About Us

A non-profit, community group

Tatsu Gi Kai is a registered not for profit incorporated society, formed in 1990 by Sensei Dianne Haynes and Sensei Paul Haynes in Rotorua. The society has grown over the years with five dojo's throughout New Zealand and one in Melbourne Australia.

If you are interested in joining our group, or would just like more information on Aikido, please fill in the online form on the Contact Us page.

Dianne Haynes

(Head Instructor - 6th Dan)

Sensei Dianne began training in Auckland, and continued her journey of Aikido in Rotorua when she and her family moved there in 1984. She set up the Rotorua Aikido Club along with her husband in 1986, and the club purchased the current dojo in 1994. The club became members of Tatsu Gi Kai Aikido when it was formed in 2001.

She continues to train in Aikido because Aikido is a life-long path for her. Her desire is to provide a pathway for students to explore Aikido to the depth she is currently experiencing. The unique style practiced with Tatsu Gi Ki (evolution through Form) originated in Great Britain, and was brought to New Zealand by Sensei Dianne’s teacher in 1978.

Paul Haynes

(Vice - President - 5th Dan)

Aikido is a unique physical art teaching how to be a ‘peaceful warrior’, to be able to stand up for yourself (and others) yet remain ethical and compassionate.

I started learning Aikido 42 years ago and at 67 am still practicing.

Originally a student of the Ki Society in Auckland I joined The Institute of Aikido under Ron Russell in 1981. Sensei Dianne and I moved to Rotorua in 1984 and we started The Rotorua Aikido Club in 1986 affiliated to The Institute of Aikido.

We started with very humble beginnings - three borrowed foam tatami and enough rent for one third story room at a fitness centre, for three sessions!

With the passing of Sensei Russell and Sensei Jack Nairn, his successor, the Club re-branded itself as Tatsu Gi Kai Aikido and we subsequently became affiliated to the California Aikido Association under Shihan Robert Nadeau.

The Tatsu Gi Kai Kan (dojo) is a refurbished industrial building fully owned by the organisation and its sole function is to practice Aikido. This was accomplished by the generosity of grants from community organisations and the Rotorua Council, plus outstanding hard work from Club members over many years.

I am currently graded Yondan and teach at the Tatsu Gi Kan fortnightly on a Wednesday.

Anne McMillan

(Treasurer - 4th Dan)

I came along to a beginners aikido class when I had a one year old baby and wanted to get out of the house. I heard about Aikido when I was working in Wellington. Whenever I came I always got such a warm welcome, and for me physically learning the moves was such a challenge everything else was just pushed out of my mind and time spent training just flew past. I soon realised however that if I wanted to progress and master this art then I had to train more. I still feel like that. Aikido is endlessly fascinating - the words “mind and body are one” continue to challenge me.