Ken Marsden – 6th Dan, Shihan, is celebrating 50 years in Aikido!
Marsden Sensei started Aikido 50 years ago back in September 1971. Originally going along to a class to try something different and keep his brother company, he enjoyed it so much he’s continued to practice and study it ever since. During the early 1970’s Ken practiced regularly with Chiba Sensei until he left the UK in 1976. He valued his time with Chiba Sensei because he was such a gifted teacher and also because there was a direct link with O’Sensei’s teaching as one of O’Sensei’s Uchi Deshi.
From 1976 onwards, Ken practiced with Kanetsuka Sensei for the next 43 years until his sad passing in 2019. When asked about Kanetsuka Sensei’s role in his Aikido, Ken said he had a tremendous influence upon his practice and philosophy towards Aikido and even now not a day goes by where he doesn’t think about what Kanetsuka Sensei taught him.
In Ken’s 50 years in Aikido he has been the lead instructor and guiding light for the Yorkshire Aikikai and its three Dojos in Leeds, Bradford and York, while being a guest instructor in Sheffield and Hull in the past. Along with other senior BAF Yudansha, Ken is a respected teacher and well-known face at Summer School, Instructors’ Courses as well as weekend courses across the country. Ken is also a member of the BAF’s Technical and Grading Committees. In addition Ken has studied Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) for decades and has taken the early morning sword classes at Summer School until quite recently.
When asking Ken about Aikido’s impact on his life he’s said “
Aikido keeps me fit, challenges my understanding of technique and application and makes me continually curious about how I can improve. Chiba and Kanetsuka Sensei’s teaching have left me with much to think about. I continue to train three times a week and I’m still studying and enjoying my practice.”