The founding member of The Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain is Shihan Ralph Reynolds..
He was accepted as one of the foremost exponents of Aikido in the U.K.
Shihan Ralph Reynolds founded the Aikido Fellowship in the early 1960's at the Birmingham Sports Centre (previously the Birmingham Athletic Institute).
Shihan originally started his Aikido career in the early 1950's initially under the tutelage of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. Some years later Nakazano Sensei visited the UK as a representative of the Japanese Aikikai. During his visit to the UK Mr. Nakazano graded a few of Abbe Sensei's students to Dan grade (Black Belt). One of these students was Shihan Reynolds.
After returning to Japan Mr. Nakazano issued Shihan's Dan grade Certificate, which was signed by Morihei Ueshiba himself. It was not long after this that Shihan started the Aikido Fellowship.
Shihan pioneered the practicing of Aikido in the West Midlands and most of today's senior ranking Dan grades were originally instructed by Shihan himself.
In 2000, the City of Birmingham honored Shihan for over 40 years of coaching by presenting him with a "Life Time Achievement" award from the Birmingham Sports Advisory Council. This achievement was also recognised by the British Aikido Board who also presented Shihan with an award in the same year.