Sensei Phil (Dojo Cho)

Phil Booth, Godan (5th Degree black belt), started aikido in 1971 under Sensei John Bonniface and has been training regularly ever since. He is an original founder and the Dojo Cho of Aikido Canterbury. Phil is semi-retired with a small landholding in Sheffield, West Canterbury, and is a lifetime member of Motorcycling Canterbury.


James Marsh, Nidan (2nd Degree black belt), studied karate for 12 years from the age of 12, gaining his Shodan grade and also has studied Iaido. He started aikido in 1998 with our club and has trained ever since. James has other interests in Ballroom & Street Latin style of dancing, such as Salsa, Bachata & Argentine Tango.

Gareth C

Gareth Cook, Nidan (2nd Degree black belt), began aikido in 1994 and was instantly hooked. Gareth has an entrepreneurial business background; he is a Co-founder and Director of Ki-Potential, a training consultancy that utilises aikido principles to improve personal and professional effectiveness. He lives near the beach with his wife and two daughters and makes furniture in his spare time.

Gareth A

Gareth Abdinor, Nidan (2nd Degree black belt), has been training aikido since the late 1990's and believes in making its principles a part of his everyday life, not just on the mat. He works in conflict resolution and is also a Co-founder and Director of Ki-Potential (with Gareth Cook, above). Gareth is married with a daughter, and his interests include motorcycling, snowboarding, shooting and photography.


Jeff Herbert, Shodan (1st Degree blackbelt), started karate at age 15, gaining black belts in Kempo in 1994 and Taekwondo in 1997. He began training aikido in 1999 crediting it with positive changes in his life & general outlook, and enjoys seeing this change in others. Jeff works as a prison reintegration officer, and enjoys running and sailing in his spare time.


Stuart Joy, Shodan (1st degree black belt), began learning aikido in 1990 after spending previous years learning boxing and okinawa go ju ru. Stu believes training in aikido has given him a positive outlook on life and has moulded him to the person that he is today. Stu is a civil servant and has an avid interest in muscle cars, go karting and motorcycling.