Aikido Union England - About Us
Aikido Union England -
Aikido Union England -
Aikido Union England -
Aikido Union England -

'O' Sensei
Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba.
Founder of Aikido.
Born December 14, 1883
Died April 26, 1969 (aged 85)

For more information visit the Wikipedia page at Here

Who we are

Master Shigeho Tanaka 9th Dan Aikido Budo
Emeritus Shihan (Deceased)

Tanaka Shihan was a senior disciple of the founder of modern Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei, and was a 9th dan in this style. He also received the Menkyo Kaiden from Kuni Zenya of Kashima Shinryu for Kenjutsu and Taijutsu (sword and body techniques).

He studied deeply in Chinese classics, modern Japanese history and Shinto history. Within Budo he had trained firstly in Aikido but also in Judo, Karate, Kendo, Kashima Shinryu Kenjutsu and many Ko Budo (classic martial arts). Tanaka Shihan was also a 9th Dan in Butokuryu Aikijujutsu.

For a period reaching over 60 years, Tanaka Shihan has taught many people in the political, economic, administrative and education worlds while acting in the office of the Shihan of Aikido first at The University of Tokyo, and then Chuo University, Senshu University, Kanazawa University, and Toyama University, as well as in the office of the Principal of the Meiji Jingu Budo Dojo Shiseikan (formerly emeritus principal).

Tanaka Shihan was the only living member of the Aikido world to receive the Mokuhai from the Japanese government for recognition of his level of achievement in Budo.

He taught in Japan and Europe and had taught at 'Aikido Union England' seminars in the UK since 1992. He is sadly missed by us all.

Master Patrick.W.Stratford (Deceased)
Former President, Technical Advisor &
Chief Instructor - Aikido Union England &

8th Dan Aikido Budo (2005 A-U-E & W.A.K.O-A.M.A.),
6th Dan Aikido Budo (1986 by Master S.Tanaka, Japan)

Master Stratford studied Judo whilst in the Armed Forces and competed in many competitions. After witnessing an Aikido demonstration he set about his study by travelling extensively around Europe. He studied under many noble Sensei including: Minoru Mochizuki, Hiroshi Tada, Kenshiro Abbe and Tadashi Abe.Whilst studying at Sussex University he met Norio Tao, now 7th Dan, who in turn introduced him to Master Shigeho Tanaka.They remained great friends from those days and Master Stratford visited his 'brothers' in Japan and on many occasions they travelled to see him in the U.K. over the years.

Master Stratford was honoured twice by the Japanese Government in his life to date.The latest of which was the bestowal of the 'Order of the Rising Sun' Gold & Silver Rays upon him in a special ceremony at the Japanese Ambassadors Residence, Kensington Palace Gardens, London. Master Stratford was the only 'Budo Sensei' outside of Japan to receive such a high level of the 'Order of the Rising Sun' at the time.

The Embassy of Japan has an article on their website which can be seen at Embassy of Japan in the UK website

Sensei John Gaynor -
President & Chief Instructor - Aikido Union England,

6th Dan Aikido Budo
(2010 by (2010 by Master P.W.Stratford (Now sadly deceased) ),

Sensei John Gaynor has trained in Martial Arts since 1980. His love for Aikido became obvious when he began training under the late former Vice President of the A-U-E Sensei Chris Mcdonald 6th Dan, former Secretary to the A-U-E Sensei Janet Mcdonald 4th Dan as well as his weekly private lessons with his friend the late Sensei Charlie Hall 3rd Dan who introduced John to Aikido.

He remained a loyal Budoka of Master Pat Stratford 8th Dan until the sad passing of Master Stratford in early 2019, and has also trained under Master S.Tanaka 9th Dan, Master N.Tao 7th Dan and guest Sensei from Japan whilst they visited the Aikido Union England to conduct seminars.

John has over 15 years experience of Frontline Security within the East Midlands, U.K. which has put a very practical angle into his Aikido. He is also a qualified O.C.F.M. International coach and P.P.D.T. Senior Instructor under Master Russell Stutely (Europe’s number One Pressure Point Expert).