Keith Hayward Shihan started Aikido in 1968 at the YMCA in Wellington, Shropshire under Mr David Ford, an early student of Chiba Sensei. Sensei recalls watching his first lesson and was impressed with what was going on, but what impressed him more was the photograph of O Sensei. Sensei recalled "everywhere you moved in the room the photograph seemed to be watching you, so I thought there must be something in this aikido if a picture can say, 'come on'".
Sensei was a member of the Aikikai of Great Britain (and later the United Kingdom Aikikai) and took technical direction from the late William Smith Shihan MBE and was introduced to the teachings of Kazuo Chiba Shihan and Minoru Kanetsuka Shihan. Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, awarded Sensei Hayward Shihan in 2010 and 7th Dan in 2017.