Aikido Môn sadly notes the death, in Spring 2018, of Senior Instructor, Keith Downs, Sensei.
This has been a distressing time for his friends and students.
Keith, with Ray Munns, began Aikido Môn in 2012; Keith's death has left a wound that will take time to heal. However, as Keith would have wished, Aikido Môn continues, under the tutelage of coaches Ray Munns and Chris Cook who look forward to continuing Keith's high standards.
During his Aikido life Keith continually progressed under the direction of various leaders of the Lancashire Aikido Association finally attaining 5th Dan from the current Principal, Robert Spence, Sensei, 6th Dan.
The year preceding his death Keith was promoted to Chief Instructor of the Lancashire Aikikai. Keith had also trained in Japan with the previous head of the World Aikido Foundation.
In his retirement, here in Ynys Môn, and alongside his involvement in the Lancashire Aikikai, Keith continued enjoying and teaching aikido until his untimely death in March 2018.
Keith brought long term structure into my aikido life. His involvement in our aikido offered me, and my previous club, the future I was searching for.
Keith was a guide and a mentor, and he became my good friend. He took the true meaning of budo into all walks of life; he offered advice when it was asked for, and help and encouragement when it was needed.
His aikido was always effective whilst considerate, his leadership at all levels unwavering. That he achieved all that he did so very quietly, in so many areas of his life, is most laudable; a great many people were never aware of just how hard he was working for them.
As my friend for almost twenty years he offered everything one might hope for in such a person; one that I'm going to miss considerably.
I only had the pleasure of knowing Keith for six years but in that time it was evident that he was an extremely dignified and highly competent traditional martial artist. One of those very rare individuals that embraced the true spirit of budo in and out of the dojo, a highly principled man with an understated and unassuming nature. On a personal basis he was a good friend, good character and an excellent role model. I will always be grateful for his advice, guidance, support and strength of character.