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Sojourner
01-30-2014, 08:35 PM
Greetings all,

Am looking over the history of Aikido and would like to look into how Aikido became started in my own country, where the first Dojo's were and who began them, along with who were the first Aussie men and women to recieve gradings in Aikido in Australia as opposed to overseas, then I guess a footprint of how each of the Aikido denominations got started here. I have tried Google without a great deal of success and am hoping that a member here may be able to point me in the right direction for a search like this?

robin_jet_alt
01-30-2014, 09:32 PM
Good luck!

danj
01-30-2014, 11:47 PM
Here are some of the Ki-sters in action
http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-australia/ki-aikido-australia

the funny thing about documenting is that knowledge comes out of the woodwork and the back stories are quite interesting too

sefie
02-01-2014, 04:15 AM
Here's a short history of Aikikai in Australia: http://www.aikido.org.au/aikidohistory.html
More assorted historical articles can be found in the newsletters: http://www.aikido.org.au/aikikaiaustralie.html

danj
02-01-2014, 04:24 AM
Stan Pranin, has some of the early history in an Australian entry in his encyclopaedia of Aikido here
http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=54

robin_jet_alt
02-02-2014, 12:40 AM
The aikikai site above claims it "is the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan".

I know it used to be the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from Aikikai Honbu, but I'm pretty sure A.K.I. and one other that I can't remember right now also have grading authority at present. They might want to update their website.

Richard Sanchez
02-02-2014, 08:52 AM
The aikikai site above claims it "is the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan".

I know it used to be the only Australian organisation to have grading authority from Aikikai Honbu, but I'm pretty sure A.K.I. and one other that I can't remember right now also have grading authority at present. They might want to update their website.

Agreed- All my Dan grades including my Godan were awarded to me in Australia under the direct authority of Aikikai Hombu, beginning with my Shodan nearly 30-years ago, and I am not, and have never been, a member of Aikikai Australia. To my knowledge Aikikai Hombu has awarded at least 200 hundred Dan grades to teachers and students in Australia who have no connection with Aikikai Australia, including my own students when I was teaching there.

Millsy
02-02-2014, 01:52 PM
I think Aikikai Australia have been making that claim for a long time, I'm they told me that when I trained with them briefly. But I'm pretty sure Kenkyukai (A.K.I), Aikido Alliance Australia (through Robert Nadeau Shihan in California), and I think some "Iwama" style dojo's like Barry Knight in Melbourne are all affiliated with the Aikikai hombu. There are surely many more Aikikai Australia doesn't have a monopoly on this.

sefie
02-02-2014, 09:00 PM
I think it's that Aikikai Australia can conduct dan gradings and award dan ranks on behalf of Hombu. I've only ever trained with Aikikai, I've never even met someone who practiced a different style in real life, so this might be splitting hairs, and may very well be incorrect.

It's also the only Australian organisation listed on the Aikikai Foundation website, if you believe things published on the internet: http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/info2/overseas.htm

I'll ask someone who would know more than me :)

Millsy
02-02-2014, 10:10 PM
Diana,
Pretty sure you are correct about the only Australian based organisation, but I think the difference is that Aikikai Australia is affiliated directly to the Honbu, where other organizations such as AKI and AAA are affiliated to the honbu via overseas aikikai shihan (ie. Japan (Tekada Shihan) and USA (Nadeau Shihan) for these 2 examples) and can still award Aikikai Dan rankings.

It is interesting that I have trained with at least 2 senior Aikidoka in US who were very surprised that I was not from Aikikai Aust because when they visited Australia with Yamada sensei, they were told by the locals that Aikikai was the only Aikido organisation in the country. May be a language barrier with the Americans and Australian, I find that a lot here :) .

I think Aikido landscape and history in Australia is quite devise and I would be very interested in what the original poster could put together.

Millsy
02-02-2014, 10:32 PM
... I've only ever trained with Aikikai, I've never even met someone who practiced a different style in real life ...

To digress slightly. It is interesting to note the difference between training in Australia to the US. I always noted how closed Aikido was back home, organisations would hold seminars but only be open to members of their organisation. In the US thing are far more open (at least in my limited experience here), I can't think of a seminar I haven't been able to go to regardless of the organisation it was conducted by. Which means I have trained with a larger variety of Aikidoka in the US than I do in Australia, which I think has been a good thing. Maybe this might make an interesting new thread, or is it part of Australian Aikido history?

sefie
02-02-2014, 10:46 PM
Diana,
Pretty sure you are correct about the only Australian based organisation, but I think the difference is that Aikikai Australia is affiliated directly to the Honbu, where other organizations such as AKI and AAA are affiliated to the honbu via overseas aikikai shihan (ie. Japan (Tekada Shihan) and USA (Nadeau Shihan) for these 2 examples) and can still award Aikikai Dan rankings.

It is interesting that I have trained with at least 2 senior Aikidoka in US who were very surprised that I was not from Aikikai Aust because when they visited Australia with Yamada sensei, they were told by the locals that Aikikai was the only Aikido organisation in the country. May be a language barrier with the Americans and Australian, I find that a lot here :) .

Language is difficult! Thanks for your input. I recently did an instructors course during our national summer school, and we didn't dwell on this point too much. I was much more concerned about not falling asleep after 3 hours of training and a big lunch :D

I agree that this was probably a mis-speaking about being the "only" organisation. I pass by a Ki Society dojo on my way to training, and I think there's a Yoshinkan one nearby as well. I couldn't speak to numbers or popularity of the different schools, though.

I always noted how closed Aikido was back home, organisations would hold seminars but only be open to members of their organisation. In the US thing are far more open (at least in my limited experience here), I can't think of a seminar I haven't been able to go to regardless of the organisation it was conducted by

Again, speaking with limited knowledge, but I believe it's mostly to do with our insurance coverage. We can only cover people who are "members" of our organisation. How memberships work is definitely material for a different thread. We've done a lot of legal work recently to accommodate as many different people as possible, especially with our 50th Anniversary coming up next year. It's not that we don't "let" people from other organisations train (at least in the dojos I've been to!), it's figuring out how we can cover them (and us) for worst case scenarios.

Millsy
02-02-2014, 11:44 PM
We've done a lot of legal work recently to accommodate as many different people as possible, especially with our 50th Anniversary coming up next year. It's not that we don't "let" people from other organisations train (at least in the dojos I've been to!), it's figuring out how we can cover them (and us) for worst case scenarios.

More an observation of the closed nature in Aus than a criticism of Aikikai Aus, I've noticed it in more than one group, and really noticed the difference training in the US. Interesting to hear Aikikai's reasons/limitations. Really interested to see how opening up to "outsiders" for the 50th anniversary goes, as I'll be back in Melbourne next year :)

Alex Megann
02-03-2014, 05:46 AM
I think Aikikai Australia have been making that claim for a long time, I'm they told me that when I trained with them briefly. But I'm pretty sure Kenkyukai (A.K.I), Aikido Alliance Australia (through Robert Nadeau Shihan in California), and I think some "Iwama" style dojo's like Barry Knight in Melbourne are all affiliated with the Aikikai hombu. There are surely many more Aikikai Australia doesn't have a monopoly on this.

… and there is at least one splinter group from Aikikai Australia who are now affiliated to Hombu via New Zealand Aikikai (Brisbane Aikikai (http://aikidobrisbane.org)).

Alex

sefie
02-03-2014, 05:03 PM
More an observation of the closed nature in Aus than a criticism of Aikikai Aus, I've noticed it in more than one group, and really noticed the difference training in the US. Interesting to hear Aikikai's reasons/limitations. Really interested to see how opening up to "outsiders" for the 50th anniversary goes, as I'll be back in Melbourne next year :)

Nice! If you are coming for the 50th Anniversary, or train at one of our dojos, say ahoy :)

robin_jet_alt
02-03-2014, 09:35 PM
Nice! If you are coming for the 50th Anniversary, or train at one of our dojos, say ahoy :)

Oh? Are those of us who learned our aikido elsewhere welcome? My experience is that Aikikai Australia does not even approve of people such as myself who received their black belt from Aikikai in Japan, let alone non-affiliated organisations.

You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs. As Tony said, Aikido organizations in Australia can be very insular.

For our part, we always invite all the local schools to our major events, and we often have people from the local Tomiki school attend. We also have people who train with us as well as the local A.K.I. dojo on a regular basis and I have attended seminars at the A.K.I. dojo as well. Insurance has always covered everyone who attends our seminars and the same goes for the other schools. In spite of our invitations, we have never had anyone from Aikikai Australia join us for one of our events, and it is my understanding (although I'm happy to be corrected) that their students are forbidden from doing so by the organisation.

I know this is getting sidetracked a little, but as Tony said, this insularity is a particularly Australian quality and is an important element of the history of Aikido in Australia.

Travers Hughes
02-04-2014, 12:33 AM
I train in Australia, under Aikikai Australia. We are just down the road from the Brisbane Aikikai who are now aligned with New Zealand. This created an issue as the Brisbane guys were originally students of the head of QLD, who actually started trainig under a different shihan in England. There certainly are (unnecessary) politics. I don't pay much attention to them. (Interestingly, I'm related by marriage to a japanese shihan who outranks any practicioner in Australia). From what I have heard in the past, whenever there have been high-profile shihan visiting Aikikai Australia, other groups are welcome to attend on some days, but not on grading days. I imagine this would be the same for next January.

Shame really - was it Kermit the Frog who said "it's nice to be important, but its important to be nice?"

Sojourner
02-04-2014, 05:10 AM
First off, thankyou for those links that you were good enough to post, that is very much appreciated and I am working through them at present. I am attempting to create a thumbnail sketch of Aikido in Australia and will post a version of it up here when I get it in a format that works and one that can be added to as I come across new information.

As for the discussion re the Aikido organizations we have the following here in Adelaide, I am not sure how they relate to one another, yet my mail is that its not uncommon for students in our city to attend seminars and so forth run by different organizations. Adelaide is a small city in Australia and maybe not as involved in the politics of it, I really am not sure, when I contacted some of these on this list, I found them nothing but helpful.

Aikikai,
Ki Society
Budo Kan. (Aikido / Atemi Jujitsu)
Yoshinkan Aikido
Aikido Kenkyukai International (Affiliated to AIkikai)
Traditional Aikido Australia (Affiliated to Aikikai)

Millsy
02-04-2014, 07:37 AM
Ben,
From memory there is also an Aikido Yuishinkai affiliate in Adelaide, couldn't find a web page but found this listing http://www.aikidojournal.com/dojodetails?id=3194

If it helps, ones I know of in Melbourne are

Yuishinkai
Aikikai
Yoshinkan
Aikido Takemusu
Iwama Ryu Aikido Australia

And I what think may be indepandant dojos?
Pure Aikido
Ki Fusion
Aikido Yoga

Diana mentioned walking past a ki society dojo, but couldn't see one one associate with ki society on a quick search, maybe it was the ki fusion mentioned above. Also I remember there were people interested in starting a Kenkyukai dojo before I came to the states but not sure if that eventuated.

sefie
02-04-2014, 05:33 PM
Oh? Are those of us who learned our aikido elsewhere welcome? My experience is that Aikikai Australia does not even approve of people such as myself who received their black belt from Aikikai in Japan, let alone non-affiliated organisations.

You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs. As Tony said, Aikido organizations in Australia can be very insular.

For the 50th anniversary, yes, some of the training days will be opened to non-Aikikai practitioners. With the Doshu coming, I don't think we could stop them if we tried. Not all of the details have been hammered out yet, and I don't want to overpromise, so I can't give more information right now. All we have are the dates (Jan 19th-25th 2015). I think Jan 22nd-25th are the days that will be open.

You said that you have never met someone who does aikido outside of Aikikai Australia, and I find this is a remarkably common state of affairs.

I slightly misspoke - I do train with people who previously trained in Tomiki and Iwama, but only because they now train in Aikikai. For what that's worth :D

Diana mentioned walking past a ki society dojo, but couldn't see one one associate with ki society on a quick search, maybe it was the ki fusion mentioned above.

Possibly! I went to check but they haven't put their sign out for a while. I assumed it was due to Christmas/New Year holidays but that's stretching it a little. We had an influx of new members recently due to a Tomiki dojo closing down, but none of them have stuck around longer than a month :(

danj
02-04-2014, 07:09 PM
Hi Ben, all,
Here are a few organisations i've collated over the years might be a bit dated though
http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-australia

FWIW some aikido orgs are more closed than open, some that were quite closed are now more open and vice versa over time. I have found though that regardless of organisation budo people serious about getting better end up congregating and so there are all these ura kind of relationships between individuals that transcend organisations.

Hopefully what is happening in the USA (which is perhaps generationally ahead in aikido organisations) might be come more the norm here. Certainly when looking at smaller eco systems there is a lot of support for when a teacher comes out from Japan (or elsewhere) to visit them and being only 8hrs from Japan .

I went to a seminar in Adelaide (back when it had a Yuishinkai dojo there run by a good friend) and witnessed a delightful budo network and to this day I'm not sure who organised the seminar http://www.aikidorepublic.com/trip-and-seminar-reports/aikido-adelaide

best to all and look forward to what you come up with
dan

Richard Sanchez
02-05-2014, 12:18 AM
FWIW some aikido orgs are more closed than open, some that were quite closed are now more open and vice versa over time.

This is very true and Aikikai Australia are certainly not the only organisation to have placed restrictions on their members training elsewhere. I doubt this is peculiar to Melbourne and Victoria but I think it is the main reason why there are so many splinter groups there. I personally know of at least 20 dojos that have been operating independently and successfully for many years, run by very experienced and dedicated teachers- many of them friends of mine.

Some people just like to be independent while others choose that option to escape a paranoid organisation or Dojo-cho. However, getting back to the Hombu recognition issue, there are several Dojos in Victoria that conduct their own gradings under the direct guidance of the Aikikai Hombu who are not affiliated with Aikikai Australia.

We did an estimate once based on independent dojo student numbers and figured there were as many people training in independent dojos in Victoria as there were in the affiliated organisations. That was a 10 years ago and I have since moved to another country so am a bit out of touch but it probably hasn't changed very much.

Alex Megann
02-05-2014, 02:23 AM
We did an estimate once based on independent dojo student numbers and figured there were as many people training in independent dojos in Victoria as there were in the affiliated organisations. That was a 10 years ago and I have since moved to another country so am a bit out of touch but it probably hasn't changed very much.

Hmmm. That sound VERY familiar! Here in the UK there is a rainbow array of more than forty organisations, some affiliated to their respective hombu, some that have been independent for decades, and some with affiliation via an overseas organisation. It's sobering to realise that this is a global and inevitable tendency. The only exception I can think of is France, where there are legal requirements for teaching qualifications, which has tended to keep the number of separate factions low.

Alex

Patrick O'Regan
02-06-2014, 05:51 AM
Hi all,

This is a fascinating conversation. I am a member of a dojo that has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread (Brisbane Aikikai). I write this as an individual, not as a representative of the dojo.

We chose to split away from Australian Aikikai and were an independent dojo for some time. We are now affiliated to Hombu through Aikido Shinryukan which has its head quarters in New Zealand. We are honoured that they accepted us. Hombu recognised gradings have taken place in our dojo recommended through our organisation.

Hi Travers, I remember training with you. Our split from Australian Aikikai may have "created issues" however it was as a result of significant issues that led to the split. Some have been referenced above but there was more to it. Our choice had nothing to do with anyone in Queensland and we were consultative and respectful in our decision. It was not a decision taken lightly. Yet one that we are very pleased with. I would be happy to discuss this with you further and you would be welcome to train with us any time. As Robin mentioned above, insurance won't be major issue.

I hope to see some of you on the mat soon!

Paddy

Millsy
02-06-2014, 08:12 AM
Ben
These might be interesting to look at from a historical point. Scroll to the bottom of the page in the link and you will find a bunch of old Ki Society Australia news letters (late 90s). http://www.northsideaikido.com/index.php?id=dojo-downloads

Patrick,
As Dan pointed out, more eloquently than I, for the grunts on the ground like myself, we are happy to train with like minded aikidoist regardless of affiliation, and make friends across organisations. Its at the organisational level things get sticky, competing ideologies for the same limited students. I think Dan James did some great sums at one stage working out how many dojos an area could support. Although I say its more open in the US, I still hear the friction, X shihan dosn't like us training with Y shihan because they split away, doesn't seem to stop anybody at the lower dan ranks though :)

Travers Hughes
02-06-2014, 11:24 PM
Hi all,

This is a fascinating conversation. I am a member of a dojo that has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread (Brisbane Aikikai). I write this as an individual, not as a representative of the dojo.

We chose to split away from Australian Aikikai and were an independent dojo for some time. We are now affiliated to Hombu through Aikido Shinryukan which has its head quarters in New Zealand. We are honoured that they accepted us. Hombu recognised gradings have taken place in our dojo recommended through our organisation.

Hi Travers, I remember training with you. Our split from Australian Aikikai may have "created issues" however it was as a result of significant issues that led to the split. Some have been referenced above but there was more to it. Our choice had nothing to do with anyone in Queensland and we were consultative and respectful in our decision. It was not a decision taken lightly. Yet one that we are very pleased with. I would be happy to discuss this with you further and you would be welcome to train with us any time. As Robin mentioned above, insurance won't be major issue.

I hope to see some of you on the mat soon!

Paddy

Hiya Paddy, how are things? Yeah, I enjoyed training with you and hope to see you again too! Regardless of whatever politics etc are involved, I've found that pretty near everyoine I've met in Aikido are nice people. That's the most important thing to me...
Cheers and say hi to the guys for me!

Carl Thompson
02-07-2014, 05:22 AM
It really just goes to prove that your mileage may vary. I trained at Brisbane Aikikai for a while and in the wake of some unpleasant internecine happenings at my first aikido club back in the UK, it was an experience that restored my faith in aikido and its practitioners. It was a pleasure training with Paddy and the others. To get even further away from politics, my next stop was Iwama...

Adelaide is a small city in Australia and ...

I think this is a kind of Crocodile Dundee "You call that a knife/city" situation: I really enjoyed my time as an exchange student in Adelaide and only regret that I didn't train while I was there. I was somewhat overwhelmed by the size of the city coming from the UK :) .

Regards

Carl

Patrick Crogan
02-09-2014, 05:29 AM
Daniel (hey man!),
The Seminar with Oshima Sensei (what that man doesn't know about sankyo is probably not worth knowing :-) was organised by Joe Pellin of Aikido Kenkyukai, hosted by Gianni Zandal's dojo in Unley (an Aikikai dojo with direct link to Kumano Juku dojo in Japan; Gianni was a deshi there for a time of (the late) Hikitsuchi Shihan) and attended by various folks. That's the way things went when we were all there. Each group (Yuishinkai, our Aikikai affiliated dojo, Gianni's) would bring their visitors out and we would each support the other's Gasshuku.

As someone with many years in Aikikai Australia (up to sandan) and now quite a few out, this Adelaide scene (to whom Aikikai Aust were always welcome officially, and also informally invited to through old contacts and friends) was a brilliant Aikido community to be part of. It was very unlike the Aikikai Aust 'philosophy' of one 'national direction', not diluting your development with a 'smorgasboard' approach to Aikido learning, the importance of personal connexion to the founder of the group -- (the late) Sugano Shihan -- despite the fact he lived in another country and visited twice a year, etc. These were some of the things I recall from documents and numerous speeches about what were core values for the group. Curiously, I was a dinner guest of Sugano sensei in Belgium once many years ago and I marked his words about how important it was for people to seek out all they could about Aikido and test it against their experience; they were all the more striking to my ears as a young shodan freshly minted from the Aikikai Australia system....

At least that's how it was back then in AA--people tell me things have moved on somewhat since and I have nothing to go on to test that. Whatever one thinks of it, if one went round all the now established alternative Aikikai affiliated dojos in Australia you would find many have ex-Aikikai Aust teachers and senior students. It's inevitable to a degree that people find differences, and then different pathways. In Australia, perhaps, we have AA to thank for generating such a variety of dojos and associations that are very often networking to share their seminars etc as in the Adelaide scene I was so happy to be part of. It would be great if they are opening up somewhat and allowing their students to seek other insights and angles as part of their development. I have great respect for many of the people I trained with and learnt from in AA, above all the superb, fluent Aikido of Sugano Shihan.

Hi Ben, all,
Here are a few organisations i've collated over the years might be a bit dated though
http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-australia

FWIW some aikido orgs are more closed than open, some that were quite closed are now more open and vice versa over time. I have found though that regardless of organisation budo people serious about getting better end up congregating and so there are all these ura kind of relationships between individuals that transcend organisations.

Hopefully what is happening in the USA (which is perhaps generationally ahead in aikido organisations) might be come more the norm here. Certainly when looking at smaller eco systems there is a lot of support for when a teacher comes out from Japan (or elsewhere) to visit them and being only 8hrs from Japan .

I went to a seminar in Adelaide (back when it had a Yuishinkai dojo there run by a good friend) and witnessed a delightful budo network and to this day I'm not sure who organised the seminar http://www.aikidorepublic.com/trip-and-seminar-reports/aikido-adelaide

best to all and look forward to what you come up with
dan

danj
02-16-2014, 04:22 PM
Hey Patrick,
thanks for the update...I'll update the article, had heard you headed back to the *cough* mother country hope its going well

Hey Paddy,
You guys rock! always appreciate the welcome you guys give

best,
dan

JAR
02-18-2014, 06:56 PM
I was very interested to follow this thread and happy to put forward a perspective on behalf of Aiki Kai Australia regarding the history of Aikido here.
I commenced in 1970 and my knowledge goes back to discussions with Tony Smibert, 7th Dan Shihan, who began training in Melbourne in 1964 with leading Judo teacher Mr Arthur Moorshead. Mr. Moorshead had arrived in Australia from the UK where Tony understood he had received Aikido shodan from Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. To our knowledge, Mr Moorshead started the first Australian Aikido Association in 1965 (and I believe Tony still has his membership card somewhere!).
Meanwhile, in Japan, Australian Verelle Sugano, had already achieved shodan at Hombu and was preparing to move to Australia with her husband, then Hombu instructor Seiichi Sugano, 5th Dan. The young couple arrived in Sydney in mid 1965 and Sugano Sensei brought with him a document signed by O Sensei giving him responsibility for developing Aikido throughout Australasia. He duly established Aikido Australasia, (which later evolved into Aiki Kai Australia). Because Moorshead Sensei encouraged his students to seek instruction from Sugano Sensei as well, Tony, Robert Botterill Shihan and others were soon training with him. More people with an interest came from around Australia and some of these people are now still on the mat within Aiki Kai Australia holding 6th and 7th Dan Aikikai rankings.
Regarding the impression that Aiki Kai Australia is ‘closed to’ outsiders, I think this reflects a misunderstanding by some people of the evolution of Aikido outside Japan and also the traditional perspective about teaching and studentship to which some of the greatest teachers subscribed, and among whom Sugano Shihan can certainly be numbered. Sensei was a teacher who gave and expected to receive a very high level of commitment and far as he was concerned, people outside of Aiki Kai Australia were not our responsibility because they were acting outside of Hombu regulations as they existed at that time.
Of course, during the 1970’s and 80’s Hombu was actively promoting the idea of one organisation per country. Hombu policy is very different now, but anyone with a perspective going back a few years will understand how the Japanese Shihans dispatched in the 1960’s during O Sensei’s time felt about it. Sugano Sensei, presumably like his peers in other regions, was officially designated Hombu’s ‘ Area Representative’ in Australia. Hombu policy at that time seemed clear. For example, Aikikai Australia’s 1978 certificate from Hombu stated that ‘Aikikai Foundation, and The Aikido World Headquarters officially recognizes the Aikikai Australia as its representative organization in Australia…’.
Sugano Sensei was therefore profoundly troubled that people in Australia were receiving dan rankings through organisations recognised by Hombu as national organisations in other countries. Just as troubling were ranks given by Japanese Shihans, from local dojos in Japan – many sent to Hombu as if the individual were actually studying in Japan, then simply mailed here.
None of this would have affected Aiki Kai Australia very much were it not for our participation in the IAF – where it was also believed that Hombu Regulations were (or should be) binding and it was expected that Member nations would uphold them.
In today’s world, none of this may seem very important to a large part of the international aikido family. Hombu regulations, including the ways that gradings may properly be issued, have evolved and adapted to encompass the reality of natural growth. Today, while as I understand it, only an organisation with official Hombu Recognition can maintain an standing dan examination authority on behalf of Hombu within its own national borders, there are certainly other acceptable ways that ranks can be issued within a nation outside Japan. These include: on the occasion of a visit by a Hombu Dojo instructor, when an individual (usually a Shihan) is authorised on a specific occasion to conduct an examination, or if such rank is recommended by one of the senior shihans dispatched during O Sensei’s time to teach overseas – the highest designation of Shihan and of whom there are very few left outside Japan.
As noted by someone earlier in this thread, Aiki Kai Australia is still the only officially recognised organisation in Australia. Not because we would now be in any way concerned by another organisation being officially recognised, but solely because it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know why not, but for myself, and I’m sure others in Aiki Kai Australia, I do look forward to the day when such an association of the various independent groups and dojos in Australia might occur.
As for Aiki Kai Australia, while the name might suggest that we are THE national association (as originally intended all those years ago) the reality is that Aiki Kai Australia is more like an educational grouping than a political one. With nearly thirty people of 6th or 7th Dan ranking working together remarkably cohesively in memory of what Sugano Sensei achieved here – we’re doing what we can to deliver the best we can to those who join Aiki Kai Australia.
Next January, we’ll mark our 50th Anniversary with an international Summer School, to be led by Doshu and with honoured guests including Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan (now Patron of Aiki Kai Australia) and Motohiro Fukakusa Shihan. This is definitely open to everyone with a recognisable connection to Hombu and we’ll do our best to figure out these connections so that the broad family of Aikido can join us there if they would like to.

John Rockstrom
Aiki Kai Australia webmaster

For those in this thread not familiar with Tony Smibert he is 7th Dan, Shihan and current President of Aiki Kai Australia. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the IAF and he is a current Member of the IAF Senior Council.
Robert Botterill is 7th Dan, Shihan, current member of the Aiki Kai Australia Board and Senior Member of the Teaching Committee.

Sojourner
06-16-2014, 12:36 AM
Thank you so much for putting all that together John, it is very much appreciated!

As we stand here is what I have so far in terms of start dates for Aikido and different Aikido groups in Australia. Its totally open for revision as new data becomes available. I hope to put this into a thumbnail sketch, yet here is the proposed starting points.

1963 Arthur Moorshead, begins first Aikido Dojo in Melbourne, Victoria. His liniage is training under Kenshiro Abbe in the U.K.

1964/5? Sugano Shihan / Tony Smithbert Melbourne Victoria? Aiki Kai.

1969 Leoni Heap, Founds Tomiki Aikido in Melbourne Victoria.

1981 Michael Williams, Founds Ki Society, Griffith University Queensland.

Clearly I have a gap between 1969-1981, but am working on that at the current moment! All information welcomed!

Sojourner
06-17-2014, 12:17 AM
Two clarifications to add,

I have Seillichi Sugano reported teaching in NSW in 1965. One of his students John Turnbull founded the ANU Aikido Club in Ryde NSW in 1968 and on their website they state that they are the oldest continuing Aikido club in Australia to this day. - http://www.aikido.net.au/anu/abt.html

sakumeikan
06-17-2014, 04:37 PM
Hi,
Another gent to consider is GrahamMorris, an ex U.K student of Chiba Sensei who emigrated to Oz years ago.An old buddy of mine.Cheers, Joe.

Hellis
06-17-2014, 05:44 PM
There were two teachers from the famous `Hut Dojo` in the UK that emigrated to Australia in the 1960s - David ( Dave ) Williams the brother of Ken Williams the very first student of Aikido in the UK, assistant to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - David held dan grades in Aikido - Judo - Karate .

The other was John Caldwell a pioneer dan grade in Aikido from the Hut Dojo and a talented boxer who was a sparring partner to the then world champ Terry Downs.

Sadly I lost touch with both of them - If they are still teaching they would have been a great asset to the promotion of early Budo in Oz.

Henry Ellis
Co-author ` Positive Aikido `
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Sojourner
06-17-2014, 11:07 PM
Cheers guys, have noted those names to the searching list.

To add,

1983 - Joseph Thambu opens the first Yoshinkan Aikido dojo in Melbourne Australia. Joseph Thambu first arrived in 1980 and taught but moved to the Yoshinkan Style after training in it post 1980.