All our instructors are Black Belt Dan-grades and have coaching qualifications accredited by the UK governing body of Aikido, the British Aikido Board, as well as being approved to teach by the Principal of Lancashire Aikikai.
They have received grade accreditation both from Lancashire Aikikai and from Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, the world headquarters of aikido.
Christine Shepherd 4th Dan
I began training in Aikido in 1983 and, after some breaks to have a family, was awarded 1st Dan in 1995 by the late Marion Mucha Sensei. My 2nd Dan (2000), 3rd Dan (2004) and 4th Dan (2014) were awarded by Bob Spence Sensei who succeeded Mr Mucha as Principal of Lancashire Aikikai. I hold the BAB (British Aikido Board) Coach Level Two Award.
In teaching aikido, I aim to share the enjoyment and exhilaration that comes from its combination of physical and mental exertion.
Chris Wallace 4th Dan
After a brief introduction to Judo in my late teens I began Shotokan Karate training in 1975 under the direction of Kowaswe Sensei. Deviating for a couple of years to study both Wadoryu and Shukakai, I returned to Shotokan and took my 1st Dan (1989) under Kato Sensei.
I am also a qualified Instructor in the Russian Martial Art of Systema, under Vladimir Vasiliev.
I started my Aikido training in 1990 with Andrew Baird Sensei in Altrincham and was awarded 1st Dan in 1997 by the late Marion Mucha Sensei. My 2nd Dan (2000), 3rd Dan (2004) and 4th Dan (2014) were awarded by Bob Spence Sensei. I hold the BAB Coach Level 2 award.
I am now fortunate to be in a position to pass this on the benefits of this powerful, dynamic and yet graceful Martial Art to others through my teaching .
Having jointly set up and run Marple Aikido with Christine in 2008, Chris and Wendy relocated to Wexford in Ireland in 2021. Although no longer to be involved with the day-to-day teaching in Marple, Chris will remain involved with the Club, as a visiting instructor and also as Secretary of the Association.
Neil Wright 3rd Dan
I first began training in Aikido out of boredom in February 2000.
I had tried and failed at becoming a gym bunny so, needing to do something exercise wise and after a tip off from a friend, I took an introductory course at Trafford Aikido Club under Sensei Andrew Baird.
I thoroughly enjoyed the training there, which was mental as well as physical. This kept my busy mind focussed which was something a treadmill could never do! I found myself getting fitter and more flexible while learning a valuable life skill.
I had found something in Aikido that inspired me, tested me and increased my fitness and self-confidence; and have been practising ever since.
I took Shodan in 2007 under Sensei Baird at Trafford Aikido, Nidan in 2011 and Sandan in August 2017 under the direction of Mimuro Sensei, our Technical Director.
Now my aim is to help deliver the nuances of Mimuro Sensei’s Aikido to the students in Marple club and to improve my own knowledge and understanding of the detail that makes it such a powerful, yet graceful martial art.