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 5th Dan 
Jodo 2nd 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. 

Phil Burbury 
Iaido 4th Dan. 

Phil Johnson 
Iaido 4th Dan 
Aikido 1st Dan 
BKA Level 1 Coach 
I started martial arts late in life, gained 1st dan in Aikido and I'm also a qualified coach. I ran my own class for a number of years, then a friend told me about Iaido and the Budokan. I have now gained my 4th dan and am currently training for 5th dan. I am pleased with what I have achieved considering I have knee problems. (Just shows you you are never too late to learn). 

Malcolm Blackwood 
Iaido 3rd Dan 
Judo 1st Dan 
Aikido 4th Dan 
BKA Level 1 Coach 
I started and continued with martial arts over forty years ago. I coached and competed in Judo originally before moving to Aikido. I am now a qualified coach and Shidoin in Aikido. I am reasonably good at the Tango and a Real Ale aficionado. 

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! :) 

Mark Ralston 
Iaido 3rd Dan 
Jodo 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 became 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 

Tamsin Harrison 
Iaido 3rd Dan 
BKA Level 1 Coach 
I started my training in martial arts studying karate with my daughter. She joined a karate class at age 5 and I spent so much time training with her to help her learn the katas I figured I might as well join in. I enjoyed it but my real passion was the art of the sword so I went out in search of an Iaido club and, much to my delight, happened to find one on my doorstep! In total I have been training for around 8 years. It took me a long time to build up the confidence to grade and compete but since I started I have never looked back and aside from learning a wonderful art with fabulous people, I love that I have become part of an international community of close and supportive friends. 

Brian Ford 
Iaido 2nd Dan 
Jodo 1st Dan 

Mick Jerry 
Iaido 2nd Dan 

Andy Gardner 
Iaido 2nd Dan 

Dek Bresnen 
Iaido 2nd Dan 
Jodo 1st Dan 

Max Hutchinson 
Iaido 2nd Dan 

David Draper 
Iaido 2nd Dan 

George Cone 
Iaido 1st Dan

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