Our instructors

All club instructors are qualified teachers, CRB/DSB checked, have a first aid qualification and have completed the Safeguarding and Protecting Children course. We teach our martial art classes in a friendly environment.

Richard Watts sensei – 4th Dan Black Belt

Aikido martial arts classes Oxford
Watts sensei.

With over fifteen years Aikido experience, Watts sensei has been an instructor at the club since the beginning of 2004. He has also trained in the Iwama style Aikido and Kyokushinkai Karate. Watts sensei teaches the adult classes and some of the junior and cadet classes.

Pete Wond sensei – 2nd Dan Black Belt

Wond sensei has over five years Aikido experience and teaches some of the adult classes as well as assisting Watts sensei with the running of the club.

Kevin Whitney sensei – 1st Dan Black Belt

Whitney sensei has over eight years Aikido experience and teaches the junior classes as well as assisting with the adult classes.

Roy Short sensei – 1st Dan Black Belt

Short sensei teaches the children’s classes and assists with the adult classes.

Ben Middleman – 1st Dan Black Belt

Ben is an assistant instructor and helps with the junior and cadets classes.

Association head

Neil Saunders sensei – 6th Dan Black Belt

Our club is run under the guidance of Neil Saunders sensei who is head of the Aikido Shobukai group of clubs in the UK.

Saunders sensei started training in Tomiki style Aikido and holds the rank of 4th Dan in Tomiki Aikido. During his training Saunders sensei met and trainned with Robert Mustard sensei, including several trips to his dojo in Vancouver. Mustard sensei has had a profound effect on Saunders sensei’s Aikido and in February 2014 Saunders Sensei was awarded the rank of 5th Dan in Yoshinkan Aikido by Robert Mustard sensei. He is one of only the few people in the world to hold high ranks in both the Yoshinkan and Tomiki systems of Aikido.

Technical director

Robert Mustard Shihan – 8th Dan Black Belt

Our club is run under the technical guidance of Mustard sensei, who is recognized worldwide as being among the very best Yoshinkan Aikido practitioners and instructors.

Robert Mustard sensei
Robert Mustard sensei teaching at the Koushinkan Aikido Oxford.

Robert Mustard began his Yoshinkan Aikido training over 35 years ago and in 1987 he completed the intense 9-month “Senshusei” training course at the Yoshinkan Aikido Honbu Dojo (headquarters) in Tokyo, which is mandatory training for the Tokyo Riot Police and Honbu Dojo instructors.

For nearly 10 years Mustard sensei trained as a student of Soke Gozo Shioda, founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, Takafumi Takeno Sensei, 9th Dan; and Tsutomu Chida Sensei, 8th Dan. In 1991 Mustard Sensei was appointed Itaku Shidoin by Shioda Kancho and remained the Chief Foreign Instructor at the Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo until he moved back to Canada in 1995.

Mustard sensei attained the rank of Hachidan (8th degree black belt) in November 2015. He was awarded the title of Shihan, ‘Teacher of Teachers’, in August 2011.