In the 1960s whilst studying Wado Ryu I decided to extend my understanding of martial arts. In 1970, when Danny Connor returned from his study trip to Japan, he started teaching a small group the new art of Tai Chi. I joined his group and practised with Danny Connor, then later with Rose Li.
In 1975 I wanted to develop my interest further. I had been to a martial arts demonstration in Manchester. I was very impressed by the Aikido demonstration and I joined the Manchester & District Aikikai run by Don & Mary Pybus. At that time there was a lot of interest in the martial arts which had been influenced by Bruce Lee and others. The Pybus organisation then had 200+ members and six clubs.
I first met Riley Sensei in the early eighties, either on courses that our club attended or on courses organised by Riley Sensei, including Cottier Sensei and Smith Sensei. Over the years I have attended courses with Yamaguchi Sensei, Yamada Sensei, Kanai Sensei, Kanetsuka Sensei, Waites Sensei, and of course Riley Sensei.
Riley Sensei has over the years, helped, advised and supported me, even though I was with a different organisation.
I received the grade of Yondan in 1999 and Godan in 2011 from Riley Sensei. At this level it was important to me that the grade came from a Sensei for whom I have great respect, not only for his ability, but also as a person.
I am very pleased that my club “The Hyde Dojo”, where I have been teaching for 20+ years, is now part of the White Rose Aikikai under the direction of Riley Sensei.
Sensei Barry Chapman, November 2015