 2020

Let me teach you aikido!

I’ve studied aikido since 1983 and taught aikido since the early ‘90s. My main teacher for many years was a direct student of Koichi Tohei Sensei (10th dan) and I have also practised with Tohei Sensei. I have run aikido clubs in London and North Devon and for the last eight years I have studied the Iwama Aikido weapons system in the tradition of Saito Sensei. I would love to help other people discover the beauty and power of aikido but the plain fact of the matter is that my small club in Bucks Cross, North Devon, is rather remote and does not attract students. This year, therefore, I have decided to stop teaching on a weekly basis at the Bucks Cross Club.

This is me back in 1987. I was in Italy to study Aikido with Tohei Sensei.
However, I would be pleased to teach at any martial arts club that might be interested in discovering the principles of aikido. It doesn’t matter if the club already studies aikido (in any style) or some other martial art. If you are open to learning a few of the things I have to teach, please let me know.

If you want to book the Bucks Cross hall for private or group lessons, please contact me. I will be very happy to do that too. Or if you know of some venue in North Devon or Cornwall that might like to host an aikido club, let me know. Let’s talk about it.

This is an article I wrote in the 1990s. The photo was taken at my London club.
For the record, even though I have studied and taught aikido for nearly forty years, I hold the fairly lowly grade of 2nd dan. I was last graded in 1992 by Sensei David Currie of the British Ki Aikido Association (BKAA). When I moved away from London, I stopped practising with Sensei Currie who subsequently moved to the USA. I later left the BKAA (without Sensei Currie I felt the organisation had little to offer me) and became an independent teacher. Over the years, various people have suggested that I adopt a higher grade or join an organisation that would award me a higher grade. I have always rejected that. A higher grade does not automatically make a teacher any better at aikido. I respected my teacher, Sensei Currie, and I made a conscious decision to remain with the grade he awarded me in 1992. I realise that some clubs do not like being taught be relatively low grades, however, so I want to be quite clear that I have a lower formal grading than most other club senseis in the UK today. Even so, I hope I may have acquired a few skills over the last few decades that you might find of interest…

A more recent photo at the Bucks Cross club