Cambridge Aiki Dojo

Our aikido club

Brief history

Cambridge Aiki Dojo was founded in 1992 by Simon Whittaker, who at the time was with the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. It had emerged from a police club. Initially training took part in the police gymnasium (which does not exist anymore due to a conversion). Soon Glyn Davies, now 4th Dan, joined the dojo. Glyn is the most senior member of our club and still regularly training as well as teaching in classes. Simon Whittaker (who was also awarded 4th Dan during his Aikido career) had to stop training due to health and professional reasons and the day to day running of the dojo has been taken over by his students.

Since its founding, members of the club have come from all parts of the globe and Cambridge Aiki Dojo frequently welcomes visitors from other parts of the world who are temporarily in Cambridge. It is not uncommon to find as many languages spoken "on the mat" as there are practitioners on a particular evening. And several different styles and influences of Aikido are represented. Experiences and knowledge is shared - on the mat and during "after class deliberations".

Our club now has active members training regularly between the ages of 15 and 70 years old.

The style of aikido

We practice aikikai style aikido, and are affliated to the Komyokan Aikido Association (KAA), who are endorsed by the Hombu Dojo ("Aikido headquarters") in Tokyo. The Senior Instructor of the KAA is Terry Ezra shihan (7th dan so hombu), whose full-time dojo in Birkenhead, Merseyside is the Headquarters of the organisation.

The chief instructor of our club is Glyn Davies sensei (4th dan so hombu), who has over 50 years of aikido experience.

We have a very friendly and international dojo, so even if you are only in Cambridge for a short time, you are very welcome to come along and train with us.

Where and when is the class?

Check out our Useful Information page.


We encourage our students to take part in gradings, in order to move through the kyu grades, from 6th kyu up to first kyu, in preparation for a shodan (1st degree black belt) grading. Gradings usually take place 2-3 times a year, and are annonced in advance.

To find out what you need to know for each grading, please ask one of the senior grades in the class. There are syllabus lists that we can hand out on request.

Weapons in aikido

We generally use three kinds of weapon in our regular aikido practice. These are the jo (a wooden staff, about 1.5m long), the bokken (a wooden sword), and the tanto (a wooden knife). Have a look at the About Aikido page for more detail.

Instructors (senseis)

All instructors have completed the BAB coach level 1 course. Instructors coaching the children's classes also hold additional qualifications in coaching children.
Britta Kleinsorge

Britta started Aikido in autumn 1990 at Kaiserslautern University (Germany) with the Tendo-Ryu Association. She originally thought of doing Karate or basketball, but her timetable "only" permitted Aikido, which she now thinks was quite lucky.

She has been training ever since, albeit with some intermissions due to travelling, moving or having a babies. Britta moved to England in 1995, when she joined Sensei Sargeant's Dojo initially. She then joined Cambridge Aiki Dojo with Simon Whittaker and Glyn Davies at the end of 1996 or beginning 1997.

She was awarded her San-Dan in 2019 by Terry Ezra Shihan



Adriana started training Aikido in Colombia in the early nineties. Her first teacher also practised zazen and was soon to become a zen nun, and the emphasis on the spiritual side of the training deeply impressed her. Afterwards she realised that at her university there also was an Aikido club and therefore she joined the Colombia Aikikai, under the instruction of Yamada sensei.

Adriana moved to the UK in the year 2000, but then took a long break from training when starting a family. Three babies later she was missing Aikido terribly and was not sure she could ever train again, but then her daughter, then six, found out about Aikido and said she wanted to train with mummy- that was the little push she needed to find a dojo. Adriana was delighted to find such a great club as Cambridge Aiki Dojo and has had a great time training here since. Now her two youngest children train regularly as well . In 2011 she was awarded her Ni-Dan by Terry Ezra Shihan.


Vladimir Artamonov

Vlad started aikido in 1995 in Riga (Latvia) under the instruction of Vladimir Yusupzhanov sensei, a student of Yasunari Kitaura shihan. Vlad was awarded sho-dan in 2004 and ni-dan in 2007. He taught aikido classes for adults and children between 1998 and 2010 in Jelgava (Latvia), and moved to the UK in 2010, where he initially joined the Kioido Aikido Aiki-jutsu Kai club in Harlow. He then joined Cambridge Aiki Dojo in 2014. Vlad was awarded san dan in 2017.


Hugh Purser

Hugh originally started training Aikido in Japan under William Reed Sensei. After he moved from the Far East to Cambridge he joined Cambridge Aiki Dojo, brining with him unique insights and experience. He was awarded Sho-Dan in 2012


Dojo committee

Ever wondered how things get organised in the aikido club?
Who looks after the finances? Who keeps track of attendance? Who decides when gradings will be? Who organises the Christmas raffle and celebrations? How do we find out about and announce courses? Who decides which organisation we belong to?

OK, maybe you have never asked yourself any of those questions, but perhaps you should.

The answer is that the dojo has a committee to oversee the smooth running of activities.
It meets two or three times a year, as necessary, to discuss all the important things going on in the club.

The committee members include all dan grades and other members. Special roles are:

  • Britta Kleinsorge (Dojo-cho - head of committee)
  • Mel Rose (Club Welfare Officer)
  • Norman Marles (Grading Officers, H&S)
  • Hugh Purser (Social Secretary)

It is YOUR aikido club, and YOUR aikido committee.

That means, if you want to raise any issues; if you have ideas or suggestions, please talk to us.
We always try to act with the best interests of the club in mind, so knowing what is important to you will help us a lot.
After all, co-operation is a fundamental aspect of aikido.

Simon Whittaker, as founder of the club, has the position of honorary chairperson.

"He who has gained the secret of Aikido has the universe in himself and can say, "I am the universe." When an enemy tries to fight with him, the universe itself, he has to break the harmony of the universe. Hence the moment he has the mind to fight with me, he is already defeated"

Morihei Ueshiba