“I have come away from a five-week intensive training period at Aikido Koteikan on an absolute high. Having started as a complete beginner, I am amazed at how much I have learnt, the level of fitness and general wellbeing I have gained and the sense of confidence it has given me. I am ever grateful to Nick Waites, who’s knowledge, demonstration, instruction and patience could not be faulted during individual lessons or group classes. I highly recommend the experience.”

Ivana Gorlin, Helicopter Pilot. September, 2012.

“‘Aikido-jo-home-haven’: Special ongoing thanks to Nick Waites sensei (6th Dan, & author of “Aikido, Iron Balls & Elbow Power”), His lineage, His charming Russian wife, Tanja, woolly Benji, & the delightful converted-chapel dojo home near Durham (England) in which they practice their delightfully-welcoming brand of live-in Aikido training”

Rowan Gillies, Leadership Coach. March, 2013

“As a freelance Stage Manager with a few weeks of down-time coming up I decided to do something to help increase my confidence and learn some new skills with something I had never tried before. I chose to do the 2 week, 3 hour a day intensive course with Nick and had a fantastic time. I learnt a huge amount in 2 weeks including Aikido techniques, weapon work with Bokken and Jo, some Tai Chi and lots of useful self-defence, ukemi and contact exercises. Nick & Tanya (and Bengy the dog!) really made me feel a part of the family while I was there and the breakfasts were great too! I really recommend coming to study an intensive course on retreat at the Koteikan Dojo.”

Elli Andrews, Stage Manager, July 2013

“The Koteikan Aikido Retreat was a great learning experience. The dojo has a great peaceful atmosphere, being set in an old chapel. The teaching by Nick Waites was excellent with great attention to detail in both private and group lessons. The hospitality was fantastic. Thanks Nick, and Bengy the dog. Highly recommended.”

Tom Lonsdale. Aug 2013

“At the tender age of 51 I decided to take up Aikido and was searching for an intensive course to kick-start my learning. I found Nick Waites Sensei (6th Dan) offering intensive training at his Aikido retreat near Durham and promptly booked up for 2 weeks of 4 hours daily one-to-one tuition along with group classes two evenings a week. What a fantastic experience, I feel that I have learnt a huge amount in a relatively short time covering many of the basic Aikido techniques, which also included some Jo and Bokken work. Nick and his lovely wife Tanya welcomed me into their home as did Benji the dog and made me feel part of the family. Nick’s teaching style is very structured and well paced and informative. I can’t recommend the Koteikan Aikido Retreat highly enough.”

Norman Marles, IT Consultant, March 2014.

“I recently returned from four days of intensive training with Nick Waites at Aikido Koteikan. I trained for three hours each morning and spent the afternoons exploring Durham and the surrounding area. It was a great experience and I’m so glad I did it. I’ve been to a few aikido classes near my home but kept missing them so this was an ideal way to kickstart my learning. Nick is a brilliant instructor – thorough, good humoured and endlessly patient with me – and I learned lots in a short period. He and his wife Tanya made me feel at ease in their home (along with their little dog Benji, who is totally adorable). If you’re reading this and thinking of training with Nick, my advice would be don’t hesitate! All in all a great experience.”

Beth Hilton, Entertainment website sub-editor, May 2014.

“Just come back from four days at Aikido Koteikan with Nick Waites, what a great teacher- patient but challenging, knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge- you know he wants you to succeed. Add to this a warm welcome from Tanya ( Nick’s wonderful wife) and Benjy(the dog) and you simply can’t go wrong. I learnt more in four days that I had in the preceding three months. I’ll certainly be going back- I really couldn’t recommend it more highly.”

Cathy Gillard, Charity Worker London, March 2015.