Evolutionary Aikido summer camp, Montreux, Switzerland

From the Evolutionary Aikido Community Facebook page.

We are happy to present you Ray Butcher, dojo cho of Henshin Aikido, Dublin, Ireland. He will be sharing his energy during our EAC summer camp starting in one month! Come and join us for the first EAC summer camp in beautiful Montreux Switzerland, August 5th-10th. Sign up by sending an email to info@aikidomontreux.com

Ray’s bio

Ray Butcher Henshin Aikido Dublin

I am co-owner of Balance Ireland where I teach Aikido (Henshin Aikido), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Self Defence, Yoga and mobility. I also specialise in Women’s Self Defence, teaching a program called ‘Reduce the Odds’. It uses scenario based training to deal specifically with awareness and sexual assault/rape prevention. 

I started training when I was 10 years old in the 70s. I have studied various martial art traditions, including Judo, several styles of Karate and striking arts, Aikido and Gracie Jiu Jitsu. I started practicing Yoga in the early 2000s and completed my teacher training in 2011. I have worked in the field of Crisis Intervention teaching Control & Restraint and Defensive Tactics to security personnel and health professionals. I currently hold a 4th Dan black belt in Aikido and a 1st degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

As I started at a young age, I developed a passion for martial arts and eastern philosophy. In my late teenage years I began to feel, especially form a physical perspective, that there had to be a better way to resolve a conflict than winning at the expense of the other person, In my mid twenties I moved from Ireland to Australia, and it was there that I found Aikido at a University club in Sydney. I distinctly remember during my first class having a sense of belonging. As I delved deeper into Aikido, I found the answers I was looking for in the founder’s philosophy but I soon realised that it was going to take a lot longer for this to manifest physically. 

Because of my experience in the other martial arts I felt confused and unsure physically about Aikido and its practically. In the early 2000s I began to feel a shift in my understanding and started to make some changes and progress. I finally found the way forward when I began to let go and start to trust the process of Aikido and realising that my previous concepts of self protection and conflict resolution were flawed. Two main influences that paved the way forward for me back then were with my study of Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Phil and Ricardo Migliarese, and then later in 2011 when I began to study Aikido with Patrick Cassidy Sensei and Evolutionary Aikido.

After almost 30 years of practice, Aikido obviously plays a very important role in my life. It has and continues to open up many avenues of growth, constantly keeping me creatively engaged and open minded. Rather than close the door on my past martial arts experience, Aikido opened up a new and wonderful way to look at all the arts I have studied. Utilising Aikido’s principles gave me a greater understanding and appreciation and helped me to continue my studies in other areas and arts, such as Gracie Jiu Jitsu and conflict management. I believe that the basic Aikido curriculum is a very important foundation to learn the principles. To keep evolving and truly understand the vastness Aikido has to offer, we need to step outside this box of just technique based Aikido, take a risk and explore all avenues, hopefully creating opportunities to discover new possibilities.

Currently I am working on a ground based flow. The goal being to seamlessly include a complete flow from all ranges standing to ground, with single and multiple attackers. An important part of my training is to put myself in physically difficult, sometimes restrictive scenarios. To find solutions under stress, all the time staying curious with the process and true to myself and the core principles of Aikido.

I think a good description of Aikido is that it is a tool for reconciliation. At its core, it helps us to embrace conflict (inner and outer) with curiosity and confidence, cultivating inward reflection and peace. 

In conclusion I would like to say that I have met some amazing people on this journey. I am very grateful to all my teachers both past and present for sharing their knowledge. I feel very fortunate to walk this path, and to have the opportunity to study and teach.

Would you like to know more about Aikido?

More information on Ray’s dojo can be found here. You can find out information about Patrick Cassidy and the Montreux dojo at www.aikidomontreux.com, and more info on the Evolutionary Aikido Community at www.evolutionaryaikido.com.

Balance BJJ Promotions

Balance BJJ Promotions May 14th 2019

Congratulations to everyone who got promoted on Tuesday night. Ray gave out some stripes and we have two new blue belts Noel and Shane!

BJJ Phibsborough

If you’re interested in starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we have a 4 week beginner’s course that’s suitable for anyone over 15 years old and up . It’s called Gracie Basics and you’ll find more information here.

Balance Ireland is affiliated to Relson Gracie 6th and 5th degree black belts Phil and Rick Migliarese of Balance Studios in Philadelphia.

Aikido – Our class for John

We can’t believe that 14 years have passed already. This year our special anniversary Aikido class for our friend John Tuohy will be on Saturday 25th May at 11.45am.

John passed away after a short illness on May 31st 2005 and each year we come together to celebrate his life with a fun, dynamic class. John was a very talented drummer as well as being a fantastic Aikidoka and a great friend.

Class for John - Aikido

So if you have some Aiki experience, you’re welcome to come and train with us at our Dojo. We’re located in Cross Guns Business Park, Royal Canal Bank, Phibsborough, Dublin 7. Click here for a map and directions.

There will of course be no charge for this special class.

Please feel free to share the event on your dojo or personal social media accounts…. thank you!


If you would like to start training and you’re a complete beginner, we have an ongoing 4 week beginner’s course. The class is on Wednesdays at 8pm. Click here for a link to the Aikido page on our website.

We’re part of the Evolutionary Aikido Community headed up by Patrick Cassidy in Montreux, Switzerland. Click here to get a link to their website.

Evolving Warrior Aikido Seminar Montreux, Switzerland

aikido seminar ray butcher


Ray will be teaching at an Aikido seminar in Montreux, Switzerland from 14th to the 16th of October.

Here’s the details if you’re interested in attending!

Evolutionary Aikido Seminar :
“The Evolving Warrior”
“L’évolution du Guerrier”
“Der Evolving Krieger”

Patrick Cassidy, 6 dan
Ray Butcher, 4 dan
Durward Burrell, 4 dan
Vance Landry, 4 dan

14-16 October, 2016

at Aikido Montreux
100 CHF before/avant/vor September 15th
120 CHF after/après/nach 15.9.2016

Friday / Vendredi / Freitag

Saturday / Samedi / Samstag
Dinner party at dojo / Fête/dîner au dojo / Dinnerparty im Dojo

Sunday / Dimanche / Sonntag

See the Facebook Event here!

Balance Kids!

Mauro Balance KidsNow that everyone is settled back at school, we’re starting our Balance Kids classes again after having a few well earned weeks off.

Our Aikido Kids are back with James on Saturday 10th September at 9.30am, with a special ‘Street Week’ Self Defence class. Absolute beginners 7 years + are welcome to come and try this special class for free.

On Tuesday 13th our Stunt Kids are back with Mauro at 4.30pm and our BJJ Kids are back with Ray at 6pm.

On Wednesday 14th our Yoga Kids are back with Tanja at 4pm for 5-10 year olds and 5pm for 11 years+

Contact Maeve at 087 229 7215 or Ray at 087 229 0332 or you can also email us at info@tbi.ie for more info

For your childs first class, come to the office 10 minutes before the class to register. They need to wear shorts/leggings and a t-shirt and they’ll be training in their bare feet.

Our Team of Kids Instructors are Ray, Mauro, James & Tanja.  Our Team of Assistant Instructors at Balance are Alan, John, Brian & Paul. You can find out more information about them here.

Ray Balance IrelandMauroAikido in Dublin www.tbi.ietanja thomas yoga teacher







Aikido & BJJ 

Drop-in – 8 euro

Monthly membership (1 class per week) – 25 euro

Monthly membership (2 classes per week) – 40 euro


Stunt Kids

Drop-in – 8 euro

Monthly membership – 25 euro


Yoga Kids

Drop-in –  10 euro

6 weeks – 55 euro

12 weeks – 96 euro