About Aiki-Centre & Catherine Schnell Sensei (Head Instructor)

Watch the 8K Radius Lido Series:

Catherine Schnell Sensei featured in an 8K Radius short doco shown at the opening of the Lido Cinema in 2015 directed by Clayton Jacobson with cinematography by Peter Falk.


Aiki-Centre (formerly known as Aikido Ryushinkan) moved to new and larger premises in Lynch St early in 2008 from Glenferrie Rd in Hawthorn. The school started as a small group of students in the late 1980's in central Melbourne and Collingwood.

Catherine Schnell Sensei began training in Aikido while living in London in 1982 and obtained her Shodan (black belt) in 1986, Schnell Sensei holds the rank of 6th Dan awarded by Master Koretoshi Maruyama of Aikido Yuishinkai International in 2012. Catherine has taught Aikido and Self Defence professionally for 30 years running a full time martial arts business from 2000 when she opened her dojo in Hawthorn. Catherine Sensei has trained with leading Aikido teachers in Japan, USA, UK and Australia and has an appreciation of the different styles represented in the art. From its humble beginnings in central Melbourne, Aiki-Centre is a vibrant Aikido dojo with a large number of children and adults enjoying the benefits of Aikido, and if Aikido isn't your thing then there is boxing and practical self defence programs as well. Catherine has created a very unique and special training environment culminating from her years of dedicated practice and joy of teaching.

Aiki-Centre is a member of the Australian Juijitsu Federation Inc. Catherine holds a Level 2 Aus Sport National Coaching Accreditation administered by the AJF.

Further background on Catherine.

While at LaTrobe University in the late 1980's Catherine blended her academic background in the Social Sciences B.A.(Hons) and martial arts training to develop a more effective approach to personal safety or self defence training.

More recently during the Covid-19 lockdowns Catherine studied online at Holmesglen Institute to complete a Certificate IV in Cyber Security.

Catherine is the founder and director of Personal Safety Concepts, she is highly regarded for her longstanding expertise in the area of personal safety and self defence training. Catherine is often requested to give expert comment to the media, speak at conferences and other forums on personal security and community safety issues. Catherine has specific and extensive experience providing presentations and training for schools, community and corporate organisations.

Catherine has held directorships including as a Government apponted member of the Martial Arts Control Board of Victoria (1990-95) and has contributed to a number of non-profit Associations including President and a founding member of Women in Martial Arts - Victoria, Board Member and Chair of Womensport Victoria (1989-2004) and more recently Secretary of Glenferrie Rd Traders Association (2005-08).

In recognition of her service to the martial arts industry Catherine Sensei was the first Australian female martial artist to be inducted into the Australasian World Martial Arts Hall of Fame (AMAHOF) in 1997 and was also awarded Aikido Instructor of the Year.

Aiki-Centre provides an exciting and fresh approach to martial arts specifically Aikido and self defence training. Many comment on the 'welcoming feel', 'great training enviroment' 'professional approach' and 'excellent technical advice'. Aiki-Centre is a family friendly training environment with a very popular Aikido program for children. Both men and women enjoy our training with a wide range of age groups represented on the mat. Catherine Sensei teaches most classes and is assisted by senior members of the dojo.

In recent years we have included Boxing for fitness training at Aiki-Centre installing quality boxing equipment with individual and group boxing sessions available. Catherine is a NCAS registered boxing coach with Australian Sports Commission and Boxing Australia.

In addition to the above Aiki-Centre & Personal Safety Concepts hold current the appropriate professional insurances, first aid training, Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training and relevant police records checks through the Victorian Government Working With Children Check (WWCC).


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Self Defence Course

(5 weeks)

2024 Courses TBA


alternatively contact us for private Self Defence training session's

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Aiki-Centre has Covid safe health practices and principles in place.


Watch the 8K Radius Lido Series featuring:

Catherine Schnell Sensei featured in an 8K Radius short doco shown at the opening of the Lido Cinema in 2015 directed by Clayton Jacobson with cinematography by Peter Falk


Aiki-Kids Classes

Children are welcome to join our classes at anytime during the year.

Aiki-Adult Classes

...and for adults this is a great time of the year to start. Check our

'Try Aikido Intro Offer'

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Great way to start or finish the day, get fit and feel and look great. Check our session times.

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