Aikido classes have been running at Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre in Birmingham since the Centre opened in 1984. Cocks Moors Woods Central Aikikai is a strong dojo with many students, and is recognised nationally for its quality and high standards. It is affiliated to the British Birankai organisation under the technical direction of Master Chiba Sensei.
We are part of the Central Aikikai, which also includes Ei Oh Kan and Tudor Grange. We are also associated with Dornbirn Aikikai in Austria. Please use the main menu at the top of the page to learn more about Aikido and the dojo. New beginners highly encouraged to take part! Click below for details.
Sensei Mark Pickering Chief Instructor
He is currently, 6th Dan, Shidoin and is a member of the British Birankai Teaching Committee. He is also the Chairman of Birankai Austria.
His first experience as a martial artist was in Judo as a junior. He followed on from that and entered the ring as a boxer, where a lot of his experience was gained on the street. After boxing, he worked all over the world in security as a bodyguard. During this time he started Aikido (1985) under Shihan Tony Cassells, 6th Dan. By the time he reached Shodan in 1988, he had attended many courses led by a number of Japanese masters including; Kisshomaru Ueshiba (then Doshu), Waka Sensei (current Doshu), Chiba Sensei, Shibata Sensei, Miyamoto Sensei and many others.
Over the past 20 years he has travelled to Japan, the USA and Europe, where he has taught at various seminars. He has been teaching at Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre since it opened in 1986 and have many adult and junior students. His senior Yudansha students, who have also travelled extensively for Aikido, have their own dojos. He believes weapons training should be as strong as body art, and has always taught and practised weapons, including Iaido, with the same vigour and enthusiasm.