Progress comes
To those who
Train and train;
Reliance on secret techniques
Will get you nowhere

Mire Zloh

4rd Dan so Hombu, Fukushidoin, BAB Senior Coach and Childrens Coach.

I have started to practice aikido in the aikido club "Pinki", Zemun, Yugoslavia at the end of 1982. My first aikido instructor was Njegos Djakovic. In the enthusiastic aikido family, I had also benefited from the teachings of other instructors of the Yugoslavian Aikikai like late Jovica Stanojevic, Velibor Vesovic, Drago Bogdanovic, and others. I had a longer break in my aikido practise, until one day I found the UCLU AIKIDO club in London after unanticipated developments in my life. My aikido life continued with constant help of Barbara Sotowicz Sensei, and the partners in the dojo. I met a lot of friends during UKA courses, and my special thanks to William Smith Shihan (UKA principal) for the help and encouragement. I obtained my Shodan during UKA Summer School in august 1996. Also, I got BAB First Aid, Coach and Children Coach awards, and became instructor in the UCLU Aikido Club in 1997 and UKA Fukushidoin in 1999. The YMCA Aikido Club was founded in May 2001. (photos).

At the end, I have to thank my wife Verona and daughters Anja and Olja for the understanding, support and being ukes during my preparations for gradings.

Mark Machin

2nd Dan so Hombu, BAB Coach and Childrens Coach.

I started practising Aikido in 1991 while at university in Bristol. The first club I practiced with was the Kai Shin Kai under Tony Dufty and after 2 years moved to Port Talbot to practice with Sensei Don Morgan and the BAF for a year. On returning to Bristol I resumed practice with the Kai Shin Kai and Sensei Tony Davies.

After moving around I eventually settled in London and tried several Aikido clubs before coming across the UCLU Aikido club and sensei Barbara Sotowicz. I have now been practicing at this club since 1995 and have been lucky enough to have met Mire Zloh, Steve Saunders, Jiri Novotny and many other excellent practitioners of Aikido who have been patient and helped me progress. The UKA have also provided superb backing for all students who have passed through the dojo or are still here to which I will always be grateful.

Rob Baulk

2nd Dan so Hombu, BAB Coach and Childrens Coach.

In 1996, I moved to London where Mark (above) was attending UCL Aikido Club. After much cajoling from Mark, I joined him one Tuesday in January 1997 and haven't looked back. Since then I trained regularly at UCL Aikido enjoying training under Barbara Sotowicz Sensei, Mire Zloh Sensei, Jiri Novotny, Steve Saunders and Mark himself. When Mire started Walthamstow Aikido, it was a natural progression to train at both clubs. Both clubs are members of the UKA which introduced me to many of the UKA Senseis and I am fortunate to have had the pleasure of training and travelling with the late Shihan William Smith MBE. I have had the honour of training with many instructors of all grades who have helped shape my aikido but special thanks must go to Mark and Mire who have been constant inspiration throughout my Aikido career.