Association History

The Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain (AFGB) was founded by Sensei Ralph Reynolds in 1963 in Birmingham, UK. He was the first Aikido Instructor to instruct Aikido at a club in the West Midlands. A student of Sensei K Abbe and Sensei M Nakazono, he has been an inspiration to many instructors and Associations throughout the United Kingdom. Shihan Reynolds dedicated his life in the pursuit of the advancement of Aikido, from both the physical and the mental aspects. Sadly, Shihan Reynolds passed away on Thursday 19th January 2006.

The Association then passed to Hanshi Jayne Phelps who took Shihan’s legacy forward. Hanshi Phelps and the AFGB Yudanshakai (black belts of rank 5th Dan and above) were dedicated to continuing Shihan Reynolds' legacy.

Like with many Clubs and Associations, the AFGB was badly affected by Covid-19 and the various lockdowns. At the end of 2022, Hanshi Phelps handed over the Association to Sensei Dominic Foster, a staunch supporter of Shihan Reynold’s teaching and a practitioner of Aikido since 1980. Sensei Foster started Fleet Aikido Club in 1986 and has been teaching in the Fleet and Aldershot area ever since.

Sensei Foster, the AFGB Executive Committee members and Yudanshakai are not paid and do not receive honorariums. The time and effort given to run the Association has always been given freely and that will continue through the tenure of Sensei Foster.

The headquarters of the AFGB moved from Birmingham to Fleet in Hampshire when the main club in Birmingham was forced to close. The Association will consider opening another club in the West Midlands when the current financial crisis abates and it is cost effective to do so.

Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain Logo
Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain Logo