Aiki Budo Centre began as part of an after school program at St John’s and Aberdeen elementary schools in London Ontario in 1995 and developed into a community club in 1996 holding classes at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre. The Yoshinkan Aikido Saiko Komo (Yoshinkan Aikido supreme advisor) Kiyoyuki Terada (10th Dan) awarded our club the Seiseikai crest and Sheppard Sensei was honoured to have this crest sewn onto his dogi by Terada Shihan’s wife.
As a result, our club was privileged to receive guidance from Sensei Amos Parker (9th Dan), while he was alive, and continues under the most senior Seiseikai instructors, Sensei Masazumi Matsuo (8th Dan) and Sensei Chizuko Matsuo (7th Dan).
Today, as in the past, black belt instructors donate their time and effort to practicing and teaching Aikido. Adults and children can train up to six days a week. Member committees organize social events such as our annual Festive Holiday party, and summer BBQs. We also offer recycling of uniforms and belts. All instructors are licensed and certified by the Aikido Yoshinkan Foundation in Japan. Some members have opened their own independent Aiki Budo Center clubs in Montreal, Quebec and Ingersoll, Ontario.
The Yoshinkan Aikido curriculum is detailed and precise. Initially beginners learn that aikido is a martial art which emphasizes blending, redirection and the de-escalation of violence. “Yoshinkan Aikido is not a sport. Aikido is the development and strengthening of the body and mind. The practical side of Aikido must never be forgotten. However, Aikido is for all, irrespective of age, sex, race or culture.” This emphasis on “basics” can be taken by participants “off the mat”. In short, every human activity can be faced squarely and dealt with simply by focusing on its component parts!