At Yoshinkan London we believe that Aikido is a beautiful and powerful martial art that should be trained with discipline, respect, and hard work. It should also be a lot of fun!

Aikido should be accessible for anyone to learn and we provide a safe yet challenging environment for students to reach beyond their potential.

Yoshinkan London was founded in 1996 by Paul Stephens Sensei & Eva Stauffer Sensei. After they had both trained in Japan, completing and then teaching the infamous Senshusei Course at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, they came back to London to found their own school.

In 2021 Leo Payne Sensei became chief instrutcor of Yoshinkan London Aikido.

The dojo is affiliated with Yamanashi Yoshinkan Aikido in Kofu, Japan. This school founded by the late Takeno Shihan and now run by Nakagawa Sensei. 

our History

About Yoshinkan London Aikido

Yoshinkan aikido is a style of aikido that was founded by Gozo Shioda a student of the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. It is known for its emphasis on proper form and technique, and is often considered to be a more martial and disciplined form of aikido. The training in Yoshinkan aikido focuses on developing strong, stable posture and correct body alignment, as well as effective movement and timing. It is a popular style of aikido, especially among law enforcement and military organizations.

One of the main benefits of practicing yoshinkan aikido is that it can help to improve physical fitness and coordination. It also teaches practitioners how to defend themselves in potentially dangerous situations, while at the same time promoting a philosophy of peace and harmony. Additionally, yoshinkan aikido can help to improve focus, concentration, and mental clarity. Some people also find that practicing yoshinkan aikido can be a great way to reduce stress and improve their overall sense of well-being.

How it began

What is Yoshinkan Aikido?

6th Dan Black Belt
Paul Sensei is our technical director and advisor. He is widely regarded as one of the best Yoshinkan Aikido teachers in the UK.

His wealth of experience and knowledge guides our training.

Paul Stephens

4th Dan Black belt.
Leo began training under Paul Sensei in 2009. He runs the dojo and teaches most classes. 

He has travelled to Japan multiple times to train at the Yamanshi Yoshinkan and spent a year in Australia training at Melbourne Yoshinkan.

Leo Payne

3rd Dan Black Belt
Dewi completed the Senshusei Course in Tokyo in 1998. Since then he has exclusively trained and learned under Paul Sensei.

Dewi John 

Meet The Aikido Instructors


chief instructor

assistant instructor

Yoshinkan London is based at the Thanet Youth & Community Centre in Camden, North London and has been our home since 2008
We have a large, clean mat area with toilets & changing rooms available.
For more information check out our FAQ or Get In Touch!