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All of our coaches are British Aikido Board Coaches and are fully insured and study through Shin Gi Tai Aikido. The Shingitai Aikido Society promotes Aikido as a dynamic, living art as practised by its founder Osensei (Morei Ueshiba). Osensei was not stifled by insular and sometimes pseudo traditional constraints of his time and consequently his Aikido changed and developed throughout his lifetime. Our Coaches, (under the guidance of Gwynne Jones Shihan 9th Dan) in the same way, nurture an ever evolving Aikido which warmly welcomes into its fold many practitioners of differing styles, encouraging reciprocal development so that our Aikido can continue to be enriched as the living, dynamic art practised by its founder Morei Ueshiba.

Head Coach.
Ray Brown


Ray has been studying Martial Arts since 1972 and taught professionally for 10 years taking Judo and Aikido to local schools.

He is a 5th Dan in Aikido and 1st Dan in  Judo and has practised many martial arts including Hapikido, Karate, Jujustu, Aikijustsu and Karate Jutsu ; he is a British Aikido Board Coach & Shin Gi Tai Aikido Coach, he is also a British Judo Association accredited Senior Club Coach. He first started Judo at school aged 11 with the British Judo Council.

In August 2001 Ray was asked to coach Judo at the ICAN martial arts camp in Sidmouth, it was here that he met Danny da Costa and was introduced to Aikido, He was so impressed with Danny that he asked to become his student. Taking instruction directly from Danny, Ray`s progress was rapid and he achieved his Aikido black belt in August 2004. Ray attends many coaching seminars and and now studies directly under Gwynne Jones Shihan 9th Dan. Ray attained his British Aikido Board Coaching  certification in August 2005; He took and passed his 2nd Dan in August 2007, his 3rd Dan in August 2010 and 4th Dan in September 2015 and  his 5th Dan in April 2022. In July 2022 he was further honoured with a 5th Dan certificate from Aikikai Zen Ten and organisation he has been working closely with for a number of years, who's principle instructor, Frank Burlingham he greatly admires.

Roger Priddes  

Roger started martial arts training in 1968 and began Taekwondo in 1973 gaining 1st dan black belt in 1977 and 2nd dan in 1979. He ran several successful clubs in the Norfolk area training many to black belt. He was particularly interested in full contact competition and became British Champion in 1978. He has dabbled with many other arts over the years and started Aikido under Danny Da Costa in 2002.

He found that the more gentle nature of Aikido was suitable for an older person and it also helped to negate the effect of a heavier and stronger opponent.

He was graded to Shodan in 2012 and completed the British Aikido Board Coaching certificate in February 2013.  He was graded Nidan August 2019

He finds it a particularly good way of keeping fit and maintaining a balance in all areas of life including coordination, balance and general well being.

Helen Lonsborough  

Helen has been participating in martial arts most of her life and had a particular interest in the internal arts of Tai Chi & Qigong. She joined us in 2014 and started to study Aikido with Ray, at our then, Totnes class. She was drawn to Aikido because of its internal Martial Arts aspects. Helen took her time selecting the club she wanted to join, as she wanted one that complimented her internal energy experience but also that gave her the martial effectiveness she was looking for, she found this at Torbay Aikido with its mix of Ki  and more traditional Aikido forms .

She adapted to Aikido extremely well and her rise through the ranks was extremely rapid. She was graded Shodan in August 2018 by Gwynn Jones Soke, the head of Shin Gi Tai Aikido Society. The following year she sat and past her British Aikido Board Coach level one award.

Helen has now reached a stage that she has started to take a more active role in coaching during the sessions and her approach is a very welcome addition to the team. Helen Passed her 2nd Dan with SGTAA in April 2022

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