Tony Cassells Sensei started Aikido in 1972 at the BAI under the instructor Mr Ralph Reynolds, continuing to practise there until 1975 before moving to the Dojo at East Birmingham Hospital. In 1976 he gained Shodan and became a member of the West Midlands Aikikai which at that time was affiliated to the British Aikido Federation (BAF) with its chief instructor Kanetsuka Sensei.
In 1980 and 1984 Tony Cassells attended world congress’ in Paris and Japan respectively. In 1984 he had the opportunity to travel round the world practicing at many dojos. He trained at the YMCA in Hong Kong, Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan, Hawaii and San Diego where he trained with Chiba Sensei.
On his return to England he was awarded Fukushidoin and was instrumental in the formation of the United Kingdom Aikikai (UKA). At the end of 1995 Tony Cassells was awarded Godan and became one of the founding fathers of the British Aikikai (BA), later to be renamed British Birankai. He is now a member of the British Birankai Senior Council.
In 1996 Tony Cassells was asked by T K Chiba Shihan to set up Tessokai institute of Great Britain to further the study of Iai Batto ho in this country. He served as the General Secretary of this organisation until 2004.
In 2001 he was promoted to Rokudan by Chiba Sensei at Warminster Summer School.
In 2003 he started working with a group of Austrian students who invited him to teach at their dojo, then inviting him to be their teacher. Since then a strong bond has formed between them and Tony Cassells has been teaching Spring, Summer and Autumn Courses in Austria each year.
In 2005 he was promoted to Shihan by Chiba Sensei, and On 17 November 2006 Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba presented him with Aikikai Shihan certificate at a ceremony held at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. Tony Cassells Shihan lives in Birmingham and teaches at Ei Oh Kan Dojo.
Shihan, 6th dan