All Lancashire Aikikai instructors hold Coaching Qualifications of the national governing body the BAB
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 Olney Aikido Club (my "local") The club subsequently moved to, and became, Milton Keynes Aikido Club. I started a martial art (aikido happened to be geographically the closest) to replace the competition I'd lost on retiring from competitive hockey! It didn't take me long to realise 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 both since retired from aikido practice; they will always number among my friends.
I achieved Shodan under the tutelage of Aubrey Smith sensei in 1999, a long wait during which time both my original sensei had retired and I and my 1st Kyu friends were left with the responsibility of Milton Keynes Club. I approached Aubrey for his help and guidance whilst he and Milton Keynes Seishin were part of the Yama Arashi (UK) Association into which my early sensei had joined us. Aubrey always took an interest and a role in the development of MK club. He alone was responsible for my continuing to follow the path of aikido during a difficult time.
I became Assistant Coach in Dec 1995 and Coach in Sept 2000 through the offices of the Yama Arashi (UK). To my original sensei, Aubrey Smith, and to Bob Sherrington Sensei, of Kettering Aikikai, I owe a debt of gratitude. They instilled within me an understanding of the importance of harmony during practice and life; of doing aikido WITH people and not TO them.
There are, of course, many others from the world of aikido who have helped guide me along this path so far, sensei, dohai and kohai. In 2000 Keith Downs Sensei joined Milton Keynes Seishin. In addition to enabling our entrance into the Lancashire Aikikai Keith added other fine elements to my aikido.
In April 2002 Keith arranged for me to take the necessary steps toward achieving Nidan. My gratitude can only be expressed by my continuing enjoyment of aikido. In September 2006, with Keith’s sponsorship, I attained Sandan after examination by our Principal, Mr. Bob Spence, Sensei. I never imagined, back in 1986, that I could ever attain such a grade! Each rewarding plateau of achievement in the process of understanding that which O Sensei gave to us is followed by another intriguing, entrancing learning curve. Although I feel more experienced in my Aikido I am constantly amazed by just how much there is still to learn…
Now, having 'retired' and moved away from Milton Keynes to Anglesey I continue along the path of Aikido with my friend and sensei Keith Downs in the formation of our new club, Aikido Môn.
Ray is the Club's Welfare Officer under the Child Protection Policy we operate.
Chris Cook, BAB Coach Level 1
Following an initial 12 years of Tae Kwon Do, I started my Aikido journey in 1983 with the Ellis School of Traditional Aikido and achieved 1st Kyu in 1987.
My 32 year career in Sport, Culture & Leisure required numerous relocations throughout the UK and this enabled me to found and develop three Aikido Clubs within Scotland. My profession enabled me to focus on Martial Arts development and deliver International Multi Martial Arts events and in 1997 I received the SALC Award for service to Martial Arts.
In 2012 I retired and relocated to Anglesey, later that year I joined Aikido Mon under the expert guidance of Keith Downs Sensei and Ray Munns Sensei, I currently hold BAB CL1, First Aid & Child Protection Certificates