Sensei Matthew Bailey, Nidan (2nd dan).
Born: 17th September 1970 Maidstone, Kent
Ever since I was young I always had an interest in Martial arts, but only ever managed one year of Judo when I was ten years old. I left school in 1986 and started working in Hotels, moving from place to place. It was when I reached 19 I remember watching a martial arts demonstration at the hotel I was working in at the time. I still remember it to this day, seeing a young girl throwing four fully grown men around with ease.
After watching the demonstration, I was inspired to join an Aikido club, I looked around for clubs wherever I was living at the time but never found any that I could fit around my job.
In 1996 I moved to Somerset and decided to join my local Tai kwon do club, unfortunately due to work commitments I had to move again. I moved to Highbridge, whereby I joined my local football club. By 2001 I was starting to get a bit old for football and a number of my team mates had left to play either cricket or golf. It was at this point I decided to have another go at a martial art, I still hadnít found the right one for me.
It was 2004 when I saw an advert in my local paper about an Aikido demonstration at the Cheddar Leisure Centre, as it was known at the time. Unfortunately for me I was unable to attend due to work commitments. Although I had missed the demonstration I could not get the advert out of my mind so I eventually plucked up the courage to go along to the club one rainy evening in October 2005 and I havenít looked back since.
I joined the Cheddar Ki Aikido club under the instruction of Sensei Ray Sturdy, Hachi Dan (8 th dan). At that time Sensei Sturdy was the vice President of the Ki Federation of Great Britain. I went on to pass my yellow belt (5th kyu) under the Ki Federation of Great Britain in Mark, Somerset.
On the 29th August 2006 Sensei Sturdy resigned as vice President of the Ki Federation of Great Britain to form The Ki Aikido of Great Britain Association, I naturally followed him.
As I continued to train I began to recognise the positive effects Ki Aikido was beginning to have on my daily life, I was a calmer and more relaxed person. I continued to train regularly on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings at the Cheddar club. As my confidence grew I began to attend a number of Ki Aikido of Great Britain Association courses taught by either Sensei Sturdy, Sensei Martin Mercer, and Sensei Stephanie Waterfall. This not only gave me the opportunity to experience other instructors of Ki Aikido of Great Britain Association, but also allowed me to practice and meet with other members from other Ki Aikido of Great Britain club.
From when I started in October 2005, I began working my way up through the grades and growing in confidence. On the 23rd July 2011 I passed me Shodan grading (1st dan), at the Ki Aikido of Great Britain headquarters in Cheddar. Soon after that Sensei Sturdy asked if I would like to teach the Sunday morning classes to develop my Aikido further and enable me to build my confidence up. I thrived at the opportunity as I found I was not only teaching others but also learning myself. As they say there is no better way of learning something than to teach it to another.
In April 2012 Sensei Strudy moved back to Poole, Dorset, asking me to take on the Cheddar Ki Aikido club, teaching both the Friday evenings and the Sunday mornings. Again I was honoured and jumped at the chance, so my Ki Aikido journey continues under the instruction and guidance of the instructors and other members of the Association.
Cheddar Ki Aikido club classes are held at the Kings Fitness and Leisure Centre, Cheddar, Somerset. Under the expert tuition of Sensei Matthew Bailey Shodan (1st dan). We welcome new members of ALL ages and experience. The club is a small enough group that each individual member can work to their own individual ability within a friendly class environment.