About Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei of Aikido.

Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei of Aikido.

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art, developed by Morihei Ueshiba, as a means of defending one's self without injuring an attacker. Aikido techniques generally involve irimi (entering) and tenkan (turning) movements which redirect a partner's momentum, rather than clash as an opponent.

Moriteru Ueshiba (right), current Doshu of Aikido.

Moriteru Ueshiba (right), current Doshu of Aikido.

Ueshiba is regarded as the Osensei (Great Leader) of Aikido. In 1940 he founded the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, which is now directed by his grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba, the current Doshu (Master of the Way) of Aikido. 

The foundation of AIKI is love. It is the embodying spirit of the heaven and earth in one’s heart, and the maintaining the great spirit of loving embrace for all, in order to fulfill one’s mission, that ought to be the way of the martial art.

AIKI is to win over the self. This does not mean to forfeit the will to fight in the face of the enemy, but to gain absolute self-completion through the removal of all enemies. This is the Way of AIKI.

Furthermore, AIKI is a martial technique in which the law of the universe is taken into the body, in order to attain the higher realm by uniting one’s soul and body. This is the process of the Way of AIKI.
— Ueshiba Osensei, translated by Inakoshi Kaoru Shihan.

About Sho-Bu-Kan

Founded in Cardiff in 1980, Sho-Bu-Kan is a dojo which follows the traditional Aikikai school of aikido. Sho-Bu-Kan is part of the British Aikido Federation (BAF), a national club which encompasses dozens of dojos across England and Wales. The BAF is a member of the International Aikido Federation, the global organisation which exclusively represents Aikikai worldwide.

Sho-Bu-Kan Dojo is home to Peter Gillard Sensei (Shihan, 6th dan). Gillard Sensei has been practicing aikido since 1966 and has close connections with several senior Japanese aikido instructors. Our other instructors include:

Peter Gillard Shihan, chief instructor of Sho-Bu-Kan.

Peter Gillard Shihan, chief instructor of Sho-Bu-Kan.

  • Allan Hagan (Shidoin, 5th Dan Aikikai Foundation )

  • Guy Needler (6th Dan Aikikai Foundation)

  • Russell Milton (Fukushidoin, 4th Dan Aikikai Foundation)

  • Ron Watts (4th Dan Aikikai Foundation)

  • Brian Court (2nd Dan Aikikai Foundation)

  • Adrian Jenkins (2nd Dan Aikikai Foundation)

Fukushidoin (assistant instructor), Shidoin (instructor) and Shihan (senior instructor) are teaching ranks recognised by the Hombu Dojo. Dan grades are legitimised by the Hombu Doshu. All club instructors hold coaching certificates in alignment with the UK Coaching Council.

Advice For beginners

At Sho-Bu-Kan, we welcome all beginners of any fitness and ability level. As a beginner, feel free turn up to any of our classes, although you may wish to contact us via email or Facebook prior to your very first visit. Before you turn up, just keep the following in mind:

  • Try and turn up about fifteen minutes before the advertised start time. This is important, as we need to make sure you're properly insured before we start the class.

  • Bring something loose to wear. Any loose fitting clothes (e.g. shorts, shirt, tracksuit) will do.

  • Be aware that the dojo etiquette may seem a little obscure at first. Don't worry, we're a friendly bunch and we'll guide you through it.

  • Be ready to have fun! Everyone in our club trains because they enjoy doing so. We hope that some of this will rub off on you!


Children And Young Adults

Children aged 10 to 18 are welcome to practice on a Tuesday night at the YMCA. The class is from 8-9pm we have a separate area for their safety and all students are always supervised by qualified teachers. The spaces are limited to 10 students per class and we require a parent or guardian to be present during the class time.

Please contact us first so we can let you know if a space is available email.



  • Introductory Offer: any four sessions in one month for £15.00 this includes temporary insurance.


  • Club membership (including insurance) costs £45.00 per year.

  • Classes cost £4.00 per session or £30.00 per month via standing order.

  • Children & young adults club membership (including insurance) costs £15.00 per year.

  • Children & young adults classes Cost £2 per session.

  • For members who pay by Standing Order we also offer a Savings Scheme for the BAF Summer School. Any member wishing to join this savings scheme please contact us by email for further details.