I've not seen this section before and I hope it doesn't end up being just a waste of server space, but I thought I'd tell you who I am anyway.
I'm Ian, I trained in Yorkshire (England) for a couple of years under an indenpendent aikido club, though they undoubtedly had influences from Chiba (indirectly through Arthur Lockyer). Then I spent the next 10 years travelling around in Ascot, Slough, Cambridge, West London, Devon, Southampton i.e. around Southern England. During this time I trained on and off at various dojo's but never got chance to grade (it took a while to adapt to a new system, and then I would move). I then moved over to N.Ireland and graded for my 1st Kyu, and teach a small club on the North Coast (which I set up as there are no other clubs within reasonable travelling distance). We are affiliated with the Isle of Man Aikido club (Alan Ruddock) and the Belfast Aikido Circle, whom we train with regularly and give us the extra support we need!
The reason I moved around so much is that I work in (environmental) science, and in the UK you tend to get short term and low paid contracts (since graduating 7 years ago I still haven't come close to reaching the UK average graduate starting wage and many of the pay streams I've been in don't even go that high no matter how long you work) - my rant over, just trying to discourage youngsters in the UK from believing the government and going in to science (they really mean engineering and technology). I'm currently doing a PhD with an eye on leaving the UK. (did you know that the UK produce more scientific publications per pound (£) than any other country in the world?)
Thanks for the introduction! It's nice to get to know people outside of the context of the posts they've written. I very much don't consider anything that's posted here a "waste of server space" -- heck, there's still a several gigabytes left to use!
Maybe others in Ireland (and thereabouts) could introduce themselves too?