What is Aikido?

noun: aikido - a Japanese form of self-defence and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements.

About Us

Who we are and what we do. (Cymraeg)

Self-Defence, Fitness, Confidence.

Aikido is one of the most effective forms of self-defence taught today, come and see for yourself.

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Who we are

Formed in 1988 under the direction of Malcolm Saunders, the Society has grown rapidly in an area already well served by other styles of Aikido. Teaching within the WAS seeks to build upon, and develop, principles of co-ordination of mind and body. The style is based essentially, upon principles of Ki development.

Basic techniques, both hand to hand and with weapons, are taught within a traditional framework, but throughout, the teaching emphasizes the attainment of harmony between partners and movement with both co-ordination and relaxation.

What we do

Our style concentrates on the coordination of Mind & Body, first, in relation to the individual, then to the application of these principles to dealing with the coordination of others.

This is done through exercises designed to improve both posture and relaxation both when standing still and in movement. Further exercises, with a partner, follow more traditional forms of attack (hand to hand and with weapons) and defences against them - each linked to our ideas of coordination.

Membership Form

If you are considering joining one of our clubs we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete and submit our Membership Form.

Child Welfare

Our child welfare officer is Mark Wilton. Mark is a second Dan and a qualified coach. He also holds a number of BAB teaching qualifications. To contact Mark please phone: 07515 167657


Find your nearest club

Cardiff (Closed until further notice)

Tonypandy (Classes starting back on the 15.09.2021)

The Alec Jones Scout & Community Hall, Park Place, Tonypandy, RCT, CF40 1BA

Wednesday's: Childrens class 19:15-20:15, Adults class 20:15-21:15.


All of our instructors hold the relevant British Aikido Board coaching certificate. They also hold the necessary insurance to teach their relevant classes. All instructors of childrens classes have the necessary Criminal Records Bureau certificates. The WAS has a child protection officer and also a child welfare officer. You can contact either of these through our contact form.

Malcolm Saunders

Head of the WAS

Philip Palmer

5th Dan

Mike Bent

5th Dan

John Nicholas

5th Dan

Steff Roberts

4th Dan

Julian Williams

4th Dan

Robert Jenkins

3rd Dan

Mark Wilton

3rd Dan (CWO)

Rob Palmer

2nd Dan

Brian Evans

1st Dan

Mark Parfitt

1st Dan


What does it all cost?



  • Annual Membership - £25
  • Annual Insurance - Free with membership
  • Grading - £10
  • Aikido Suit - £23
  • Bokken - £8
  • Jo - £8
  • Tanto - £4
  • Hoody - £poa

Students (NUS)


  • Annual Membership - £25
  • Annual Insurance - Free with membership
  • Grading - £10
  • Aikido Suit - £23
  • Bokken - £8
  • Jo - £8
  • Tanto - £4
  • Hoody - £poa



  • Annual Membership - £5
  • Annual Insurance - Free with membership
  • Grading - £5
  • Aikido Suit - £15
  • Bokken - Not Required
  • Jo - Not Required
  • Tanto - Not Required
  • Hoody - £poa


Sensei Saunders adventure with Aikido began in the early 60’s when the senior grade in the Rhondda at that time was a 1st Kyu. Later, in a local Adult Education Centre, Sensei Saunders was taught by a Dan grade who came up from Cardiff, Mr Hywel Jenkins.

As a result, some of the class attended a Summer School, given by Sensei Williams. Sensei Williams saw the strength of commitment in Rhondda and eventually set up his own Dojo there. He built up a strong organisation, eventually containing many Dan Grades of excellent calibre, a testament to the quality of his teaching. When Sensei Williams placed himself with Master Koichi Tohei, those who stayed with him had the advantage of a completely new approach to Aikido.

The resulting change of emphasis was not to everyone’s taste but, for the first time, Sensei Saunders began to understand what he had been striving for. Both Sensei Williams’ unequivocal support for Ki Aikido and Sensei Saunders first hand contact with Master Tohei in the late 70’s made him realise the way that he has followed ever since.

Sadly, schisms abound in Aikido, despite the high ideals of the Founder, and in the late 80’s Sensei Saunders found himself at the Head of what was to become the Welsh Aikido Society. It had never been his intention to be at the head of anything other than his business interests – the quotation regarding those who have …” greatness thrust upon them” is particularly appropriate in his case.

However Sensei Saunders continues to develop his own Aikido and gain great satisfaction from seeing the advances in his own students.


What our students say about us

“A good all round workout with the chance to learn a challenging and rewarding form of self defence”

“There's plenty of encouragement at the club, with senior grades always willing to help your progression”

“Despite being the youngest member of the senior club, the nature of aikido allows me to practice without using physical strength, redirecting an attackers momentum, not hitting it straight on”

”Practicing aikido helps has helped me with other sports I participate in, improved flexibility balance and coordination”


The Welsh Aikido Society is a non profit making organisation. We are very grateful to have received assistance from the following organisations.
Please take the time to visit their websites.

Community Foundation in Wales
Sport RCT
Children in Need


Questions? Send us a message!

Please complete this form in order to contact us here at the Welsh Aikido Society. We will respond to all messages within 24 hours.

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