Keith Downs 5th Dan, BAB Coach Level 3
After a number of years of Judo and then Shotokan Karate I stated to learn Aikido in 1977 with Mucha sensei and Spence sensei from the Lancashire Aikikai achieving 1st Dan in 1983.
In 2000 I was awarded 5th Dan by Spence sensei.
I also hold the Lancashire Aikikai full teaching certificate and the British Aikido Boards Coach Level 3 certificate.
During my time in Aikido I have been lucky enough to practice for a short periods with Kisshomaru Ueshiba (O Sensei’s son), at Honbu Dojo in Japan. In New York, New Jersey and taught Aikido regularly for several years in Bergen, Norway.
Appointed Chief Instructor of the Aikikai by Spence sensei in 2015.
Ray Munns 3rd Dan, BAB Coach Level 1
I began Aikido in 1986 at Milton Keynes Aikido Club. I started a martial art to replace the competition I'd lost through sport! I soon learnt that Aikido is about competition with oneself! My sensei were Alan Sanders and Roger Nye. I thank them both for their perseverance and compassion. They have retired from aikido practice; I still refer to their teaching.
I achieved Shodan in 1999 under the tutelage of Aubrey Smith, Sensei, of Northampton a significant wait after my original sensei had retired leaving Milton Keynes Club with me and my 1st Kyu peers. I asked Aubrey for his help and guidance whilst we were both part
of the Yama Arashi (UK). Aubrey recharged my enthusiasm to continue along O Sensei's path. I also began the Open University Aikido Club at this time.
I became Assistant Coach in 1995 and Coach in 2000 through the offices of the Yama Arashi. To all my various sensei I owe a huge debt of gratitude. They have all instilled within me an understanding of harmony during practice and life; of doing aikido WITH people and not TO them.
In 2000 Keith Downs, Sensei joined Seishin Milton Keynes. Keith took me & my club into the Lancashire Aikikai. He has added significant additional elements to my aikido.
In 2002 Keith arranged for me to take the necessary steps toward 2nd Dan.
In 2006 I attained 3rd Dan after examination by our Principal, Mr. R Spence, Sensei, 6th Dan. I never imagined, in 1986, that I would ever attain San Dan! Each plateau of achievement in the understanding of that which O Sensei has given us is followed by another intriguing, entrancing, learning curve. Although I feel more experienced in my Aikido I am constantly enthused by just how much there is still to learn…
Having 'retired' and moved to Anglesey I continue along O Sensei's path at our new club, Aikido Môn.