History of the Aikido Circle
The Aikido Circle was founded in 1975 by Sensei Allen Beecham who began his Aikido career in 1966 studying extensively under Chiba Shihan. The Aikido Circle began teaching traditional Aikido in London. In 1984 the Aikido Circle joined an "umbrella group" which provided access to tuition by Tamura Shihan and the teachings of Saito Shihan.
In 1989 Sensei Beecham "retired" from Aikido and Sensei Paul Barker, who has been practising Aikido for more than thirty years, drawing inspiration from Tamura Shihan, Saito Shihan, and Chiba Shihan, took over as Chief Instructor. In 1993 the Aikido Circle became an independent Association again, with Dojos in London, Essex, Kent, and Sussex. One of Sensei Barker's senior students has opened a branch of the Aikido Circle in Australia.
The Circle has also appeared a number of times in local and national publications. Please click here to read these articles.
What styles do we practice?
It is traditional Aikido, with emphasis placed on practical techniques. Weapons practice plays an important role in day to day training and the creation of an independent weapons syllabus has provided students with the opportunity to further develop their knowledge. The Aikido Circle's traditional values remain as strongly today as they did in 1975 with particular attention to basic technique, discipline and etiquette.
We train in Traditional Aikido and Iwama Ryu weapons as the Technical Aikido Basic System. We practice a lot of Shoji Nishio Sensei's style of Aikido and his weapons extensively. We have to grade in Shoji Nishio Sensei's approach/techniques. We practice the Shoji Nishio Sensei's AIKI TOHO IAI which he has slightly modified in the Iai Nishio Sensei learned to fit in with Aikido Techniques.
In addition we also train in Iaido, which is the traditional Samurai art of drawing the sword in combat. A special one hour class is held every Monday evening at the Sidley dojo from 7pm to 8pm. Please click here for further information.