Ken Shin Kai



Ken Shin Kai meaning `The Association of Strong Heart, Mind and Spirit` was established in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1985 under the direction of David Eayrs, after it had been running under the name of the Shudokan since 1970s. The Principal Coach of Ken Shin Kai is Sensei Garry Masters 7th Dan Yoshinkan Aikido Instructor who has been teaching Yoshinkan Aikido for over 40 years. The Chief Instructor of Ken Shin Kai is Sensei Richard Lewis 5th Dan Yoshinkan Aikido Instructor who has been teaching martial arts for over 50 years.

Ken Shin Kai practises the Yoshinkan style of Aikido as taught by Soke Gozo Shioda Sensei, with an open mind to other styles of Aikido. Ken Shin Kai also incorporates the use of weapons to enhance the concentration and accuracy required to complete a successful Aikido technique. Weapons used include; Bokken (Wooden Sword), Jo (4´ Staff), Tanjo (2´ Staff), Tanbo (Short Stick) and Tanto (Wooden Knife).

The great attraction of Yoshinkan Aikido, is that it is a hard, practical style that can be used to counter any attack, without causing serious injury to the attacker, the techniques practised, require very little strength to make them effective, and therefore can be practised by both men and women of all ages. Yoshinkan Aikido deals with pressure points, throws and locks and is not sport orientated or competitive.

Beginners are taught Kihon Dosa (basic movements), Ukemi (breakfalls) and a few basic techniques for the first six months of their training. These are designed to condition the body whilst practising Aikido. At an intermediate stage students will be shown dynamic techniques to control a partners attack by blending with their power and redirecting it against them. Advanced students are encouraged to practice combinations of techniques, jiyu waza (free style), weapons and techniques from multiple attacks.

Ken Shin Kai is very reserved with its award of Kyu and Dan grades, students must train a minimum of six months between Kyu gradings and are expected to have trained regularly for a period of 3 to 5 years since their previous grading before being considered for each Dan grading.Quality not Quantity.


Membership Type

Full Member


As a style of aikido, Yoshinkan is more akin to the pre-war aikibudo techniques taught by Morihei Ueshiba, and therefore also generally closer to aikijujutsu than those styles of aikido developed after the war. The unusual emphasis placed on correct form prior to practicing correct flow and timing further contributes to its image as a hard style.

Gozo Shioda created a structured method in which beginning students would learn the foundation techniques. Techniques are performed by a pair of students called uke (the partner on whom the technique is performed) and shite (the partner who performs the technique). They are categorized by elements such as the initiating attack, the applicable control and whether it is a pin or throw. They are further divided into two groups called ichi (first) and ni (second) techniques. Ichi techniques have a feeling of the energy moving towards uke, while ni techniques have a feeling of energy moving towards shite. For example, in an ichi technique, shite would move in the same direction as a pull by uke, while in a ni technique, shite would divert or pivot away from a push by uke.

The current method of breaking the techniques into steps and the kihon dosa were developed in order to facilitate teaching beginners in a group. The kenshusei codified many of these methods in consultation with Gozo Shioda, especially Kyoichi Inoue and Takashi Kushida.

To remove stiffness from techniques taught in this way, practitioners over the rank of shodan also practice timing and flow.

Dee Masters

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