My martial arts journey began with Chidokan Karate. I practiced with this organisation from 1979 until the end of 1988 and reached the rank of 2nd Dan.
In early 1988 I began to practice Aikido as well. By the end of that year it was clear to me that Aikido was the path I should follow.
My first aikido teacher was the late Ron Russell Sensei who’s love of the art, skill and dedication to passing it on made a profound impression on me. He also always demonstrated great love and respect for his teacher in the U.K. Mr Hadyn Foster who was one of the earliest U.K. practitioners of aikido and who became an important teacher for me when Ron died.
In 1991 Ron returned to the UK and my husband Ray (at that time 1st Dan) and I trained together at a local venue and one evening a fellow martial artist came along and asked if he could train with us and so Kyu Shin Do Aikido North Shore was born. This has now grown to a group a 3 clubs, committed to maintaining the aikido that Ron Russell Sensei and Hadyn Foster Sensei taught us but ensuring that we continue to develop and evolve. This evolution comes through the influences of many teachers encountered over the years.
An additional influence for me was discovering the Feldenkrais Method, a system that uses conscious analysis of neuromuscular activity via exercises which improve flexibility and coordination and increase ease and range of motion. I graduated from the 4 year New Zealand Feldenkrais professional training program in 2002 and have integrated this learning into my aikido teaching and practice.
I strongly believe that the gift of knowledge that I received from all my teachers is not mine to keep but must be passed on in the best way I can.
Though retired now, I am fortunate to have had a range of work experiences that have allowed me to contribute to our clubs and to the wider martial arts community.
My teaching experience began with 5 years as a tutor radiographer in the school of radiography at Auckland hospital. During that time I also completed a post graduate Diploma in Instructional Systems extramurally through Massey University. This has informed, not only my teaching but helped with syllabus and program development for our clubs.
11 years working on IT business systems as a systems analyst and developer plus a year working in an accountants office gave me good insights into the administrative aspects of running a club and I have held roles as secretary, treasurer and registrar in various clubs and professional organisations over many years.
When I retired I became interested in web development and taught myself some of the basics then followed up by completing a Certificate in Internet and Web Pages in 2010. I currently manage 5 web sites.
I am currently 5th Dan, Chief Instructor at Warkworth Aikido-Kyu Shin Do and a senior instructor at Kyu Shin Do Aikido North Shore (Inc) and hold administrative roles with both clubs.
I am very willing to contribute what skills and experience I have to the wider Aikido community through the agency of the Aikido Association of New Zealand.