The Beginnings of Kyu Shin Kan
In 1979 Sensei Fred Brown decided to retire from Aikido, he had achieved the rank of Shodan, at this time Shodan was seen as a high rank in this country.
The Leicester Aikido Society, as we were named existed for a few months with several Instructors.
The only problem was that we had no structure, each Instructor had his own Aikido, and all the Instructors were unable to see this, we only wanted to keep our positions as Instructors.
One Friday evening after practice a delegation from the students asked if they could have a meeting with all the Instructors the following week, we all agreed, I personally remember spending the whole week trying to think what this could be about, could it be because Fred had gone they wanted to disband?....
The following Friday I attended the meeting with the other three Instructors, we were told that practice was becoming more difficult owing to the different styles of teaching and things had to change. I remember thinking this was a positive move on the part of the members, I believe they had the good of the Dojo at heart. We asked the delegation if they had a solution. To our amazement they did, they said it would be for the good of the club if two of the Instructors stood down, this would give the club a senior Instructor.
At this point I was prepared to step down (I was the youngest of the three) this was not to be, the delegation had already decided who the chief Instructor would be, @student power@ had decided.
I believe deep down the three new that this decision was correct, their were no hard feelings, we all carried on with our Aikido studies.
The Dojo carried on in the same direction we had been shown by Chiba Sensei and Sensei Fred Brown, we had eight years of Aikido conducting our own Kyu grading and running as an independent Dojo.
After all these years I found that I was teaching the same Aikido over and over again with no advancement for the students or myself, I had still kept in contact with my old friend Sensei Lenton (he was practicing in the B.A.F). He informed me that he was leaving the B.A.F. and joining the West Midlands Aikikai under the direction of Sensei W Smith and that I should consider the same path, which both Kevan Ginns and I did, this move was one of the best decisions we made. I realised that to be able to instruct Aikido you had to be instructed.
A year after joining the West Midlands Aikikai under the leadership of Sensei Smith and direction of Chiba Sensei the organisation became the United Kingdom Aikikai, Hombu recognition was to follow. The whole of the Leicester Dojo decided to follow and joined the U.K.A. they could see this was the way forward.
I approached Sensei Smith and asked him if he would ask Chiba Sensei if he would honour the Leicester Dojo with a new name to represent a new era in Leicester. After sometime a new name was given to Sensei Lenton. He had not asked for one and we decided that there had been a mistake, Sensei Lenton kindly passed the name on to me.
So In 1989 we became Kyu Shin Kan. In August of 2004 a small group from the Dojo attended the B.A. Summer School in Wales, this being the last time Chiba Sensei would be teaching in England.
After practice on Sunday I approached Sensei and asked if he would write the name Kyu Shin Kan in kanji, he said he would do this on the following Tuesday, and true to his word he presented me with the kanji.
With an added bonus of giving us a new identity:
Kyu = seek
Shin = mind
Kan = house
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all past and present students for having faith in me and giving your support over the years, I truly believe without you the Kyu Shin Kan would not be as strong is it is today , I am also very proud of what WE have achieved together, thank you all!
Sensei Peter Brown