Chris Mooney, 6th Dan Shihan, Chief Instructor of Ei Mei Kan
Chris Mooney Sensei began his training in 1973 under Ralph Reynolds Sensei at the Aikido Fellowship, then housed at the Birmingham Athletic Institute. In time, he became a student of William Smith Shihan and, in turn, T.K. Chiba Shihan, who now serves as Technical Director of the British Birankai (British Aikikai).
Mooney Sensei first began teaching at Aston University in 1981. He preserves his connection to British and foreign universities to this day, believing that the message of Aikido has particular relevance for young people in the modern world. In the mid-1980's, he established a dojo in Bearwood, Birmingham. By 1994, the dojo had relocated to Digbeth, Birmingham. At that time, Chiba Sensei gave Mooney Sensei's dojo the name that it bears today: Ei Mei Kan — “the House of England's Light”. In 2000, the dojo moved to Northfield, Birmingham; in 2009, Ei Mei Kan moved to its present home near Cofton Hackett, Birmingham.
Over the course of his Aikido career, Mooney Sensei has travelled widely. He has taught throughout Europe and beyond, and continues to guide his students in Greece, Israel, Switzerland and other countries.
In 2005, on the tenth anniversary of the formation of the British Aikikai, Chiba Sensei awarded Mooney Sensei the title of Shihan (“master instructor”);
in the autumn of 2006, Mooney Sensei journeyed to Japan and personally received his Shihan accreditation from Moriteru Ueshiba Dōshu, the Founder's grandson and head of Art. Mooney Sensei sits on the Senior Council of the British Birankai (British Aikikai), overseeing the work of the Teaching Committee and the cultivation of the next generation of Aikido teachers.
He is also a founding member of the European Birankai International Shihankai, the group of European shihan responsible for the continuation of Chiba Sensei's teachings in Europe.