ABOUT US

 

 

 

     Lee Mountain

     Iaido 5th Dan

     Jodo 3rd Dan

     BKA Regional Coach

     Qualified First Aider

     Registered Instructor

I have been at the Budokan club for about 15 years and found it quite by accident (long story for another time) and whilst I study kendo as well as Iaido and Jodo, it is the latter two that I really concentrate my practice on.

I am the 'High Grade' in Iaido and Jodo for Budokan Dojo as well as being the Dojo Leader for both these disciplines. Thankfully, I am joined by two incredibly talented senior students in helping teach at the club.

 

     Rob Townson

     Iaido 4th Dan

     BKA Level 1 Coach

     Registered Instructor

I started my martial arts career with Aikido, when I decided to buy a sword to aid my training I was pointed in the direction of Stuart Shirreff and the Katsumushi dojo in Manchester. Iaido quickly replaced Aikido and which I studied for 9 years with Katsumushi before moving up to the North East. I had trained with Lee Mountain sensei and Budokan at many of the national seminars and knew I would be able to continue the excellent Jikiden Iaido training with Budokan. Everyone at Budokan has been very welcoming and I am pleased to part of the club.

 

     Jon Meikle.

     Iaido 4th  dan.

     Kenjutsu 6th dan.

     BKA Level 2 Coach

     Qualified First Aider

     Registered Instructor

Started Martial Arts around 20 years ago studying Kickboxing, Ju jutsu and Karate as a student (not to any great degree). Later decided to concentrate on traditional Japanese sword arts. I have just gained the rank of 4th dan Iaido so now need to work hard towards my 5th dan, four years is not a long time!

It has been a busy couple of years for my iaido, being selected for British Squad two years running has been a great honour. I have also been lucky enough to spend two weeks training in Japan with Oshita Sensei and Morita Sensei which was an experience of a life time.

 

    Jack James.

    Iaido 3rd  dan.

    BKA Level 1 Coach

I first started martial arts when I was very young after my grandfather, who was a Judō teacher, exposed me to the martial arts and Japanese culture. Hooked from then on, I tried my hand at a number of martial arts including Karate, Kungfu etc before finding my rock with Iai. After 4 years at university I now live, work and train in Japan, where outside the Dōjō I run a Budō website and translate martial arts books, teach English as a full time job, and am working hard towards my Yondan this summer. Many ask me why I only study Iai, but with hundreds of Iai Kata, Kenjutsu techniques for long and short sword, Jujutsu, Bōjutsu etc, there is more than enough to keep me busy!
 

     Malcolm Blackwood.

     Iaido 3rd dan.

     Judo 1st dan.

     Aikido 4th dan.

     BKA Level 1 Coach

 

  Started and continued with martial arts over forty years ago. Coached and competed in Judo originally before moving to Aikido. Now a qualified coach and Shidoin in Aikido. Reasonable good at the Tango and a Real Ale aficionado.

 

     Phil Burbury

     Iaido 3rd  dan.

 


    Jonathon McCue.

     Iaido 3rd dan.

     Jodo 1st dan

    Wado ryu Karate 1st dan

    BKA Level 1 Coach

  

Spent may happy years training in traditional wado ryu Karate in Newcastle. Have also trained in judo, kendo and jujitsu.

Began training in the more sedate Iaido in August 2008, I enjoy the calm atmosphere of the sessions and the attention to detail.

 

    Phil Johnson

     Iaido 3rd  dan.

    Aikido 1st dan

    BKA Level 1 Coach

Started martial arts late in life, gained 1st dan in Aikido and I'm also a qualified coach. Ran my own class for a number of years, then a friend told me about Iaido and the Budokan. I have now gained my 2nd dan and currently training for 3rd dan. Pleased with what I have achieved considering I have knee problems. (Just shows you you are never too late to learn).

 

     Kim Ralls.

     Iaido 3rd  dan.

   

I come from Norwich originally (someone has to) and have always wanted to learn a martial art, though never found the opportunity. After reading about Kendo on the internet, I thought Id try and find somewhere local. Discovered Budokan quite by accident and eventually plucked up the courage to turn up for a training session. Theyd stopped doing Kendo, but I was swiftly handed a bokuto and began learning Iaido something Id never heard of. Sufficed to say, I was instantly hooked and havent looked back since, especially now Ive graduated to the stage where I can perform most of the kneeling forms without falling on my backside.

 

    Sophie Ralston

     Iaido 3rd  dan.

  

My interest in martial arts came from my childhood when I began an unhealthy obsession with 'The Karate Kid' - wax on wax off - this involved me wearing a spider headband!
By my teenage years I studied Aikido for 4 years, leaving to do my degree leading to a job in social services. After observing my dad doing iai in the garden, I thought I would give it a try...so here I am...gaining a few nick names along the way! :)

 

    Andy Gardner.

     Iaido 2nd  dan.

         

   

 


    Mark Ralston

     Iaido 2nd  dan.

    Aikido 1st dan

    BKA Level 1 Coach

I was introduced to Aikido when I was 20 years old, by my future wife Jill. I trained with Sensei Tom Pickering (Aikiki) for 4 years.  I settled into married life and once the children got to teenagers, she took them to an Aikido class in Sunderland. I went along for encouragement and thought I can do this again. After being asked if I would like to join in (I only got as far as the warm ups) I spent the rest of the day in bed with exhaustion.  However, I went back for more...13 years to be precise. After reaching 1st DAN, I opened my own club. After visiting an Aikido class in Stockton, I got interested in learning more about the sword. I made some enquiries and was put in touch with Budokan...and I have never looked back!

 

    Katie Chaplin

    Iaido 2nd  dan.

    BKA Level 1 Coach

 

I've always had an interest in Japanese culture and have run a business, Japan Crafts, since 2006. I never had any interest in martial arts, though, until I held a 400 year old samurai sword and had an unexpected 'WOW!' moment. 2 weeks later I was in the dojo, enthusiastic but thinking I'd never be able to wield an iaito, nor be anywhere near as good as the scary-looking anyone else. It was an amazing personal achievement to pass my 2nd Dan in 2013, and now I am climbing the long hill towards 3rd Dan. Still working on the scary look, though...


    Carl Nattrass

    Iaido 1st dan.

    

 

I have a long-standing fascination of anything oriental, and have for years wanted to get into some sort of martial-art.
I came along one evening in October 2012 to the Durham Dojo see what Iaido was about - I had never even heard of it! I had recently had a back operation and wanted to do some form of exercise to strengthen it. I however didn't want that 'kick-bag' feeling you get when you are the newby to martial-arts.
Well, what I found was a bunch of welcoming, colourful characters who were more than eager to laugh at themselves (and at me, it has to be said), and I'm still going strong. I am proud to say that I got my Shodan in Darlington in 2013.

 

    Chris Meikle

    Iaido 2nd   dan.

    Kenjutsu 2nd dan

 

I started training in Japanese sword as a child, studying Kenjutsu with my Dad. I have now been studying Iaido a little under a year and I've learnt a lot. Highlights training with the Japanese Sensei this summer.

 



   Tamsin Harrison

    Iaido 2nd dan.

  



   Mick Jerry

   Iaido 2nd dan.

  



   Dave Chapman

    Iaido 2nd dan.

  



   Peter Lowes

   Iaido 2nd dan.

  

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   George Laws

   Iaido 1st dan.

  

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I first started martial arts in 1973 after seeing Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. I took up Judo but realised quite quickly that I didnt like being thrown. Kempo came next, then Shukokai Karate while I was at University. I achieved a Shodan grade while training in Manchester under Roy Stanhope and began teaching maths and English after leaving University. I took up Mauy Thai Kick Boxing as well as traditional boxing under Doug Bidwell, training at Newcastle. After five fights, two of which I lost, (first and last) I decided I needed more protection when fighting and took up Kendo. While training at Durham University I did an MA in Education and passed Ikkyu grade in Kendo. After being unsuccessful in the Shodan grading and with the University Kendo team closing for a few years I took up Iaido. After a bumpy start I have achieved a Shodan grade in Iaido thanks to my teacher and other members of the Budokan Dojo.

 



   Dek Bresnen

   Iaido 1st dan.

  

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