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About the National Aikido Federation inc.

The National Aikido Federation inc. (NAF) is a non for profit organisation with the goal of promoting and supporting Aikido throughout Australia.  

The NAF was founded by John Turnbull Sensei in 2009 with the intent to help reunite the fractured Australian Aikido community. By supporting smaller, stand alone clubs with instruction, insurance, promotion and local and national events the NAF is becoming a beacon for Aikidoka needing support, friendship and good training.

If you are looking to start your Aikido journey, or are a club wanting support, or just passing through town then please contact us or come along to a class.

The National Aikido Federation roots go back to early 1965 when John Turnbull Sensei attend one of the first classes of the newly arrived Seiichi Sugano's Sensei at the Top Ryde Gymnasium, Sydney NSW. John Turnbull was an already talented martial artists being among the top Judo and Jujitsu practitioners in Australia but was instantly impressed by young master. While Sugano Sensei's technically ability was outstanding, it was the his incredible awareness, and the fact that no one could surprise attack him that really impressed Turnbull Sensei. 

A friendship grew from there with Turnbull Sensei attending every class available and regularly staying with Sugano Sensei and his new wife Varrelle. The culture gap and language barrier were extremely challenging in those early years with Varelle often translating conversations and concepts. While this may have seemed frustrating to some it gave Turnbull Sensei an excellent foundation in Aikido as Sugano Sensei taught in the traditional way including techniques in the often forgotten Ki development, mind training and atemi (striking).

In 1976 Sugano Sensei decided to leave Australia. The European demands for the superb Aikido Master were to strong to ignore.  He visited Turnbull Sensei and said "You are my oldest student so I'm telling you first, I'm leaving Australia but I'm not taking Aikido with me". It wasn't till after the conversation that it dawned on Turnbull Sensei the incredible vote of confidence Sugano Sensei had just given him.

The National Aikido Federation strives to continually give students the opportunity to learn that original Aikido, that Turnbull Sensei was so fortunate to learn in those early days of Australian Aikido with Sugano Sensei.

25. Sugano's devastating Aiki copy.jpg

A young Sugano Sensei throwing Charles Kelly circa 1966

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