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About Shunpookan Aikido

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Morihei Ueshiba 'O Sensei'

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that has split into many different styles. It was originally developed by Morihei Ueshiba, as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attackers from unnecessary injury. Aikido is primarily about control, control of the attacker, control of the environment, and most importantly control of oneself.

Aikido is typified by blending, centering, and rotational movements that take the attacker’s balance and add energy to project or control as needed. Its curriculum is comprised of various throwing and joint locking techniques, striking (atemi), and a weapons system including the bokken, tanto, and jo.

Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba’s early students’ documents bear the term Aiki-jūjutsu.

Shunpookan Aikido was established by Brian Burrows, Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai. Burrows Sensei started training in Aikido in 1977 and is the head of the Shunpookan system. Gilbert Sensei began training in Shunpookan Aikido in the UK in 1999 and started teaching Shunpookan Aikido in the US in 2005. Shunpookan Aikido has 5 affiliated dojos in the UK and three, in the US.

Following Chiba Sensei’s approach to Aikido, Shunpookan Aikido reflects his adamant belief that Aikido has to maintain its martial roots. Chiba considered the other elements of Aikido – such as a means to better health, calisthenics, or a physical aesthetic as valid elements, but not the core of Aikido. O-Sensei always stressed that “Aikido is budo” and “Budo is Aikido’s source of power.

According to Chiba ” If we forget this, then Aikido will mutate into something else – a so-called “art of living” or something more akin to yoga. — T. K. Chiba

Shunpookan’s focus is practical, traditional Aikido in line with the principles handed down from O’Sensei. We are very open to learning from other systems while preserving the fundamentals and effectiveness of Aikido as a self-defense martial art.

Alignment with Aikikai Hombu Dojo

Burrows Sensei trained under Chiba Sensei. Previously Chiba Sensei was the uchideshi at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. He was sent by O’Sensei to establish the Aikikai of Great Britain.

O’Sensei                          Founder of Aikido
Chiba Sensei                Uchideshi to O’Sensei
Burrows Sensei          Founder of Shunpookan Aikido
Gilbert Sensei             Head Instructor Shunpookan US

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