Rising Sun Aikido
Traditional Ueshiba style Aikido self defence club
Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, England
Rising Sun Aikido Club History
The Rising Sun Aikido, Hull, has continued to grow & introduce many more people to Aikido.
The History of the Rising Sun Aikido Club
Rising Sun Aikido in Hull
Sensei Alan Pirie (5th Dan)
The original Rising Sun Aikido club was founded in Hull, England by Alan Pirie Sensei (5th Dan).
Alan Pirie Sensei, a student of Kazuo Chiba Sensei in the 1960's, had by the time of his untimely death in 1995 trained in Aikido for over 40 years. Obtaining his 3rd Kyu from Chiba Sensei in the late 1960's it was over 16 years before he obtained his Shodan (1st degree black belt).
Phil Benge Sensei (4th Dan) began training in Aikido under Alan Pirie Sensei in 1979. In 1993 he became the first person to be graded to Shodan (1st degree black belt) by Alan Pirie Sensei.
After Alan Pirie Sensei's death Phil Benge Sensei took over the role of senior Sensei at the Rising Sun Aikido club in Hull. Over the years the club grew from just three students training a single night a week to over thirty students training four nights a week.
At this time Phil Benge Sensei began teaching Aikido to undergraduates of Hull University on Sunday evenings. For many students this introduction to Aikido developed into a passion with some seeking out local Aikido clubs so they could continue to train after their graduation.
Rising Sun Aikido in Weston-Super-Mare
Phil Benge Sensei (4th Dan)
In January 2000 work commitments forced Phil Benge Sensei to move from Hull to Weston-Super-Mare in North Somerset passing on the running of the Hull based Rising Sun Aikido club to his long time students and friends Paul Smith Sensei and Jason West Sensei. Under their leadership the Hull Rising Sun Aikido club continues to grow introducing many new people to Aikido.
In January 2002 Phil Benge Sensei (then a 3rd Dan) founded a new Aikido club in Weston-Super-Mare preserving the memory of Alan Pirie Sensei by naming the club Rising Sun Aikido. Initially training one night a week at St Martin's Junior School with a handful of students the club quickly grew as more and more new members joined.
Shortly after the opening of the new Campus building in 2004 the club opened a second training session at that venue. Attracting a new group of members this unique venue soon became very popular.
Around this time Phil Benge Sensei began working with local secondary schools by initially successfully applying Aikido teachings and philosophies to the difficult and complex issues of dealing with anger management problems in children and young adults.
In January 2006 a new club with the aim at introducing 5 to 12 years olds to Aikido was created. Called Rising Stars Aikido the club initially ran for one hour per week on Saturday morning at the Campus. The club proved so popular with parents and children alike that it soon became apparent that a second session needed to be introduced. Supported by Rising Sun Aikido members on a voluntary basis the two Rising Star Aikido sessions now regularly see eighty plus enthusiastic children training every weekend.
In October 2010, whilst attending an Aikido seminar, Phil Benge Sensei was awarded his Yondan (4th Degree black belt) by Robert Mustard Sensei (7th Dan).
United Traditional Aikido
The Rising Sun Aikido club became a member of the British Aikido Board (BAB) and by 2006 had sufficient members to apply for the formation and recognition of its own association within the BAB. Known as United Traditional Aikido (UTA) the creation of the association presented an opportunity for senior members of Rising Sun Aikido to form their own clubs.
Rising Sun Aikido Today
Rising Sun Aikido in Weston-Super-Mare today train three times a week and has ten members holding a ‘Dan’ grade several of whom began their training at the club.
The club hosts a week-end open training course at least once per year inviting eminent guest Senseis to teach. Many of the club’s own Senseis regularly attend Aikido courses around the country adding to the collective depth and breadth of Aikido taught at the club.
Phil Benge Sensei continues to work with local schools introducing numerous children and young adults in the Weston Super Mare area to Aikido and has recently been commissioned by the British Aikido Board to devise and run an Aikido course for teenagers.
Rising Sun Aikido Club - Weston-Super-Mare - In Photos
Other club photos can be found in the Rising Sun Aikido club photo gallery.
Rising Sun Aikido promotes Traditional Aikido through teaching and practise in a relaxed fun, friendly atmosphere.