There is plenty of support and guidance available to students  at the Makotokan, with 4 black belt instructors regularly in attendance.

All of our black belts are certified by the Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan and are registered instructors with the same organisation. In addition all are members of the British Aikido Board and hold appropriate coaching qualifications issued by them as well as receiving Professional Indemnity insurance cover.

Sensei Malcolm Crawford, 7th Dan Yoshinkan – Technical Director

 sensei performing embu

Malcolm Crawford Sensei , 7th Dan (AYF awarded 2014) is the Founder and Head of the Goryukai School of Yoshinkan Aikido, based in Chichester, East Sussex.

Sensei started training in Aikido in 1970 under Sensei Eddie Stratton of the Shudokan, a direct student of Gozo Shioda in Japan, and first to teach the Yoshinkan system of aikido in the UK.

In 1974, the Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo sent their own instructor Yu Sensei to England. Yu sensei, a former uchi deshi of Gozo Shioda ,was an exceptionally severe instructor and few of the students remained for the full duration of his stay in UK. Crawford sensei , however, did not quit and during this time was training 5 days a week and all day Sunday.

 Now with over 45 years in Yoshinkan aikido, Crawford Sensei has trained with all of the senior Yoshinkan instructors, as well as the late Shioda Kancho. Crawford Sensei has taught at many national and international seminars and is a regular guest instructor of the Yoshinkan associations in Poland and Ukraine.

To this day, sensei retains a certain edge to his training inherited from the period under Yu sensei and still teaches elements of “Old Yoshinkan” which have today disappeared from the hombu dojo syllabus. He is reknowned for his dynamic and fluid jiyu waza and powerful technique executed with solid Yoshinkan form.

Sensei Tony Hughes, Godan – Chief Instructor Makotokan Dojo

Since his late teens Tony was inexplicably drawn to Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism. After a brief spell studying Shotokan karate Tony finally discovered Aikido, commencing his training  in 1983 at the Epsom and Ewell Aikido Society under Ron Walters sensei. Here he spent 10 years studying  an eclectic mix of Aikido styles and aiki ju-jitsu, achieving a shodan grade in 1992. Following the fragmentation of this organisation Tony left to join his Sempai John Jenkin at the newly formed Koshinkan.

Tony was promoted to 2nd dan in 1996 by the International Aiki Budo council and received his 3rd Dan from the Koshinkan in 2003.
Currently Tony is instructing at the Makotokan dojo that he co-founded in 2006. He has evolved his aikido since the early days and now trains and teaches Yoshinkan Aikido under the guidance of Sensei Malcolm Crawford, 7th dan Yoshinkan shihan. Tony trains regularly under Sensei Crawford to consolidate his basic technique form and principles and has at present regraded to Godan (5th Dan).

Tony has trained with many of the top sensei in the UK and has participated in many courses/seminars conducted by visiting Japanese sensei. He has visited Japan on four occasions, training at the Yoshinkan , the Renshinkai and Aikikai hombu’s and with the late Thomas Makiyama sensei at the Keijutsukai.
It is Tony’s belief that aikido should ultimately become a vehicle for perfecting the human spirit if it is to have real meaning. As O’sensei said, “in true budo we seek to be one with all things, to return to the heart of creation”. He also believes that despite almost 40 plus years of training and studying Budo he is still a beginner in every sense of the word. Tony regards Aikido and related arts as a “World Family” that he is honored to be part of, albeit a distant cousin 3 times removed.

Victor Matty, Nidan – Instructor

Victor is the Makotokans longest standing student commencing his training in January 2006, and is a fine example of the importance of perseverance in martial arts training.  He was awarded his Shodan in 2013 by Malcolm Crawford sensei, 7th dan, and achieved his Nidan in 2021. Apart from his regular attendance at our dojo Victor has attended numerous seminars within the UK, training with all of the senior home based Yoshinkan senseis  and several visiting senseis from Japan and elsewhere. Victor has made a number of visits to Japan, training at Yoshinkan and the Renshinkai honbu dojos. Victors approach to aikido is quite visceral, and he is the dojo’s hiyaku ukemi expert.

Warren Gin, Nidan – Instructor 

Warren began his aikido career at the Makotokan in 2013. Very technical in his approach and a fast learner, Warren supplemented his training by visiting a number of other Yoshinkan dojo’s in London and the South East achieving his Shodan in 2017, tested by Crawford sensei, and was awarded his Nidan in 2021. In addition to the home based training Warren spent 3 months at the Melbourne based Shudokan under Joe Thambu sensei as “dojosei” (in-house trainee). More recently Warren was awarded his second Shodan in Renshinkai aikido following his graduation from the  6 month Renshinkai senshusei course under Tsutomu Chida sensei., with whom he is pictured above. Warren is also a Taijiquan expert, spending some months each year training in the Wudang mountains in China.

Phil Glover – Assistant Instructor

Phil joined the Makotokan dojo in 2017 with some 15 years Aikido experience under his belt in both Aikikai (Birankai) and Ki aikido.  Phil is very rational and took to the structured Yoshinkan training, rapidly going through the grades achieving his Shodan in 2021.  Phil is particularly good working with beginners explaining  and demonstrating the principles and rationale by which we train.