We all discover Aikido for ourselves through training. Seeking it in the here and now means fulfilling the spirit of the tradition instead of merely copying it. We honour the past by cultivating martial valour in our own hearts through our practice now, and for the future.
–Chris Mooney Sensei
Chris Mooney Sensei began his training in 1973 under Ralph Reynolds Sensei at the Aikido Fellowship, then housed at the Birmingham Athletic Institute, before becoming a student of William Smith Shihan and, in turn, T.K. Chiba Shihan.
He established his own dojo in Bearwood, Birmingham and after its relocation to Digbeth in 1994, Chiba Sensei gave the dojo its current name–Ei Mei Kan. “the House of England’s Light”. For further information please visit the website of Ei Mei Kan here.
His connection with British universities began in 1981 when he started teaching at Aston University by the request of William Smith Shihan. Later he became the instructor at Birmingham University.
At the same time Ian Grubb sensei opened a dojo at the University of Warwick, leading the class of 1993-4 before his work commitments meant that further teaching became impractical. Because Grubb sensei was training at Ei Mei Kan, Mooney sensei started looking after the dojo by first sending one of his students David Cope sensei and then, after 2002, started teaching himself.
In 2005, he received the title of Shihan (“master instructor”) on the tenth anniversary of the formation of the British Aikikai directly from Chiba Sensei; while the following autumn of 2006 saw him receiving his Shihan accreditation Moriteru Ueshiba Dōshu, the Founder’s grandson and head of Art in Japan. Later, on the 14th of January 2018 he was awarded the rank of Nanadan by Dōshu.
Over the course of his Aikido career, Mooney Sensei has travelled widely. He has students across Europe and beyond, and continues to guide his students in Greece, Israel, Switzerland and other countries.
Mooney Sensei sits on the Senior Council of the British Birankai (British Aikikai), overseeing the work of the Teaching Committee and the cultivation of the next generation of Aikido teachers. He is also a founding member of the European Birankai International Shihankai, the group of European shihan responsible for the continuation of Chiba Sensei’s teachings in Europe.
cr: Ei Mei Kan