John McGill – Sandan (3rd Dan)
John started his martial career as a boxer, but after a prolonged period of illness took up Aikido (in 1989) after a friend suggested that it might help him ease back into fighting form. Realising Aikido’s subtle potential to overpower an opponent, John was quickly hooked and has trained since (although for a while he also took up Kendo and competed in European and Five Nations Kendo Tournaments). In 2001 he became Shodan.
For John, Aikido remains a traditional martial art, steeped in traditional values and without the distractions of competitive sports.
Bob Small – Yondan (4th Dan)
Bob started Aikido in 1979 after a serious leg injury prevented him from playing football or practicing Shoto kia Karate. A friend suggested he check out a local Aikido club and after watching a class of “white clad practitioners throwing each other all over the place“ he decided to give it a shot. He was awarded his Shodan in 1999, Nidan in 2008, Sandan in January 2013 and Yondan at the 2017 Kagamibiraki.
Bob feels that Aikido “is a true marshall art, unique in movement and posture, mystifying in technique and form and exhilarating in application and expression”. However, Bob also feels that “Aikidoka are a strange breed, as they will throw their practice partners around like rag dolls and then willing reverse the roll and gladly accept the same treatment!”
Ryan Linfoot – Yondan (4th Dan)
Ryan started practising Aikido when he was 10 alongside his brother and father. Following a break for some of his teenage years Ryan returned to his old club to recommence his training at the age of 18. He moved to Glasgow a year later in 1999 to start University and at the same time started training with the YNK under Sensei McGill.
Ryan was awarded Shodan in 2007, Nidan in 2010, Sandan in May 2014 and Yondan in 2018.
Ryan has always greatly enjoyed practising Aikido and values the physical and spiritual development that Aikido fosters.
Steven Gibb – Yodan (4th Dan)
As a child Steven used to spend weekends with his grandmother and in 1973, aged 12 joined the local Aikido club. During that time he tried other martial arts and after short break returned to Aikido in his early 20. Steven was awarded Shodan 2001, Nidan in May 2015 and Yondan at the 2020 Kagamibiraki.
Steven believes that Aikido builds confidence, improves physical agility and overall contributes to an enhanced wellbeing.