The Hong Kong Aikido Association (HKAA) | 香港合氣道協會

The Hong Kong Aikido Association is recognized by Aikikai, Aikido World Headquarters Tokyo, Japan and is a founding member of the International Aikido Federation (IAF) and a member of the Asian Aikido Federation (AAF).

The Hong Kong Aikido Association is the oldest Aikido organization in Hong Kong. We are passionate about Aikido.

The Association was established in 1971, with the aim of promoting the martial art of Aikido in Hong Kong.  It was incorporated in 1999 as the Hong Kong Aikido Association Limited and is served by volunteers and instructors.

Kenneth Cottier Shihan (1933-2008) founded the Association in 1971 when he opened a dojo in Ho Man Tin Street, Kowloon.  When he was not in Hong Kong, he continued to visit every year to teach and promote Aikido in Hong Kong and Asia.  Cottier Shihan passed away in 2008.

Subject to availability of a venue, the Association offers training seven days a week (except public holidays) at HKSAR government sports facilities.  In addition, the Association holds regular Aikido seminars and workshops.

The Association is operated by an Executive Committee (EC) elected annually by the members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). A Technical Committee (TC) composed of Instructors of the Association provides technical assistance and advice.

Kenneth Cottier Sensei

Kenneth Cottier

Kenneth Cottier Shihan

Cottier Sensei was born on 14 December 1933 in Merseyside, England.

He began studying Judo in 1958 under Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, 8th Dan. In 1961 he attended a 3-month Judo instructor’s course in London conducted by Abbe Sensei.  It was at that time that he was introduced to Aikido.

In 1964 he travelled to Tokyo for the Olympic games. He began studying Aikido under O’Sensei at the Old Hombu dojo. He was awarded Shodan in 1965, and Nidan in March 1967. He returned to England and studied under Chiba Sensei until returning to Japan in 1969.

In January 1971, he was awarded Sandan, and moved to Hong Kong where he founded the Hong Kong Aikido Association. He opened his dojo in a large residential flat in Ho Man Tin Street on 1st July 1971. He had financed the dojo from his own savings, but due to financial concerns, he was forced to close the dojo in 1972. He then returned to Japan to train at Hombu and replenish his savings, largely by teaching English conversation. He still visited Hong Kong every year to conduct classes and to grade members.

In January 1977 he was awarded Yondan. In 1978 he visited the Philippines on behalf of Hombu to evaluate Aikido there. In 1981 Cottier Sensei returned to England and joined the British Aikido Federation under Kanetsuka Sensei.

In 1984 and again in 1986 he visited South Africa for an extended stay of 7 months. During 1986 he toured the whole country and gave instruction at every Aikido Federation of South Africa dojo. In recognition of his contribution to Aikido in South Africa, he was named Honorary President of AFSA in 1997.

In 1988 he was appointed a Superior Counsellor of the International Aikido Federation (IAF).

In 1991 he returned to live in Hong Kong. He visited many other countries during the 1990’s. Also included was Vietnam and Shanghai, China where, on behalf of Hombu he evaluated the local Aikido situation.

In 1997 Cottier Sensei left Hong Kong again for his home country. He continued to visit Hong Kong every year for 6 or 8 weeks teaching, and to conduct gradings. He continued to teach Aikido at seminars in many countries around the world. In recognition of his contribution to Aikido, Hombu appointed Cottier Sensei as Shihan in January 2002 and as a member of the Technical Committee of the IAF in 2004. In January 2007, Cottier Shihan was promoted to 7th dan, the first Englishman that had been awarded such a rank.

Cottier Shihan passed away near his home in Merseyside, England in the early hours of 8th June 2008. In his last years he was lovingly cared for by his brother, Ron and family.

Cottier Sensei teaching at Kowloon Park 1990's
Cottier Sensei teaching at Kowloon Park 1990's

“As teaching beginners, I always try to put myself in their place. I look at their faces. They can tell us so much. Do they understand what is being said? Are their faces showing fear, uncertainty, doubt? If so, you must reassure them that you are not there to hurt them. You must win their confidence.”

“Being beginners, I can well understand some you feeling confused and apprehensive, may be even nervous. But I want you to know that I am available to you all, whilst I am here. What I mean by this is that if any of you wish to talk to me regarding problems you have with your aikido, do not hesitate to approach me. Do not think that because you are a beginner, I will not be interested in you. Believe me.”

–Cottier Shihan

The Hong Kong Aikido Association Timeline


Virginia Mayhew establishes Aikido in Hong Kong. She opens a dojo in her flat in the Champagne Building Tsim Sha Tsui.


O Sensei passes away. Kisshomaru Ueshiba assumes title Aikido Doshu.

Late 1960’s

Virginia Mayhew leaves Hong Kong, Masatake Fujita Sensei visits Hong Kong Dojo.


1st July Cottier Shihan opens his Ho Man Tin Street Dojo.


2nd Doshu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba visits Ho Man Tin Street Dojo.

Cottier Sensei demonstrates Aikido to the Royal Hong Kong Police. It is eventually adopted by the police as part of the training at the Police Training School in Aberdeen.

Sensei promotes two Shodan, George Wong (later to become Chief Instructor) and Leonard Leung.

Due to finances, Sensei closes Ho Man Tin Street Dojo and leaves Hong Kong. He returns every year to instruct, sometimes twice per year.


Hong Kong Aikido Association is registered under the Societies Ordinance.

A Dojo is opened at Royal Hong Kong Regiment (RHKR) in Tsim Sha Tsui. Practice is also at YMCA in Tsim Sha Tsui and at Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei. (Site of Cityview Hotel).


Cottier Sensei and HKAA delegation represent Hong Kong at inaugural International Aikido Federation Congress in Tokyo.


HKAA Dojo is opened on Nathan Road at the corner of Nanking Street.


RHKR moves to Happy Valley and the dojo is re-established there.


Nanking Street Dojo is closed due to high rents.


HKAA begins renting Urban Council Indoor Sports Halls for Dojo.


Aikikai recognizes HKAA as its representative organization in Hong Kong.


Solon Lai, HKAA Chief Instructor suddenly passes away. Cottier Sensei returns to Hong Kong.


HKAA celebrates 20th Anniversary; the then Waka Sensei (Mitsuteru Ueshiba) now Doshu, is principle Guest Instructor.


25th Anniversary, the then Waka Sensei, now Doshu is the principle Guest Instructor.


Cottier Sensei leaves Hong Kong. He returns every year to instruct until his passing.


2nd Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba passes away, Moriteru Ueshiba assumes title Aikido Doshu.

HKAA is incorporated under Companies Ordinance.


30th Anniversary, Masatake Fujita Sensei is principle Guest Instructor.


Cottier Shihan appointed Shihan by Aikikai.


35th Anniversary, Fujita Sensei is principle guest instructor.


June 8th, Cottier Sensei passes away.


Shigeru Sugawara starts visiting HKAA annually to conduct a seminar.


40th Anniversary the then Waka Sensei is principle Guest Instructor.


45th Anniversary Waka Sensei is the Guest Instructor.


Shigeru Sugawara visits HKAA to conduct a seminar in Apr 2019.


Most HKAA activities are disrupted due to the Pandemic, practice continues sporadically according to HKSAR government restrictions.


50th Anniversary


Return to normal practice.

Executive Committee (EC)

The Executive Committee is elected annually by members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and is responsible for:

  • To execute the administration and operation of the Association, and decide on all Association affairs
  • To define, limit, restrict and alter the rights, obligations and privileges appertaining to membership

2024 Executive Committee Members of the HKAA


Stephen Kennedy

1st Vice Chairman

Dick Yau

2nd Vice Chairman

Tony Chan


Vincent Chui


Lawrence Leung

IT Advisor

Checky Chan


Justin Marchant

(with Ku Yuk Ki)

Technical Committee Representative

Samson Li

Dojo Booking Coordinator

Alan Chan

(with Olivia Cheung)

Events Coordinator

Justina Wang

(with Ku Yuk Ki)

Technical Committee (TC)

The Technical Committee is composed of the instructors of the association and is responsible:

  • To monitor regular training programmes
  • To organize grading tests
  • To organize other training programmes, such as workshops
  • To plan and coordinate demonstrations
  • To be responsible for the appointment of instructors
  • To arrange the schedule of duty instructors
  • To deal with matters of dojo and members (including instructors) discipline

2023 Technical Committee Members of the HKAA


Vincent Chui

Vice Chairman

Justin Marchant


Edmund Wan


Samson Li


Stephen Kennedy


Lawrence Leung


Alan Chan