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Ki Aikido Australia - A Short Chronology

Dear reader,
A work in progress. Here are some ideas jotted down. They are meant to chronicle the arrival and practice of Aikido with Ki in Australia. Thus I hope to trace the lineages and development of Ki Society, Yuishinkai, Kokikai and the Ki Federation in Australia + any others that may surface before they become lost in time. It is the work of the author and contributors and thus may contain mistakes, omissions, and almost certainly personal biases etc. Corrections, contributions, constructive criticism and ideas are welcome and acknowledged.
As with any history its difficult to stay completely current and list every dojo, organisations do this much better than I can and with more authority. Listing of currently affiliated international Ki style dojo are maintained by their respective organisations [Aikido Yuishinkai, Ki Society International, Kokikai]

Ki Society Australia / Yuishinkai

 1981Michael Williams moves to Australia in 1981, founding Aikido Ki Society Australia [TH] in late 1981 / early 1982 [SH] with 6 members and establishes his first dojo at Griffith University in Brisbane.
 1985Maruyama Sensei, then International Chief Instructor of Ki Society, visits Australia.  Michael Williams is appointed Chief Instructor of Australia by Koichi Tohei Sensei [MW].  Around this time dojo is officially recognised as a club by Griffith University as well.
 1986Sam Adams opens City Hall dojo (Brisbane) in late 1986 /early 1987 on wrestling mats from the '82 Commonwealth games. (When he retires in 1991, dojo passes to Michael Conroy and then Matthew Smart in late 1990's, moves to St. Pauls Terrace in Nov 2002, now at McDowall State School.)
 1987Wayne Murray-Driver opens Red Hill Ki Society training at Caxton Street Legal Services, relocating to Spring Hill dojo in 1988 with Maurice Trapp [MT], above a futon shop.
 1989Shizukana dojo opens in Caboolture PCYC 1989 and then Wamuran by Patrick Pollini [Anon].  This dojo passes to Tony Deckers in about July 1995, eventually becoming Setsudo dojo [DR].
Michael Williams relocates to Byron Bay in northern NSW where he begins to build Goshinkan dojo with Neil Ringa, whilst operating out of the Arts factory in the interim [TH].
 1990North Queensland Ki Society is officially formed in late 1990 by Roby and Greta Kessler Sensei (having been operating since ~1986 [TH]), and after moving the dojo location to various hired halls over the years, have permanent dojo at Mossman, Cairns and Mareeba [RK].
 1991Goshinkan dojo officially opened by Master Koretoshi Maruyama, President of Ki Society International, in May 1991 [MW]. Griffith University dojo is passed to Michael Stoopman.
 1992Thom Hansen opens Cleveland dojo, March 16 [TH].
 1993Wayne Murray-Driver retires from Aikido circa 1993, Spring Hill handed to Murray Loader, Steve Dows and John Hurley [TH].
 1995The Ki Federation of Australia is formed by Chris Hall as a branch of the Ki Federation of Great Britain headed by Kenneth Williams, with dojo at Toombul, Bald Hills and Paddington. (In October 2004 they affiliate with Aikido Yuishinkai[CH] except Adrian Smith at Paddington dojo who re-affiliates with the Ki Federation of Great Britain.)
 1997Logan dojo opened by Merv Hoole, a senior student from Griffith dojo, passed to Tonia Jasper a few years later.
 1998Dojo are formed in Sydney by James McGlone in Gleeb, Wolloomooloo circa Dec 1998 and by Hugh Cann in Newport.
Sandgate dojo (Brisbane) opened in December by Brad Wilkinson, a senior student of Spring hill dojo.
 1999Andrew Sunter opens a dojo in Crows Nest relocating to Camperdown (after a period of homelessness) as Aikido Yuishinkai Sydney in Feb 2004 [AS]. (opens two more dojo in Sydney in 2005-6)
A dojo opens in Newport (Melbourne) under the Ki Society (later to become Aikido Yuishinkai).
Aikido Yuishinkai emerges.
Spring Hill closes (the premises to be refurbished as inner city apartments) forming two new dojo in the process:
John Hurley, formerly Spring Hill dojo opens Hill End dojo.
Steve Dows, formerly Spring Hill dojo opens Coorparoo dojo (closing in 2002 when he joins the Griffith Aikido Institute).
Michael Williams resigns from Ki Society International and Aikido Ki Society Australia. Roby Kessler is eventually appointed Ki Society Chief Instructor of Australia. Shinkondo dojo is formed by Stoopman, also forming the Australian Aikido Ki Society (AAKS), though it is unclear if this is internationally affiliated.
Griffith University Aikido club opens its own dojo, affiliated with Aikido Yuishinkai.
 2003John Ward and Daniel James open South Bank dojo and Tonia Jasper opens Logan dojo of the Griffith Aikido Institute in January.
Seisin dojo, Brisbane opened by Adrian Xavier (formerly of Hill End) in July.  Affiliated to Australian Aikido Ki Society
In October Michael Williams awarded 9th Dan and appointed World Chief Instructor by the Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, Master Koretoshi Maruyama.
 2004Bribie Island dojo opened by Ray Eldridge in October. Pullenvale (Brisbane) dojo opened by Thom Hansen in December. Arana Hills dojo opened by Jimmy Smith.
 2005Capalaba dojo opened by Tony Neal and Darren Cowles in March 2005, and Grafton dojo by Mark Campbell both affiliated with Aikido Yuishinkai
Bentleigh dojo, an independent Ki-style dojo in Melbourne also joins Yuishinkai.
Hill End Ki Society dojo relocates in August, to site of former Coorparoo dojo location.  Catherine Schnell of Ryushinkan, an independent dojo, joins Aikido Yuishinkai in March.

Aikido Kokikai 

Aikido Kokikai Australia is headed by Shuji Ozeki under the founder and President of Aikido Kokikai International, Shuji Maruyama Sensei, who comes to Australia to teach regularly.  Michael Sinagra instigated the Peel, WA branches of Aikido Kokikai in 1994*. The national director is Allen Lu.
Mike Sinagra learned directly under Maruyama Sensei in Japan, and all of the dojo in WA came from him (there are two at the moment I think). Shuji Ozeki founded UNSW dojo, and all the other AKA dojo come from him, his students, his students' students, etc - Melbourne, Brisbane, Lismore, etc. [GD]

*,, , , accessed 24/8/05


The following people have contributed to the development of this material and are acknowledged in the text.

  Michael Williams, Ki Society handbook, Aikido Yuishinkai handbook, (accessed 23/08/05)
[RK]  Roby Kessler,
(accessed 23/08/05)
[CH]  Chris Hall,,
(accessed 23/08/05)
[TH]  Thom Hanson, personal communications (24/08/05)
[MT]  M. Trapp, personal communications (23/03/08)
[SH]  S. Hennessy, personal communications (02/06/08)
[AS]  Andrew Sunter, personal communications (23/09/05)
[MS]  Matthew Smart, personal communications (10/01/06)
[Anon]  Anonymous, personal communications (28/04/08)
[GD]  Glen Davidson, personal communications (09/12/08)