Our Instructors

Our instructors have well over 100 years of combined experience in Aikido and other martial arts. Find out about our aikido instructors below.  Be sure to also check out our Dojos for details of where and when we practice.

John McGill – Sandan (3rd Dan)

John McGill
John McGill

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 – Godan (5th Dan)

Bob Small

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, Yondan at the 2017 Kagamibiraki and Godan in the 2024 Kagamibiraki.

Bob feels that Aikido “is a true marshal art, unique in movement and posture, mystifying in technique and form and exhilarating in application and expression”.  He also notes that “Aikidoka are a strange breed, as they will throw their practice partners around like rag dolls and then willingly reverse the roll and gladly accept the same treatment!”

Ryan Linfoot – Yondan (4th Dan)

Ryan Linfoot

Ryan started practising Aikido when he was 10 alongside his brother and father.  Following a break during his early teens, Ryan resumed training at his old club at the age of 18.  He then moved to Glasgow in 1999 to start University where he 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)

Steven Gibb

As a child Steven used to spend weekends with his grandmother and in 1973, aged 12 he joined the local aikido club.  During that time, he tried other martial arts and after short break returned to aikido in his early 20’s. 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.