When did you start and what influenced you to start?
I went to a training course held by the International Buda Association [IBA] with my Karate Sensei. Several martial art styles attended this course, but the one that really impressed me was one where I watched a bearded gentleman control ukes with a smile and without apparent aggression. Having trained in karate for 20 years I was fascinated by the finesse of the Aikido moves and the absence of aggression.
Where have you practiced Aikido, and under which sensei’s, Japanese or home grown senseis
I have practised the majority of my Aikido at Mirfield Martial Arts Club. I also have enjoyed several courses with the UMA, and I always look forward to my annual visit to Tenby to train with other students of the Tokushima Budo Council.
Who has influenced you?
Sensei Vince Thompson was my first influence in my quest to learn more about aikido, along with all the Sensei’s at Mirfield who have fuelled my desire to improve my knowledge. They are fortunate at Mirfield to have numerous excellent instructors and an excellent dojo.
What do like most in Aikido?
Firstly as in most martial arts the integrity of your fellow students, along with quality friendships. I enjoy training with purpose but not with aggression, to control but not to defeat. I have just started my journey in Aikido and look forward to learning more.
Are you trained in any other martial arts?
At the age of 36, my young daughters wanted to learn Karate; so I took them to local classes, after a short while I could not resist the temptation of what could be achieved with training and discipline.
I started training at the Honto Shin Wadoryu Karate in 1985, after six years I succeeded in gaining my 1st Dan in 1991.Three years later I achieved my 2nd Dan. Finally in 2000. I achieved my 3rd Dan. I have been able to train with Shingo Ohgami who is one of the leading Wadoryu sensei’s, he was trained by Hironori Ohtsuka the founder of Wadoryu
In 1994 after three years I obtained my 1st Dan in Atemi Jitsu, this led to further training in self-defence. My daughters didn’t realise what they had started but neither did I.
How would you sell Aikido as opposed to other arts?
Aikido is the only non-aggressive martial art I know of, but this varies according to the direction and path that your sensei takes. I hope to be able to train for many more years despite my mature age. You are never too old to learn