The Shoyukan Aikido dojo – or Backwell Aikido Club – is part of the British Birankai – one of the leading organisations for Aikido in the UK.
Formerly known as the British Aikikai, British Birankai came into effect in January 2006 and has T K Chiba Shihan, 8th Dan Aikikai, as its Technical Director.
Following Chiba Shihan’s resignation from the United Kingdom Aikikai (UKA) in 1995, a group of UKA senior students came together to form the British Aikikai with Chiba Shihan as its Technical Director. Initially the British Aikikai was affiliated directly to the USAF Western Region but in 1999 it became an independent organisation.
In 2000 Chiba Shihan formally founded Birankai International as a non-profit educational organisation dedicated to the growth of Aikido with the aim of bringing together all his students throughout the world under one umbrella. In December 2005 the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan officially recognised Birankai International. Further information about this can be found on www.birankai.org.
From January 2006 the British Aikikai was renamed British Birankai in line with the guidelines set out by Birankai International. British Birankai was given official recognition by Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, in April 2006.
The British Birankai is a member of the British Aikido Board.
Simon Williams has been practising Aikido since 1988 and holds a first degree blackbelt (shodan/1stdan) awarded by T.K. Chiba 8thdan whom he studied under for seven months in California in 1994.
Picture (reproduced courtesy of Aikido Journal): Simon Williams is pinned by Chiba Shihan.