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John Gay

John Gay was a martial arts expert who taught self-defence to the Victoria Police cadets and was the highest ranking member of Australia`s Aikido Association. Aikido is a martial art which seeks to intergrate body, mind and soul, putting pre-arranged skills into practice in freestyle activity.

Mr Gay was born in Monmouth in the Welsh countryside. At 10 he received a pair of boxing gloves which began his long-standing interest in martial arts. He left Wales as a teenager to work in the larger cities of Birmingham and London, and gained a job as a bricklayer. At the outbreak of World War II, Mr Gay joined the Royal Engineers of the British Army, and became a physical training instructor and an explosives expert.

In June 1944 Mr Gay was attached to the Canadian contingent during the D-Day invasion of Europe and was one of the first to enter the Belsen concentration camp. What he witnessed there confirmed his anti-war beliefs. He was an interpreter and liaison officer with the Allied Occupation Forces in Germany.

On his return to London he married Dorothy, and began work as a taxi driver,also taking up Judo. He became interested in Aikido while in London, and by 1970 had gained his 3rd dan aikido, meaning he had received three black belts in the sport.

He migrated to Melbourne in 1971 where he married second wife Leonie, and began teaching at the Ashwood Judo Centre and various YMCA's. In 1975 he was appointed instructor to the Victoria Police Cadets and was involved in developing a practical self-defence and restraint course. He introduced the Victoria Police to principles of putting an opponent off-balance and controlling them with the techniques of martial arts. This was the first time the police had training in the philosophy of "minimum effort for maximum effect" when confronting offenders. He remained with the police for 13 years.

He continued to teach and promote Aikido through the 1980's and 1990's, visiting Japan seven times in his career and receiving the rank of seventh dan. He toured Victoria with the government-sponsored Aussie Sports program, getting primary-aged children involved in aikido. A major achievement was his role as founder member of the Martial Arts Board of Victoria.

A colleague at the association, Stas Vashevnik, said Mr Gay dedicated his life to the sport, and promoted competitions between participants, considering this the best way to determine levels of skill. "He was the life and soul of the association", Mr Vashevnik said.

He was awarded membership of the Japan Aikido Association by the Tomiki Aikido International Network. He also had the honour of being the only foreigner on the networks committee. His philosophy was based on that of the sport of aikido--"the man who is at peace with himself is unlikely to make war on others". "He was the charismatic an powerful focal point of the Australian Aikido Association", former police colleague and Aikido Association member Ralph Marrison said. "John helped many people in many ways."

Newspaper Extracts

Newspaper: Sikkai Nippo - World Daily Report

Translated By: Charles Addison

Date: 13th April 1977

Now in Australia, Aikido is a martial art and a sport.

In the Police Academy of Australia's second largest city of Melbourne, unarmed Aikido has been included in the drill or traininig curriculum. Last month, Aikido master Kenji Tomiki was invited to carry out a special training practice. The police Academy's Aikido instructor Mr. John Gay, who seems to have a deep love for Japanese Martial Arts, said that by means of Aikido training people could obtain confience and calm.

Kenji Tomiki Kenji Tomiki Kenji Tomiki

Newspaper: Sikkai Nippo - World Daily Report

Translated By: Charles Addison

Date: 29th January 1999

Title: Aikido Master guides Australia Police

Japanese Aikido Master, Mr.Kenji Tomiki is guiding Australian police in Aikido as a martial art as a means of controlling people quietly. Mr. Tomiki has scheduled a three week stay in Australia at the invitation of the Australian Aikido Association. At the Victorian Southern Police Academy a contest performance display was done before he left home to Japan the middle of March.

In Australia, Aikido is popular. In the Melbourne Academy about 300 officer trainees in their two-year course are learning Sport Aikido, some 2 times a week. Also, Aikido is popular with the Police authorities as a martial art used as a means of self-defance. This is because an attacker can be checked by using a baton other weapon with the minimum of strength. The Police Academy's current Aikido teacher, Mr. John Gay originally studied in Japan with master Tomiki.

According to Mr. Gay - "by training in Aikido a person is able to become confident and calm, to come to respond suitably and accurately against an attack."

In the Tasmanian Police Corps Aikido is taken as a subject in their education as it is in Melbourne with its 300 people with members in nine clubs. There is clubs in Sydney (the capital city) in New South Wales, In Perth (the capital city) in Western Australia.

Kenji Tomiki Kenji Tomiki Kenji Tomiki

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