Our club and its history

History: The MUN Aikido Club has existed for 40 years. During that time it has benefitted from the teaching of many dedicated instructors. In particular, Leslie Mulholland (3rd dan) was chief instructor and responsible for the development of the club through the 80s while Al Skehen (4th dan), Shin Chin (now 5th dan, Shidoin) and Michael Langford (2nd dan) taught and inspired the club in the 90s.
Currently, Shin Chin (5th dan, Shidoin) and Ivan Booth (4th dan, Shidoin) are the main instructors. Both practice in the tradition of Y. Kawahara Shihan (past Technical Director of the CAF). Together they have more than 60 years experience in practicing and teaching Aikido.

For our first 33 years we were located on campus at Memorial University. However with the closure of the Combatives Room in 2011 we moved off-campus and are now part of the
St. John’s Martial Arts Centre.

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Ivan and Chin Sensei along with Fran Turner and Yumi Nakamura Sensei during our 2015 Spring Seminar. Photo Credit: Colette Phillips
Affiliation: We practice Aikikai Aikido and are affiliated to the Aikikai Foundation (headed by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu) in Tokyo, Japan through the Canadian Aikido Federation (CAF). Our kyu grades are awarded under the authority of the CAF. Yudansha gradings are conducted either directly by the Technical Director of the CAF or by members of the Examination Committee. They are registered with Hombu Dojo in Japan.
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Organization: We are a non-profit club. Fees are primarily used to cover rent for the dojo. Other uses of club funds including bringing in visiting instructors, paying CAF membership fees and (when possible) subsidizing the travel of Student Members to external seminars. A small amount is used to subsidize club social events. Our instructors volunteer their time and are not paid.
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Who are we?
MUN Aikido is a diverse community. A typical class is 30% female and 70% male, but it is not unusual to have equal numbers of men and women. Our group spans a wide range of ages from children to visiting instructors who have been in their 70s and 80s. Historically the majority of our members had some connection with Memorial University
however now our membership is quite diverse and includes many people not affiliated with MUN at all including: high school students, post-secondary students from other institutions (such as the College of the North Atlantic) and other members of the general public. All are welcome.
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Activities: Over the past decade we have hosted many seminars and benefitted from the teaching of many visiting instructors. In particular we have been very happy to host Yukio Kawahara Shihan (8th dan) and Yumi Nakamura Shihan (6th dan) many times each for weekend seminars. We have also been fortunate to host classes or seminars featuring teaching by Bill Collins (6th dan), Ishu Ishiyama Shihan (7th dan), Hiroaki Izumi (6th dan), Peter Maclean (6th dan), Derm McDonald Shihan (6th dan), Kevin McDonald (5th dan), Scott MacPhail (6th dan), and Fran Turner (6th dan).