Quentin Cooke

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Principal Teacher Burwell Aikido Club

 

Chair and Co-Founder of Aikido for Daily Life

 

Vice President of Aiki Extensions

Quentin began to practice aikido in 1984, within the Ki Society, which was linked to Koichi Tohei Sensei, which was headed up by Kenneth Williams Sensei in the UK. He is one of the original practitioners of aikido in this country under Abbe Sensei and widely recognised as the most senior UK practitioner of aikido.  Williams Sensei eventually broke away and founded the Ki Federation of Great Britain, which Quentin stayed with until 2000 having reached the rank of 4th dan.

 

At that point, he left to join Denis Burke Sensei (a former assistant of  Williams Sensei ) and his brother Piers Cooke Sensei, who had founded the Isshinkai Association, which in style was still principally based in Ki Aikido.  Unfortunately many of the off-mat issues and problems that he experienced within the KFGB were replicated.  Whilst politics is part of life,  how they are conducted is key.

 

So, in 2004, believing that the traditional structure of aikido has a tendency to induce too much ego, and the abuse of power, Quentin, along with his brother Piers Cooke,  sought to create a group that could avoid these issues.  Thus Aikido for Daily Life, (ADL) was born.

''ADL's name was chosen carefully to reflect what we felt aikido is really about.  Accordingly, we  structured the group to be democratic and not hierarchical, to better reflect the culture in which we live.  Since foundation, our association has steadily grown, as have the bonds between the member clubs.  We have also built strong ties to a number of other aikido associations, both nationally and internationally, and often run joint courses with them.''

 

Initially Quentin linked to Yuishinkai International under the guidance and teaching of Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei, (www.aikidoyuishinkai.org), one of the founder's original students.  He encouraged people to celebrate what we share rather than seek to emphasise our differences, (''There are many ways up the mountain''). 

In 2004, he was awarded the rank of 5th dan and in 2011, Maruyama Sensei awarded him the grade of 7th dan, which was a great honour.  However in 2017, Yuishinkai International issued new guidelines adopting a more traditional model in terms of how they are organised and the way they wanted to develop aikido. Quentin could not support these changes and so resigned to concentrate on developing Aikido in Daily Life.

 

Quentin's dojo  is a qualifying member  of Peace Dojos International   and he is also the serving Vice President of Aiki Extensions.  This international group based in the USA has charitable status and seeks to spread the principles of aikido into 'off the mat' situations with a view to making a better world.  Their work is something I believe in passionately and so devote much time and energy into making their aims a reality.  He also collected aikido stories from practitioners around the world,  contributed to and edited the collection,  and ultimately published the book, 'A Way to Reconcile the World'

He regularly publishes interesting articles via the club blog and is an original thinker when it comes to teaching and how to understand exactly what aikido can do for you.  Quentin says: 

''I love my practice and study of aikido and believe it to be a powerful tool for improving the world we live in and my desire is to share it with as many people as I can.''