What influenced you to start?
I started at Mirfield Martial Arts in 2000 with no balance couldn’t roll in a straight line and growled with every technique. I had taught Restraint and Arrest in the Army during the 90’s which is based on the principles of Aikido & Ju-Jitsu and I wanted to practise a Martial Art I could still practise when older and Aikido looked right for me.
Where have you practiced aikido, and under which sensei’s, Japanese or home grown sensei’s?
I have mainly studied at Mirfield but have tried to attend courses at Beverly to get a flavour of other Sensei’s ,I have also trained at Aikido Dojo’s in New York, San Francisco and Washington DC which showed me there wasn’t that big a gap from I had learnt at Mirfield I was a blue belt at the time.
Who has influenced you?
My Grandfather who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War and then later boxed in fairgrounds to earn money for his family and despite illness in later life taught me to have a positive outlook on life, definitely an influence on me.
What do you like most in Aikido?
I enjoy the freedom of expression I have when I am on the mat either as uke or tori and that I have learnt to accept people as individuals having trained with male/female and Disabled Aikidoka and people of different ages and ability and have been able to carry this off the mat as well.
Are you trained in any other martial arts?
I dabbled in judo in the Army where I also trained with a lot of people who were trained in Boxing, I have tried Ju-Jitsu, Shokatan Karate, Tai Chi and Escrima I studied each for a about a year but found I was only learning what I had been taught in the Aikido syllabus and so came back to Aikido-However; I don’t hold the view that there is a ultimate Martial Art just what’s right for the individual.