ITAF-GB - Council

Our council comprises Senior ITAF GB Teachers including both Philippe Voarino Shihan and Francois Chidiac Shihan who are also our Technical Advisors.

Philippe Voarino Shihan

Philippe Voarino Shihan
Philippe Voarino Shihan (8th Dan) has been a student of Aikido for almost 50 years and was awarded the title of Shihan (Master Teacher) by his teacher Morihiro Saito Shihan in 2001. Morihiro Saito Shihan was a direct student of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei and spent the longest time with him as a student. Philippe Voarino Shihan also trained for several years under Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan before committing to intensive study under Saito Shihan and Takemusu Aikido.

Philippe Voarino started Aikido in 1977 and in 1980 he joined the Aiki Budo Dojo in Cannes and met Pierre Chassang Shihan, founder of the French Federation of Aikido and Budo.

Philippe Voarino Shihan studied intently under the direction of Nobuyoshi Tamura and Yoshimitsu Yamada for many years until meeting Morihiro Saito and committing to years of study as Uchi-Deshi in his Iwama dojo in Japan. Philippe Voarino was the 3rd student of Iwama to receive the 6th Dan and title Shihan from Morihiro Saito himself.

Morihiro Saito Shihan also awarded him the five traditional Mokuroku of Aiki-ken and Aiki-jo certificates which attest to the knowledge of these weapons within the framework of Aikido and authorised him to teach them in their entirety.

He is one of the Founding Members of the Takemusu Aiki Intercontinental [TAI] Association, which has strived since 1992 to preserve the original teaching of the Founder of Aikido internationally and to promote authentic and independent European Aikido.

In 1995 Philippe Voarino Shihan cast aside his Aikikai ranks no longer recognising the technical authority of that organisation as both Tadashi Abe and Pierre Chassang had done so before him.

In 2009 Philippe Voarino was pivotal in creating the International Takemusu Aikido Federation as the successor of Takemusu Aiki Intercontinental.

Francois Chidiac Shihan

Francois Chidiac Shihan
Francois Chidiac Shihan (6th Dan) commenced his study of Aikido in 1990 and after intensive study with several Aikido Teachers across the world he became Uchi-Deshi of Morihiro Saito Shihan in Iwama, Japan in 1999. His Aikido is greatly influenced by Morihiro Saito Shihan whom he regards as the closest connection to the Founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei.

His Aikido is also influenced by Philippe Voarino Shihan whom he met in Belgium in 1992 and went together as Uchi-Deshi in 1999 and 2000. He also credits Steven Seagal Shihan as an advocate for practical Defensive Aikido.

Francoise Chidiac Shihan is head of the Chidiac Academy in Lebanon and National representative for ITAF in that Country and the Middle East. He lived in Belgium for many years and teaches there often also. He is Director of Recreation in Lebanon in different schools and Universities in Lebanon and is also a Risk-Management and Security specialist.

He has taught and continues to teach at seminars all over the world including Canada, Morocco, Belgium and of course Great Britain.

Meeting Philippe Voarino Shihan in Belgium and Morihiro Saito Shihan in Japan changed the way he regarded Aikido pedagogically allowing him to truly understand and appreciate Aikido as a practical discipline.

Francois Chidiac Shihan is committed to the teaching and study of Aikido as a fighting method: “There is a big difference between Aikido and this new Modern Aikido. This modern Aikido sadly is now that of the Aikikai and many others including most Aikido calling themselves Takemusu these days. There is no longer a martial element in modern Aikido, just dancing and theatrical movement, asking people not to strain and fall without being touched. Surely that is not the way”. This is why other Martial Arts question the efficacy of Aikido.

Francois Chidiac Shihan is driven by his mission to keep Aikido a real fighting system preserving it as a true Budo as well as ensuring that the educational path of Aikido remains true to its origins of self-defence and self-control. He strongly believes that anyone can defend themselves and their loved ones with Aikido.

Jeff W Goodwin Sensei

Jeff Goodwin Sensei
Jeff W Goodwin Sensei (4th Dan) is the Principal and Founder of ITAF GB joining his first Aikido dojo as a student in February 1994. His Aikido is greatly influenced by exposure to the teachings of Pierre Chassang Shihan and Stefan Kurilla Shihan and now studies under the direct teachings of both Phillippe Voarino and Francois Chidiac Shihan.

Sensei Goodwin’s Aikido and his view on the discipline changed significantly after training as Uchi-Deshi and Soto-Deshi with both Pierre Chassang Shihan and Stefan Kurilla Shihan in 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Sensei Goodwin was awarded his 4th Dan in 2016 by Philippe Voarino Shihan and is recognised as the ITAF representative in Great Britain.

Sensei Goodwin was a student of Sensei’s Steven Newton, Michael Narey and George Forbes of the National Aikido Federation for several years and met Philippe Voarino Shihan in 1995: studying with him at Seminars regularly and subsequently joining Takemusu Aiki Intercontinental in 2006. He became a direct student of his in 2014.

A serving Police Officer he has used Aikido many times in the course of dealing with conflict and has been awarded several commendations for bravery when dealing with armed aggressors both on and off duty. He is a senior member of the International Police Association – Defensive Tactics Group which is an International State, Agency and United Nations recognised Special Interest Group for Close Quarter Combatives for Police and Law-Enforcement.

Goodwin Sensei is passionate about preserving powerful and practical Aikido and teaching it as a true Budo. He is also a teacher of Keijutsu (“Police and Security Method”) Close Quarter Defensive Tactics using Aiki based principles. He is also a student of Aiki-Budo, Aiki-Jujutsu and Yoroi Kumiuchi (fighting in Armour) as well several Historical European Martial Arts and Sports.

He currently teaches at the Corfe Castle AikiBudo Dojo in Dorset.

Leslie Lewis Sensei

Leslie Lewis Sensei
Leslie Lewis Sensei is a Senior Teacher in ITAF GB and commenced his Aikido training in 1999. He has trained with several high-ranking Aikido instructors as an Uchi-Deshi in Japan including Sadateru Arikawa Shihan.

He is now a direct student of Francois Chidiac Shihan and as a Security Professional working in Close Protection he is committed to teaching efficient and effective Aikido that remains true to the vision and teachings of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei.

Sensei Lewis teaches a study group in Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Paul Kesrouany Sensei

Paul Kesrouany Sensei
Paul Kesrouany Sensei is a Senior Teacher in ITAF GB and commenced his Aikido training in 1991 before moving to Lebanon in 2005 and becoming a direct student of Francois Chidiac Shihan. He returned back to the U.K. a few years ago. He is an accomplished instructor of Aikido Buki-waza (weapon technique) and is exceptionally proficient in the Sword and Spear of Aikido.

Paul Kesrouany Sensei teaches and practices in West Sussex.