About Aikido

Aikido is not competitive: rather the aim of Aikido training is improving one's character, self-development and self-defence in the context of a martial art. We learn and train collaboratively, repeating skills and techniques to improve proficiency over time.

Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883~1969), who is known as O’Sensei (‘great teacher’).



The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji (symbols):

ai – joining, unifying, combining, fit

ki – spirit, energy, mood, morale

dō – way, path


These symbols can be translated as “the Way of harmonious spirit”. In other words: Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. Techniques require little physical strength, as the aikido practitioner “leads” the attacker’s energy, force and momentum by  using entering and turning movements. Aikido techniques are completed with throws, pins (immobilisations) or joint-locks.

Aikido is good for mental and physical health, and helps to develop self-confidence. With dedicated and long-term study you should develop a more flexible body, improved coordination and balance, and sharper reactions.

The aikido dojo is a place where people of different ages, lifestyles, genders and physical abilities meet to train to improve themselves.


About Malvern Aikido

Our club has a strong regular membership of men and women, covering a wide range of ages and experience levels. We have complete beginners to those practitioners with many years’ experience.

We offer classes in traditional Aikikai Aikido to people aged 18 year old and over, regardless of gender or previous experience.

Malvern Aikido is affiliated to the British Aikido Federation (a founder body of the Joint Aikikai Council) which in turn is to the International Aikido Federation. Through the  British Aikido Federation we have direct links to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.

This means our club members benefit from high-level technical support and instruction from leading aikido practitioners in the UK as well master teachers from Japan at regular special events such as our annual BAF Summer School.

Malvern Aikido is operated on a not-for-profit basis: all fees raised are used for the benefit of the club and it’s members. The members annually elect a small Committee that organises club matters.

Instructors at Malvern Aikido

Malvern Aikido instructors give their time freely to help students improve: they do not receive any financial payment for their time spent in the dojo.

Aikido instructors are usually referred to as Sensei (‘teacher’). Instructors hold Dan grades that are legitimised by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and all club instructors hold coaching certificates in alignment with the UK Coaching Council.

Paul Adkins Sensei (二段 2nd Dan So Hombu)

Club Chairman & Club Coach

Paul’s martial arts journey began as a teenager when he joined a wado-ryu karate club in Birmingham in 1978. Later he started practicing judo at the Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham under Sensei Brian Rowlands and later at a judo club in Harborne. He has also practiced a little Jiu Jitsu. After some time away from martial arts Paul began practicing aikido in 1993 and immediately warmed to this style of martial art: ideal from both technical and spiritual perspectives. Paul steadily made his way through the grading system and achieved the grade of Shodan in April 2007, having been examined by the British Ki-Aikido Association’s Chief Instructor at the time, David Currie.

Paul achieved the grade of Shodan 初 from Shihan Yukimitsu Kobayashi in August 2016, and the grade of Nidan 二段 in August 2019.

Paul was CRB cleared in December 2011 and is a Joint Aikikai Council qualified Coach Level 2.

Ivelin (Ivan) Boyadzhiev Sensei (二段 2nd Dan So Hombu)

Club Coach

Ivelin started Aikido training in 2001 in a small club in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria and joined Malvern Aikido in 2011. Since 2008 in Bulgaria he has been involved teaching children's and young people's classes and adults.

In Bulgaria he trained for 5 days a week for over 10 years. He believes it is important to introduce children to sport and active training at early age and guide them to help develop new skills and physical wellness. Always mindful of etiquette and safety, he is open to new training ideas.

In 2010 Ivelin received the grade of Shodan 初 under an independent 4th Dan instructor from Japan but seeking a Hombu qualification, in August 2016 Ivelin achieved the grade of Shodan 初 from Shihan Yukimitsu Kobayashi. Ivelin then achieved the grade of Nidan 二段 in August 2019.

Ivelin is a Joint Aikikai Council qualified Coach Level 2.

Other Instructors

We are also fortunate to regularly invite other instructors to our dojo in order to broaden the teaching and learning experiences. Recent and regular teachers include:

We thank them for their time and energy guiding us to develop our aikido.