Mr. Stephen Whittaker (2nd Dan, Honbu)
Mr. Whittaker is the instructor and founder of Kaishukan Dojo and a member of the B.A.F.
He started on his martial arts path when he was a young boy, taking up Judo for self defence and exercise.
However he was looking for something less competitive and less aggressive, this took him many years to find. In 1996 he discovered Aikido after watching a demonstration and joined a local club in Leicester under Mrs. Jane Sabin Sensei. Due to some level of disability it took him many years to master the co-ordination, calmness of mind and skill needed to achieve his first aikido step. This was coupled with moving house and cities a number of times which lead to a few years without practice.
Eventually he came under the tutelage and guidance of Mr. Allan Rowley and started to progress through the ranks. As a dedicated aikidoka he would travel around the country to various courses and regularly visit other senior instructors such as Mr. Ian Mc Clarence, Mr. Stephen Parr, Mr. David Yates.
Mr. Whittaker has tended many seminars and national courses in and out of the B.A.F. and is a regular character at B.A.F. summer school where he often has deshi duties for senior sensei. He has studied under many notable aikido figures in England including the late Cottier Shihan, Kanetsuka Shihan, Holland Shihan, Mr. Mc Clarence Shihan, Mr. Morgan Shihan and many others.
Mr. Whittaker is an avid Japanophile, he can read and speak some Japanese and will readily impart information on Japan and its culture. He has a number of friends and contacts around Japan whom he occasionally visits.
In 2010 and 2013 he spent quite some time living in Tokyo, where he trained daily with the Aikikai Doshu and Waka Sensei and other of the worlds top aikido Shihan. He is good friends With Harakaze dojo and Sapporo Aikido dojo and has demonstrated at the "all Tokyo aikido demonstration" with his freind Mr. Isaka sensei and his dojo. He has had the pleasure of practicing at Iwama Dojo and visiting the Aikikai shrine. He made further visits to japan in may 2015, 2016 and 2019.
Summer 2015 Mr Whittaker successfully completed his second degree black belt.
Mr. Whittaker had been personal assistant to Mr. Rowley over many years up until his retirement from Aikido, and had assisted him with his childrens classes. After this he became a sensei in his own right when opening Kaishukan Dojo in Stockport. As a scout leader he has done demonstrations and classes a and taster sessions in the Greater Manchester area. Over the years he has relocated and moved his dojo a number of times but now currently is in the Liverpool area.
Mr. David Yates (6th dan, Hombu)
Mr. Yates is currently the "Dojo Cho" of Kaishukan Dojo as we a branch of his club.
He started practising Aikido In August 1973 under Chiba Shihan with the Aikikai of Great Britain. He was promoted to Shodan in April 1984. Mr. Yates currently holds the rank of Godan and is a Shidoin with the British Aikido Federation.
He currently trains with the B.A.F. and travels every year to Tokyo to train at the Honbu Aikikai Foundations Dojo. He has trained regularly with the current and the previous Doshu, as well as all the senior instructors at the Hombu Dojo and beyond. Mr. Yates has trained extensively in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. Mr. Yates is currently the Chairman of the J.A.C. He is a recognised Senior Coach and coach tutor. He has also trained in Kendo and Iaido and aikiken. Mr. Yates is the head instructor of Wagokan Dojo, Stretford, Manchester
Mr. Ian McClarence (6th Dan, Honbu)
Chief B.A.F. Instructor for And Technical Director For England
Mr. McClarence is the Chief Instructor for the B.A.F. in England and among it's most senior members, being one of the first two Shidoin to be promoted to Roku Dan at the Kagami Biraki ceremony at Hombu in January 2008, then Shihan after 6 Years, to date he has been recommended for Nana Dan this coming new year. He is also one of our 2 National Technical directors.
Mr. McClarence has been studying Aikido for over 35years firstly training under Chiba Shihan with the Aikikai of Great Britain in the 1970s' until 1975.
As Principal Instructor for England Mr. McClarence has been instrumental in developing the Shidoin Course Programme which targets the preparation of students for grading examinations and to help the development of club instructors in line with B.A.F. Technical Direction.
He also undertakes Aikido courses around the U.K. and Ireland. His practice is both powerful and fluid coupled with a stable posture, he has a strong insistence on learning and practicing aikido basics and perfecting techniques. Along with the other senior Shidoin he has practiced many other related martial disciplines including sword (Iaido), kashima, aikiken, and practices such as zazen.