My interest in Martial arts began when I was a very small child and I would go to Karate with my parents. I was supposed to sit quietly on the side, watch and wait, but I wanted to join in so I was allowed to stay quietly at the back and copy. This early exposure sparked an interest in me and later I joined a Judo club at my primary school, I loved Judo but due to a house move I was unable to continue.
I was introduced to Aikido in 1996, training at a dojo in Newton Abbott, Devon, under Sensei Tim Griffiths. I have continued my training over the years under various teachers and have attended many seminars all over the UK. I had the honour of receiving instruction from Ken Cottier Shihan during one such seminar. This same seminar was also my introduction to Shane Riley Shihan and the White Rose Aikikai. When I moved to Leeds in 2009 I struggled to find a dojo I was happy with, but finally found a White Rose dojo in Morley, training under Sensei Danford and Sensei Scholefield. I later began training at Sensei Riley’s class in Dewsbury whenever I could, and soon I was on his mat every week and have been his uke on numerous occasions. I was promoted to Shodan by Shane Riley Shihan during one of his Yudansha courses.
Since moving to Herefordshire I return to train when I can but it’s not as often as I’d like; so, with the support of Shane Riley Shihan I am starting a class in Orcop, Herefordshire. I am looking forward to this new challenge.
Alongside my Aikido practice I have been studying yoga for the last 17 years, and trained as a teacher in India. I find that my yoga practice has enhanced my Aikido and I am less prone to injury due to my flexibility. I am still working on my breathing however, as this is central to both Aikido and Yoga and I hope to one day have my breath under my control.