Aikido Reading &
                                          Aikido Whitton logoWhite Oak Aikido
Aikido in Reading Berkshire
Aikido on Powys, Shropshire, Herefordshire Borders
offering classes in the Japanese martial art of Aikido since 1991

...the way of the warrior ...the way of harmony

Aikido History - Reading

Some stories of those that went before: Reading University Aikido and Aikido at Reading YMCA

This was written by me (Simon Thackeray of White Oak Aikido and Reading University Aikido Clubs) without any intention to make any claims as to accuracy or it being any version of a 'complete and true' UK Aikido history. It is based on my own memories of events, written information that I have and my memory of what I have been told. Lots of Aikido people and lots of Aikido events have been omitted because this is only about people and events that interacted with my own development in Aikido and that of the White Oak and Reading University Aikido Clubs, so it is all very much written from my own perspective and only includes what I want to and what I remember right now as I write it. However, if you think anything is seriously inaccurate as opposed to being omitted, then please let me know! Read more about the history below, or find out more about martial arts in Reading and Whitton at the White Oak Aikido dojo.

Below is a section on Reading University Aikido - you can use the following links to go to Haydn Foster Sensei, Hamish McFarlane, Andy Allan, Ron Russell and Fiona Bain. Saito Sensei and Iwama Aikido were strong influences on me and my Aikido, particularly in the 1980s.

Reading University Aikido History

Find out about Aikido training while studying at Reading University today at our Caversham dojo.

In 1983, when I came to Reading, Des Deville was teaching at the Reading University as 1st dan until pressure of work caused him to pass the Monday session on to me in 1985, but he still taught on Wednesdays. In 1986, he discussed the future of the Reading club and to whom he should pass it on with our teacher, Haydn Foster Sensei, as the original request for a teacher was made in a letter from the university to Mr. Foster asking for an Aikido instructor back in 1969. At the first session after my 1st dan grading, Des informed me that Mr. Foster had told him to pass the Reading Aikido club on to me and he left immediately, practising only a little thereafter. I established White Oak Aikido in 1991 at Reading YMCA and then an additional venue at the Caversham Heights Methodist Church Hall in 2016, where we are now based.

This Aikido video shows Des DeVille attacking Eric Savins practising Tachidori using a real katana during Aikido training at the Reading University London Road Gym in 1985:

Find out more about getting involved in the martial art of Aikido in Whitton and Aikido in Reading:
Home page of White Oak Aikido UK
Info for Beginners - some more details about Aikido and what to expect if you come along to either our Reading or Whitton dojos.
Or please Contact us if you have any questions about Aikido classes in Reading or Whitton.

...and here's some pages about the past - Aikido in the old days

Weekly Chi Gung / Qigong classes in Craven Arms Shropshire

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Reading University
                                            Aikido at the London Road
                                            Gym Pre-1980: Koshinage

Reading University
                                            Aikido London Road Gym

                                              University Aikido London
                                              Road Gym Pre-1980:
The three pictures above show the Reading University Aikido Club training at the London Road Gym pre-1980. After moving to the Wolfenden Sports Centre (now SportsPark) on the main campus for some years and to the Bulmershe Gym, the Reading University Club then returned to the updated London Road Gym.

An Aikido throw
                                              from a Jo attack
Aikido at he Reading University London Road Gym in 1988.

Reading University
                                              Aikido London Road Gym
Aikido at the Reading University London Road Gym more recently.

Contact Reading Aikido:

Email Reading Aikido

Phone Reading Aikido
07743 301199


Contact Whitton Aikido:

Email Whitton Aikido

Phone Whitton Aikido
01432 509467