Welcome to the Yorkshire Aikikai website!

We are two Yorkshire-based groups training in traditional Aikido under Sensei Ken Marsden, 7th Dan, Shihan. We train in Bradford and Leeds. For details of the locations and times, please use the menu on the left.

Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (now known as O Sensei, meaning Great Teacher) in Japan between 1920 and 1940. Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883 at a time when many martial arts were still taught by masters in the old tradition. In his early manhood, Morihei mastered several arts, including swordsmanship and unarmed self-defence. At the same time, he developed into a deeply religious person and envisaged a new system of budo (lit: the way of the warrior), which would provide a basis for both physical and spiritual development. He named this new art Aikido: the way (do) of harmonising (ai) the spirit (ki). Ki is the creative life-spirit of the universe, one’s own life energy.

The Aikikai Foundation, the Japanese headquarter for Aikido, is located in Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, and headed by Moriteru Ueshiba, O Sensei‘s grandson.


The B.A.F was the first organisation with accreditation from the World Aikido Headquarters in Japan to teach Aikido in Britain as the Aikikai of Great Britain. It was founded in 1968 under the auspices of the Aikikai Foundation with Kazuo Chiba as chief instructor. In 1977 was renamed the British Aikido Federation, with the late Minoru Kanetsuka (Shihan, 8th Dan, Aikikai Foundation) as its Technical Director. The B.A.F. has “Full Recognition” status from the Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo and is a founder member of both the International Aikido Federation and the Joint Aikikai Council.

Sensei Ken Marsden began practising Aikido in 1971, first under Chiba Sensei, then under Kanetsuka Sensei. Sensei Marsden is a Hombu recognised Shihan, senior instructor and member of the BAF’s technical and grading committees.