AYNSW is registered with the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA), the peak body overseeing martial arts development in the health and leisure industry.
Aikido Yoshinkai NSW instructors are accredited as martial arts coaches through the NMAS (National Martial Arts Instructor Accreditation Scheme) certified by RABQSA (under International Standard ISO 17024 – Joint Accreditation Scheme of Australia and New Zealand). This acreditation process includes undergoing risk management training in lesson management and a police background check.
The MAIA acredititaion process
- Verifies the martial arts bona fides of an instructor
- Ensures the instructor has a minimum first aid qualification
- Ensures the instructor has a minimum training standard in Instructing Principles, Sports Psychology, Training Methods, Communication, and Legal Responsibilities.
- Ensures an instructor has a minimum training standard in what constitutes safe practice in exercise
- Ensures an instructor has a minimum training standard in what the instructor’s responsibilities are under Occupational Health and Safety
- Ensures an instructor has a minimum training standard in what the instructor’s responsibilities are under the appropriate consumer protection legislation in the State in which they teach
- Ensures an instructor has a minimum training standard in what the instructor’s responsibilities are in dealing with complaints involving sexual harassment and discrimination in the martial arts industry
- Ensures that the consumer is dealing with an instructor who is bound by the National Code Of Practice For Martial Arts Centres and Instructors
If you wish to check on the Accreditation status of an instructor, the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) provides for free a National Accreditation Record Service that can be accessed by telephoning
02 8116 9822 .
Chief Instructor: Darren Friend Shihan
Born in Melbourne, Australia
Victoria University, Melbourne. BA. Bus.
Resided in Tokyo 1992-2005
Rank 6th Dan Aikido Yoshinkai, holder of IYAF level 2 Instructor certificate.
1985 Began training in Yoshinkan Aikido at Aikido Shudokan Melbourne
1992 Joined Aikido Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, Kokusai Senshusei Course
1993 Graduated from Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo Kokusai Senshusei Course
1994 Joined teaching staff at Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo
1994 Assistant to Chino Susumu Sensei, Australian tour
1997 Assistant to Chida Tsutomu Sensei, Australian tour
1999 Assistant to Takeno Takafumi Sensei, UK tour 1999, Canadian tour 2000, Australian tour 2001, German tour 2001
2002 Assistant to Inoue Kyoichi Kancho, Kyushu Japan tour
2003 Assistant to Inoue Kyoichi Kancho, Australian tour
2003 Assistant to Takeno Takafumi Sensei, Malaysian tour
2003 Aikido consultant, Go Warrior documentary, Discovery Channel
1996-2005 Chief Instructor, Yoshinkan Honbu International Section
2005 Resigned from Yoshinkan Honbu in order to open Aikido Yoshinkai NSW in Sydney
2010 received 6th dan from Aikido Yoshinkai Honbu (headquarters), Tokyo, Japan
2017 awarded the title of Shihan (master teacher) by Aikido Yoshinkai Honbu
With more than 30 years experience, 13 years at the Yoshinkan Headquarters in Tokyo, Darren’s expertise is indisputable. As a staff member and chief instructor of the Kokusai Bu (International Section) at Yoshinkan Honbu (headquarters), Darren was responsible for the daily running of the infamous Kokusai Senshusei Course as depicted in the best-selling novel, “Angry White Pajamas,” by Robert Twigger, in which he was also featured. Darren has been interviewed for television and radio, as well as by various newspapers and magazines such as Blitz, Sapio, Tokyo Metropolis, Yoshin, AYI (Aikido Yoshinkan International) and US National Public Radio (NPR). He was also the Aikido Consultant for the martial arts series “Go Warrior” broadcast worldwide on The Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel in 2004.
Darren has also been featured in numerous aikido texts and training manuals, most notably “Aikido: The Complete Basic Techniques ” & “Total Aikido” by Yoshinkan founder, Gozo Shioda as well as “Yoshinkan Aikido Seizui ” (The essence of Yoshinkan Aikido) by Kyoichi Inoue , retired head of Yoshinkan Aikido.
As a Honbu Dojo staff member, Darren travelled extensively with leading Japanese aikido instructors, assisting with demonstrations and seminars in Japan, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Malaysia. During his 13 years in Japan he participated annually in the All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Demonstration as well as Ando Tsuneo Sensei’s Urayasu Demonstration and Takeno Takafumi Sensei’s Yamanashi Yoshinkan Demonstration.
Darren has also worked in film, choreographing stunts and performing in the Japanese-Philippine movie “Total Aikido: Fight in Peace,” filmed in Manila.
In 2005 Darren realized his long-term goal of establishing a full-time aikido club in Sydney with his wife Peggy. They aim to make a positive contribution to the local community through aikido.
Darren is available for general interviews in English or Japanese, aikido demonstrations and practical seminars as well as speaking on aikido as a path to negotiation, leadership and conflict resolution.
1994 Began training in Yoshinkan Aikido at Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, Tokyo
1995 All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Demonstration – 1st place Kihon Waza (Basic Techniques) Division
1996 Attained the rank of shodan (first degree black belt)at Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, Tokyo
1997 Joined the Kokusai Senshusei Course
1998 Graduated from the Kokusai Senshusei Course
1998 Attained the rank of nidan (second-degree black belt)
1998 Registered Instructor Level 6 certified by Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, Tokyo
2000 Accompanied Takeno Takafumi Sensei on the Canadian tour
2001 Accompanied Takeno Takafumi Sensei on the Australian tour
2001 Attained the rank of sandan (third-degree black belt)
2003 Appeared in the “Go Warrior” documentary, Discovery Channel
1998-2005 Assistant Instructor, Yoshinkan Aikido Honbu, International Section
2005 Registered Instructor Level 4 certified Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, Tokyo
2005 Resigned from Yoshinkan Honbu in order to open Aikido Yoshinkai NSW in Sydney
2008 Attained the rank of 4th Dan and Instructor Level 3 Certificate
2017 Attained the rank of 5th Dan
Having trained solely at the main headquarters of Yoshinkan Aikido for over 10 years, Peggy has been very fortunate to learn from the top teachers in this art. As an instructor in the Kokusai Bu (International Section), she was responsible for teaching classes, both the regular course and Senshusei Course, and she was also a part of the office administration staff for the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation (IYAF).
Peggy has participated in numerous demonstrations, and as a brown belt, won the top prize in the Kihon Waza Division (Basic Techniques Division) at the 1995 All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Demonstration. She has also accompanied top Japanese teachers on instructional tours to Australia and Canada.
Since 1994 she has participated annually in the All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Demonstration as well as Ando Tsuneo Sensei’s Urayasu Demonstration and Takeno Takafumi Sensei’s Yamanashi Yoshinkan Demonstration.
Peggy has been featured in several magazines such as Sapio, Novark and AYI, and has appeared on the national Japanese television channel NHK as well as the US National Public Radio (NPR). Peggy was also featured in the martial arts series “Go Warrior” that was aired worldwide on The Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel in 2004.
Together with her husband Darren, she is working towards establishing AYNSW as a strong dojo of Yoshinkan Aikido, making a positive contribution to the local community. Peggy is available for interviews or to answer any queries, in English or Japanese.
Part-time Instructor :Gretchen Riordan Rank: Shodan (1st degree black belt)
Gretchen has a long history in martial arts training. She joined AYNSW in 2012 and made the commitment to become dojo uchideshi in 2016, training every class every day for 1 year. She has recommitted to this for 2017.
Canberra Part-time Instructor: Tom Seeto Rank: Nidan (2nd degree black belt)
Tom also came to aikido after a long journey through Japanese martial arts. Tom has made several aikido journeys to Japan for training as well as USA, Canada, Malaysia and Europe. He runs the Canberra branch dojo. Tom has written featured articles about aikido that were published in the media, and has tertiary qualifications in Business and Occupational Health and Safety.
2005: Tom commenced his training at AYNSW committing to a regular long commute from Canberra.
2010: traveled to Japan to experience intensive Aikido training and took part in the Annual All Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Demonstration.
2013: Undertook and passed the test for Shodan (1st degree black belt). Tested by Ando Sensei
2015 Undertook and passed the test for Nidan (2nd Degree black belt) at AYNSW.