Aikido in Sydney
aikido sydney






Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei - Founder of Aikido
Master Koretoshi Maruyama - Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai
Michael Williams Sensei - Chief Instructor
Andrew Sunter Sensei - Head Dojo Instructor, Sydney

Aikido is a highly refined martial art, developed last century as a means of self-defence and spiritual training. Aikido develops coordination of mind and body. Through its philosophy and techniques, Aikido brings us into harmony with our environment, other people and ourselves. Unlike many martial arts, Aikido requires no advantage in strength or speed, and is practised successfully by people of all ages and abilities. Aikido practice develops flexibility, coordination, concentration, improved health and fitness, effective communication skills and self-esteem.

Central to Aikido is the idea of being in harmony with your opponents, rather than in conflict with them. The movement and energy of an attack is redirected without the need for collision or the use of force. The physical practice of this fundamental principle of Aikido, leads to a better understanding of people and nature, while teaching essential skills for the resolution of conflict. The movements of Aikido are circular and flowing. They are designed on the principles of nature and move in circles and spirals. When Aikido is performed well there is great beauty and composure in the movements of both partners.

Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei - Founder of Aikido

The Founder of Aikido was Master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). He became known as O-Sensei (Great Teacher). From an early age O-Sensei applied himself to the discipline of Japan’s martial arts (budo), becoming an accomplished master in many styles. It was this thoroughly expert foundation in the ways of the fighting arts that led him to develop Aikido. Mirroring his appetite for martial knowledge was the depth of his spiritual explorations. In developing these aspects he saw that budo should follow the laws of nature, be in harmony with them and serve to protect them. O-Sensei believed in universal harmony, that Aikido was a means of attaining that goal, and that violence and aggression could be turned aside by harmony of spirit.

Master Koretoshi Maruyama - Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai

Sensei was born in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on 5 October 1936. He became interested in the martial arts from his Middle School years, and at his father’s urging he took up judo and earned a black belt. In his first year of university, again at his father’s urging, Maruyama Sensei entered the Rikidozan School of Professional Wrestling and also trained in weight-lifting and boxing, while continuing his training in judo at the Kodokan.

In the spring of his third year of university, he began to develop doubts about the martial arts of judo, wrestling and boxing, and their emphasis on contests of strength. He joined the Keio University Aikido Club and also began training at Aikikai honbu. He found in aikido what he had been searching for over many years: a martial art that did not depend on strength, and that taught correct attitude of mind.

Maruyama Sensei graduated from the Economics Department of Keio University in March of 1956, after which he continued his training in aikido, while working in the family business, Maruyama Manufacturing.

In 1967 he delegated his responsibilities in the family business so that he could become a full-time, professional aikido instructor under the tutelage of the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, and dedicate himself to the martial art that taught the principles of mind and Ki. In 1971 he went to Hawaii for four months, to teach aikido on each of the islands.

In 1972, he resigned from the Aikikai to become the Chief Instructor of the Ki no Kenkyukai, founded in September of 1971 by Koichi Tohei Sensei, who granted Maruyama Sensei the rank of 8th dan. In 1973 he became responsible for teaching in Hawaii, and for ten years taught Ki Principles at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, as well as at Keio University Physical Education Research Department in Japan. From 1977 he studied with Haruchika Noguchi Sensei how to heal and help people with Ki and use Ki in daily life. At the same time, he also studied the psychology of Zen from the Zen Priest Shogen Munou, from whom he learned how to use the mind positively.

During this period, he also travelled extensively to Hawaii and many other states of the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, Guam, the United Kingdom, Italy and other parts of Europe, teaching aikido and ki principles.

Maruyama Sensei became President of Ki no Kenkyukai in 1990. However, he began to have reservations about the direction and policies of the Ki Society, and resigned from this position on 29 July 1991.

From this time he undertook a period of ten years of seclusion in a temple in Saitama Prefecture, intensively training in the philosophy and practice that ‘You are fundamentally Mind’. He left the temple on 9 October 2001. During this time he had received permission from the temple priest to establish Aikido Yuishinkai, which he did on 9 May 1996. Sensei continues to develop Aikido Yuishinkai to the present day.

As a result of his ten-year period of training, Maruyama Sensei developed the Motto for Members of Aikido Yuishinkai. This is spoken by members on awakening, after training, and before going to sleep.

Founder’s philosophy

Words have a power of their own.

The power of the spoken word was recognised in ancient Japan as ‘kotodama’, or word spirit. To speak a word is to encourage it to come true. Your life energy responds to sounds and thoughts, as expressed in the spoken word. When you fill your daily life with positive words and thoughts, your life is filled with the power of Ki. In this way you can keep mentally and physically healthy, and have a positive influence on others as well. Words have real power, and can produce practical results in your life.

I have written the following motto for members of Aikido Yuishinkai. I encourage you to say them aloud each morning and night to keep your subconscious in a positive state of mind.


I am mind itself.

If I hold positive thoughts in my mind, good things are likely to happen.

Holding negative thoughts in my mind works against my best interests.

Therefore, even if my body suffers physically, my mind remains optimistic.

Even if I encounter obstacles, my mind is never defeated.

Daily I fill my heart with thoughts of joy, gratitude and hope.

I face each new day with a bright and optimistic spirit,

which I express in word and deed.

I have faith in life, and life responds in kind.

Michael Williams Sensei - Chief Instructor

Michael Williams Sensei was first attracted to aikido while visiting New Zealand in 1974, where he attended demonstrations by Koichi Tohei Sensei. He was a serious student of yoga and wing chun kung fu at that time.

Returning to his homeland of South Africa, he began training with Jean Claude Delgueldre Sensei, Chief Instructor of Aikido in South Africa. He immigrated to New Zealand in 1978 where he continued his training with the New Zealand Ki Society. He moved to Australia in 1981, where he founded Aikido Ki Society Australia and established his first dojo at Griffith University in Brisbane. In 1985 he was appointed Chief Instructor of Australia by Koichi Tohei Sensei. At that time, Maruyama Sensei was the Chief Instructor of Ki Society International and taught many seminars in Australia and New Zealand. He was an inspirational teacher to one and all and during this time, Williams Sensei and Maruyama Sensei formed a special bond.

In 1989, Williams Sensei relocated to Byron Bay in northern NSW where he built Goshinkan Dojo. Bordered by forest reserve, Goshinkan provides a serene haven for people to train together. It was officially opened by Master Koretoshi Maruyama, President of Ki Society International, in May 1991.

Williams Sensei resigned from Ki Society International in January 2002 after a 28-year association with the organisation. At the same time he also resigned from Aikido Ki Society Australia, the group he founded in 1981. After re-establishing contact with Maruyama Sensei, Williams Sensei was requested to act as a facilitator to disseminate Aikido Yuishinkai throughout the world. There are now Aikido Yuishinkai dojos operating in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Argentina, Canada and the United States.

Michael Williams Sensei was awarded 9th Dan and appointed Chief Instructor of Aikido Yuishinkai International in October 2003. Top >

Andrew Sunter Sensei - Head Dojo Instructor, Sydney

Andrew Sunter has been a student under Michael Williams Sensei since moving to the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales at the beginning of 1992. In 1996 he spent four months studying in Japan and training at the Ki Society regional headquarters in Osaka.

On his return to Australia he moved back to Sydney and trained for over two years at the Shin Sen dojo under Ken Mclean Sensei, with whom Andrew had taken his first aikido classes in 1990.

Andrew opened a Ki Society dojo in Crows Nest in February 1999 at the suggestion of Michael Williams Sensei and Iwao Tamura Sensei.

Also in 1999, Andrew met Grant South (Palden) Sensei, Inkajo and founder of the Kufudokan. For over two years Andrew lived within the virtuous community of the Kufudokan, training in aikibudo and studying Buddhist principles under Palden Sensei.

Thanks to the enormous patience and support of both Williams Sensei and Palden Sensei, Andrew was able to maintain the purity of training within two schools simultaneously during this time.

The Crows Nest dojo decided unanimously to follow Michael Williams Sensei when he left the Ki Society and subsequently joined Master Maruyama in 2002. The Aikido in Sydney dojo relocated to Camperdown at the beginning of 2004 and the St Clair dojo was opened in October 2005. Top >