About Gerald Lopez

Gerald started learning aikido in 1982, while studying for a law degree in London. His first instructor was Neil O'Dwyer, an ex-SAS soldier, who ran the Brentford Ki Club with a firm hand but whose aikido practice was light and fast. When one of the club's first dan grades, Denis Burke, set up the Brixton Ki Club, Gerald followed him and became his assistant.

Brixton Ki Club 1984
Brixton Ki Club, 1984. With visiting instructor Koretoshi Maruyama, then head instructor of Ki Society, club instructor Denis Burke, and woolly assistant Gerald Lopez.

Gerald's principal instructor was Ken Williams, a charismatic man and brilliant teacher, who had trained in the tough and no-nonsense days of budo with Kenshiro Abbe. Abbe, a direct student of aikido founder Ueshiba, was also a formidable judo exponent, and went to London in 1955 to teach judo, aikido and other martial arts. Williams firmly believed in, and practised, aikido using relaxation and ki, and his students were privileged to experience the power of authentic aikido through him.

"Minimum effort, maximum efficiency"

- Kenshiro Abbe's favourite saying

In 1986, Gerald started his own Streatham Ki Club, and also taught aikido for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). He was graded and awarded 3rd dan by Ken Williams in 1993.

1990. Sensei Ken Williams with his wife Margaret Williams. Gerald is the now-clean-shaven 2nd dan!

In 1994, Gerald left the UK, and stopped practising aikido for 25 years. He then studied yoga, taught thousands of classes, and trained yoga teacher trainees, for 16 years. He now lives in New Zealand, and practises and teaches aikido there. Gerald believes his life experiences during that 25 year hiatus have allowed his teachers' lessons to integrate within his mind and body, and allow him to share his understanding and vision of aikido in a unique way.

Gerald currently practises at Kyu Shin Do Aikido, with Ray Eder, 6th dan, and Gail Eder, 5th dan. He has been awarded 4th dan by the Institute of Aikido, New Zealand.

He has worked as a photographer, writer, luxury boat skipper, ayurvedic practitioner, web designer, and Internet marketing consultant. He has been fascinated by mindbody since the 1980s, and in 2014, was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (MindBody Healthcare) by the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

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