Danny’s desire to practice a martial art that was not competitive and fighting, led him to Aikido in late 1985. It was after this, in 1986, that Danny discovered the Riai Aikido Club training at the Tepid Baths in Auckland.
Danny first met the Sensei’s Robert Nadeau and Richard Moon on one of their early visits to New Zealand. This was his first experience with the energetic, invisible side and spiritual aspects of the Art. This has continued to enthrall and motivate Danny’s learning and inspired him to explore further and share his insights with his students.
Danny’s experience has been that learning is often dependant upon what we teach ourselves about ourselves. New possibilities can be created and we open the self to new perspectives. Danny sensei invites and encourages students to become part of this awareness and allow for the potential of self discovery. The possibility then exists for our dojo learning to be integrated into our daily lives.
Danny, with two other founding members, started the Aikido for Children Class 1993. This highly successful class attracts up to 30 children ranging from 6 to 12 years of age. The need became apparent for a Youth’s Class which Danny founded in 2000. Their ages range from 13 to 16 years and include some members that have been training for a number of years in the Children’s Class.
In 2006 Danny started the Riai Kingsland Dojo. The Kingsland Dojo has since merged with the Riai Aikido Learning Centre in Newton.
Danny Sensei continues his journey of aikido, in 2017 he attained the rank of Godan (5th dan) having spent over 30 years in the Art.