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About the Koshinkan Aikido Society

The Koshinkan Aikido Society ( Ko - ancient, shin - heart / spirit, kan - hall ) was formed on the 6th. August 1993, and since then it has developed slowly but steadily. Our attitude towards Aikido is an open one; we encourage our members to practice with all forms of Aikido whenever possible and welcome all who will practice with an open mind.

The Koshinkan Aikido Society is a non-profit making organisation, all money is paid to the society and the yudansha (dan grades) receive no money for teaching. The organisation and running of the society is the responsibility of the yudansha, but every member has say. The primary aim of the society is to promote and develop the martial art of Aikido as an amateur activity.

The Aikido practiced at the Koshinkan is somewhat eclectic in style reflecting the previous experience of the sensei. Our basic techniques show a definite Yoshinkan influence. This is a highly structured system ideal for beginners with much emphasis on posture (kamae) strong, centred body movement and forceful direct atemi. The Yoshinkan with its comparitively linear approach is said to reflect O'Sensei's pre WW2 teaching.

Alongside the basics we also teach a wide range of techniques reminiscent of the Aikikai style, with a greater emphasis on circularity and fluidity of movement, including a wide range of kokyu nage which provide excellent training in timing, blending of force, tai sabaki and the use of breath power (kokyu). In addition to this there are further elements of training which derive from Aiki-jujitsu the precursor of modern Aikido.

The Koshinkan is affiliated to the UK Shinwakai, a BAB member organisation with an ethos much like our own. The Shinwakai has member clubs from both the Yoshinkan and Aikikai/ Traditional schools and is headed by Sensei Jack Poole, one of the U.K's most senior Aikidoka who holds senior dan grade ranking in both styles.

The Koshinkan aikido Society originated as an offshoot of the Epsom and Ewell Judo and Aikido Society and to understand the history of the Koshinkan it is necessary to relate the history of this club from which both John Jenkin sensei and Tony Hughes originated.

Epsom and Ewell Judo and Aikido Society

The 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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John Jenkin - 2002


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