The name of our dojo, Saku Shin Kan, was given to us by our teacher, Chiba Sensei. It means, 'House of the Northern Star, or Dragon', and relates to Chiba Sensei's family crest, which is incorporated into our logo (which also features a wave, to signify our location, the flowing nature of Aikido, constant movement, and transfer of energy).
The chief instructors at Newcastle Aikido, husband and wife team Darius & Gabriel Wingate-Pearse, started Aikido on the Central Coast under the instruction of Colin Hackett.
Sensei Colin Hackett emigrated to Australia from the UK and started his own dojo on the Central Coast, called Ren Shin Kan. He formed the not-for-profit organisation Central Coast Aikido, which later became the Australasian Aikikai. The AA now has affiliated dojos in Sydney (Makatokan Budo, at Castle Hill), the Central Coast, Adelaide (Aikido Adelaide) and Newcastle (Newcastle Aikikai).
Sensei Colin Hackett received his training in the UK under the late Sensei William Smith (Shihan, 6th Dan) and Sensei Gordon Jones (Shihan, 6th Dan) of the UKA.
Sensei Gordon Jones Shihan and Sensei William Smith Shihan received their training direct from Chiba Sensei, who was sent to the UK by O’Sensei in 1966 to teach Aikido.
Chiba Sensei was an uchideshi (live-in student) of O’Sensei for seven years, before being sent to the UK where he spent nine years. Chiba Sensei returned to Japan. He then moved to the United States in 1981 at the invitation of the United States Aikido Federation where he formed San Diego Aikikai.
He held the rank of 8th Dan. Chiba Sensei passed in June 2015.
Darius and Gabriel apprenticed with Chiba Sensei as uchi deshi (or live-in students) at his Californian dojo in San Diego for one year over 2005-2006 before returning to Australia.