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Epsom and Ewell Judo and Aikido Society

Epsom and Ewell 1981The Epsom and Ewell Judo and Aikido Society was founded in the late 1950's by Ron Thatcher sensei, it was based in Ewell, Surrey at a place called the Watermill. In 1966 the club moved to a new location at the Sutton Rugby Club, Rugby Lane, Cheam, Surrey. It was also at this time that Thatcher sensei handed the control of the club to his senior student Donal G.Weir, then a Shodan and also holding dan grades in ju-jitsu and karate, his studies had begun whilst he had been in the Royal Marines. Many well-known aikidoka began under Weir sensei, including Ken Broome sensei now 5th.dan Tomiki Aikido and Fred Haynes sensei 6th.dan I.Y.A.F. (Canada)

John Jenkin began his Aikido training under Donal Weir sensei in July 1973, he had been practising judo since 1964 but was drawn to Aikido since seeing the art practised when he was ten years old. The training was rigorous as Don Weir, a former marine, still kept a military edge to his teaching.

In 1983 Weir sensei relocated to the West Country and the club was left in the hands of his senior student Ronald Walters sensei then 3rd.dan, who had also studied under Kenshiro Abbe sensei, Senta Yamada sensei and Jim Elkin sensei. Having his dan grades in Tomiki Aikido as well as the Yoshinkan style taught by Weir sensei. Ron Walters moved the focus of the club to include regular Tomiki Aikido and the name of the club was renamed Koshinkan (Ko - child, Shin - heart, Kan - hall) to emphasise the new outlook of the dojo. It was at this time that Tony Hughes started his Aikido training.

In September 1984 Ron Walters also moved to Devon leaving responsibility for the club with John Jenkin, at that time 2nd dan and senior student. By this time the Epsom & Ewell club had spawned a number of Dan grades, some of whom had established their own dojo's, forming a loose association with Don Weir as their notional headmaster.

John Jenkin was then assigned the task of overseeing these associated clubs from the point of view of ensuring consistent quality of practice and grading. As a result of this and other commitments, at the end of 1988, Jenkin sensei released the running of the Epsom and Ewell club to Sensei Stewart Rolland.


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