Inducted into the A.M.A.H.O.F.(Inc) for 2013
Life-Time Achievement – Aikido

 Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2013
Life-Time Achievement – Aikido

Hanifa Leoni sensei has studied and practiced Tomiki Aikidō continuously since commencing at age 19, in the UK, 1966-1969. She joined the Tomiki Aikidō Federation of Great Brittan [which merged with the British Aikidō Assoc.], trained at the Lambeth & North London Dojos with sensei John Gay Aikidō 3rd Dan Japan Aikido Association, posthumously 7th Dan JAA, Trentham dōjo with sensei Rex Benlow 2nd Dan TAFGB, for approximately two years. She was awarded 1st Dan in Tomiki Aikidō by visiting JAA 4th Dan Tsunemitsu Naito, supervised by 3rd Dan TAFGB sensei John Gay & given intensive Tomiki Aikidō teacher training before returning to Australia to teach Aikidō at the Ashwood Judo School of sensei Frank Dando, Judō Master, at his invitation via the BAA.


  • 1st Dan BAA – 16th July 1968 signed Kenji Tomiki JAA Headmaster, cosigned Itsuo Haba.
  • 2nd Dan AAA – 21st Dec 1975 Aikidō, Australian Aikidō Association – signed Kenji Tomiki AAA President & Headmaster of JAA.
  • 3rd Dan AAA – 30th March 1977 signed K. Tomiki AAA President & JAA Headmaster, cosigned AAA Chief Instructor John Gay.
  • 4th Dan AAA – 10 April 1981 signed H. Ohba AAA President & JAA Headmaster, cosigned sensei Kenkichi Futami 4th Dan JAA.
  • 5th Dan JAA – 1st May 1991 signed T. Nariyama JAA Technical Head Teacher up to 2012.

Her current gradings are:

  • 7th Dan Unity Aikidō – 23/2/2005 self & peer promotion on founding Unity Aikidō as Headmaster, signed F.A. Ali ElSenossi Unity Aikidō Honourary 10th Dan Mentor.
  • 8th Dan Japan Aikidō Association – 1/1/2011, signed Masako Tomiki, President of JAA. For services to Tomiki Aikidō over a lifetime, awarded in the 100th year of Master Ohba’s Life Celebrations.

Direct Teaching

She was under the direct instruction of the following:

  • Master Aikidō Senseis: Kenji Tomiki, Hideo Ohba in Japan & hosting in Australia, 1977, 1981.
  • Jōdō Master & Living National Treasure Shimidzu Takaji Head Master of Shindō Muso Ryu, Japan.
  • Kenjutsu & Iaidō Sensei Tsunemori Kaminoda, Headmaster, 4th Division Tokyo Riot Police Japan.
  • Aikidō Senseis: Rex Benlow [UK], John Gay [UK & Australia]
  • Kenjutsu & Iaidō: Sensei Bill Freeman & John Butler. [Australia].
  • Aikidō & Judō Senseis: Senta Yamada, [Japan & hosted in Australia1989].
  • Kenkichi Futami [hosted in Australia in 1977 & 2008].

She currently studies Islamic Sufism under Murshid [Guide] & Shaykh, F.A. Ali ElSenossi.


Founding of Tomiki Aikidō in Australia, the Australian Aikidō Association & Teaching duties.

She founded the Ashwood Aikidō Club in 1968 at the invitation of sensei Frank Dando 6th Dan Judō and was the founding member of the Australian Aikidō Association which was founded by herself and sensei John Gay in1970 at a meeting of the Ashwood Aikidō Club. She served as a Teacher and variously as Secretary, Treasurer, Women’s Section Coordinator and President on the AAA committee until her resignation in 1988. She served on the Victorian Martial Arts Board steering committee & later its committee on Women’s Self Defence to construct suitable syllabi for MAB schools.

She also taught self defence Aikidō at many community centers around Melbourne and in many schools over 25years. She was a Specialist Skills Aikido staff member of the Phys Ed. Dept of MLC Kew for 10 years and on leaving licensed her course to the school and supervised the installation of the succeeding teacher and packaged the theory component for delivery by the Phys Ed. staff.

In 1988 she founded the Aikidō School of Melbourne at Ashwood which she ran for 8 years, handing it over to sensei Rolf Summerhayes at Berwick & sensei Glenys Mallen at Ashwood in1995 on her departure to live in Tasmania. She returned several times a year to run seminars on Tomiki Aikidō & conduct gradings. Ashwood club continues under her 3rd Dan students Rob Cass & Mark Bean, both

Unity Aikidō 3rd Dans, who run it as Waverley Aikidō School & under license from her they teach the Unity Aikidō system.

In 2010 four of her Dan grade students moved to Broken Hill NSW & under her guidance & permission started a Unity Aikidō club in Broken Hill licensing the system from her. She has visited each year to give senior instruction, hold gradings & film syllabi.

Since 2010 she has twice held study workshops on the Judō/Aikidō Goshin Jitsu Kata at the Frank Dando Sports Academy for his students & for Waverley Aikidō Club & arranged its filming it for the Unity Aikidō syllabus.


Founding of Unity Aikidō

In Tasmania she opened a full time dedicated Tomiki Aikidō Dojo at Port Huon dojo 1996 & founded Unity Aikidō. The Hobart full time dojo followed in 2000. In 2005 due to changes in the JAA syllabus Unity Aikidō was promulgated as an independent system based on the lifetime syllabus of JAA Founder & Headmaster Kenji Tomiki & reflecting his intensions for his Aikido style as conveyed to her by Tomiki Sensei.

Sensei Hanifa declined the offer to join the senior yudansha of the newly forming Shodokan Australia. This followed discussion with her insurance provider emphasizing the necessity of all martial arts to have their own Australian code of conduct and particularly national safety training guidelines covering all syllabi. She formulated her own codes to cover Unity Aikidō and obtained incorporation cover from her mentoring organization.

Hanifa Leoni sensei’s decision to declined the invitation by Shodokan Japan to join the Shodōkan Australia System was also due to the elite, competitive sport narrowness of the syllabus and the inflexibility of the technical system in not permitting independent continuation of her technical material she had developed over four decades and sourced from the direct instruction of Tomiki Sensei, Ohba Sensei, and their successors, particularly John Gay sensei. She decided to keep her syllabus alive by forming an independent school, having reached the age and experience where she felt she could satisfactorily accomplish this task.

When Sensei Macfarlane promulgated Unity Aikidō as an independent Aikidō system, she followed the example of Tomiki Sensei, 9th Dan, by his own award and Ohba Sensei’s 8th Dan, when they established their independent system of sport Aikido at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. She awarded herself the founding grade of 7th Dan witnessed by the Unity Aikido Student Body & Murshid F. A. ElSenossi, Unity Aikido Mentor & Guide .

This level of Dan was chosen by her after consultation with Aikidō colleagues and her spiritual mentor and guide Shaykh F. A. Ali ElSenossi and in the light of historical precedent through Tomiki Sensei’s actions and the teachings of John Gay sensei from his teachers regarding the requirement of 7th Dan being necessary to establish an independent system. This grade has been recognized by the Japan Aikidō Association in their letter of offer & subsequent award of 8th Dan JAA Aikido in 2011.

In 2007 she arranged the purchase of the full time Moonah Dojo & with herself as Trustee & with the current members, formed Unity Trust to raise funds & formed Unity Aikidō Association Inc. to be the owner. She licensed the name Unity Aikido to the UAAInc retaining it as her business name. A H.Q. dojo building was established in Moonah. The opening was attended by local, national & international

Martial Artists & many dignitaries. In 2010, the dojo moved to larger premises in Hobart CBD where it can be of even greater service to the community.

In 2013 it is intended to move the HQ dojo to Ogilvie High School in North Hobart where Hanifa sensei has taught several Unity Aikido courses.

Under her guidance insurance was arranged for all students through membership of the Unity Aikidō Association Inc. It is registered with the Justice Department as a Not-for Profit Sporting Association & is a full member of the Australian Jujitsu Federation providing its students with access to NCAS qualifications opportunities.

Other Training

Studies in Martial Arts:

Shindō Muso Ryu Jōdō in Japan with the 25th direct lineal Headmaster & Living National Treasure Takaji Shimidzu- 52 Dans in various Schools and Arts.

Shin Kage Ryu Iaidō and Tenshin Shoden Katori Shintoryu Kenjitsu with Tsunemori Kaminoda Sensei, Head of the 4th division of the Tokyo Riot Police, Japan and with sensei Bill Freeman 4th Dan by Master Kuroda, Headmaster, Tokyo Riot Police & sensei John Butler, 4th Dan in Australia.

Judō Goshin Jitsu and Isutsu no Kata in Japan and Australia under Sensei Senta Yamada 6th Dan Judō & Aikidō, Asian Games Champion of Japan and the Aikidō sensei chosen by Master Tomiki to introduce his Aikidō to The West. Yamada Sensei taught Judō and Aikidō at the London Budōkan.

She is a practicing Contemporary Digital & Installation artist & student of Islamic Sufism.


Studies in Fine Arts & Graphic Arts:

Fine Art with Joan Gough, also gallery management & exhibition hanging [30 years].

Graphic Art- Certificate in Commercial Art studies at Swinburne College, Melbourne.

Japanese Sumi-e arts: Instruction in calligraphy by Tomiki Sensei.

Japanese cloth dying at Japan adult education Institute Tokyo, three months.

Exhibited: Contemporary Art Australia, Melbourne & Tasmania group shows over 20 years.

Curated & Exhibited: The 1st. Tasmanian Sufi Art Exhibition “Is there a Sufi Insight”, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania also “Form and Essence” CAS exhibition, SAC Hobart

First Australian exhibition of Contemporary art by Muslims “You am I” by Islamic Council of Victoria in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 in Melbourne.

“Imaginal Worlds” First two person exhibition of Dawa’ir Al Jameelah’s wall work & installations at Moonah Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania October 2010, again in 2012

Published:in “Artists and Galleries of Australia” by Max Germaine. “The Treasure” Sufi magazine.

Healing, Religious and Esoteric studies:

Christened and confirmed Church of England at age 16.

Studied Esoteric Buddhism with Jikoson Sama, over 10 years visiting Japan and by correspondence.

Native American Indian Shamanism 4 years with Black Foot & Cree resident journalist & craftswoman Lesley Crosssingham, & with Native American Indian Sharman Archie Fire Lame Deer.

Metaphysics/Spiritual healing and Swedish Massage with Eileen Goble, Melbourne.

Spinal Energy Balancing with Dr Ignatius Soosay, Melbourne.

Sufi studies & embraced Islam under the hand of Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi Almiraj Sufi & Islamic Study Centre, 1996, Hobart, Tasmania.


Employment- Self Employment & Voluntary Work:

GRAPHIC & FINE ART: Graphic Arts in industry in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Melb. 20 years+.

Gallery Management at Joan Gough Studio Gallery for over 20 years – voluntary.

Tasmanian Representative for Joan Gough’s organization, Contemporary Art Australia – voluntary.

Artwork installations at Almiraj Sufi & Islamic Study Centre over 14 years – voluntary.

Founded, with her husband Jamaludeen Macfarlane, Dawa’ir Al Jameelah; Circles of Beauty, an art business to produce Contemporary Islamic Art based on Traditional Principles in 2009.

Exhibited: CAS Vic, Joan Gough Studio Gallery, CAA Vic & Tas. over 30 years.

In Tasmania: Two Major shows of Contemporary Islamic Art at MAC Hobart 2010 & 2012

AIKIDO Teaching:

Aikidō at Ashwood Judō Centre, Brighton YMCA, & various centers across 25 years.

Specialist Skills Aikidō Teacher at the Phys Ed. Dept. MLC Kew, class years 7-10 for 10 years.

Full time Freelance Aikidō teacher at schools and Community Centers in Melbourne, 15 years,

Founded: Aikidō School of Melbourne, Ashwood, Melbourne teaching 1989-1995

1996-2012 Starting with Port Huon dojo and up to current Hobart Dojos of Unity Aikidō and incorporated Unity Aikidō Association Inc with voluntary teaching 2007.-2010 at UAAInc. Moonah HQ. Hobart Dojo recommenced November 2010 & is currently at Clarence PCYC Bellerive.

Aikido Teaching in Hobart & Huon schools & community centers throughout this time.

She has now semi retired and teaches part time for Unity Aikidō at clubs, community centers & at After School Care Centers as an AASC qualified teacher through the Australian Sports Commission.

Currently she is writing a book on the Unity Aikidō System which will accompany electronic media on the whole syllabus with teaching notes.


She has visited over 45 countries across a lifetime of travels. She has been to Japan 5 times taking groups of students for extended visits twice. She lived & worked in the UK for several years, often visiting Europe on foot & by car, also she returned to Australia across Europe, The Middle East & South East Asia, traveling by car from the UK to Singapore then boat to Australia.

She has also visited India, Ceylon, The Middle East & America. She crossed Europe on the northern route through Russia by Transcontinental Express, then by boat to Japan & back to Australia. Recently, after Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca & Medina in Saudi Arabia, she revisited Egypt 40 years after her first visit there. She travels interstate regularly for art commitments & to teach Unity Aikidō.

Community Involvement:

1970 Founded first Australian Aikido Association introducing Tomiki style Aikido to Australia.

1994 Founded Not for Profit “Dancing Around the Wheel” community org. to showcase traditional cultures. Ran workshops & performances at Melbourne festivals & organized “Dancing Around the Wheel” 2 day festival in the Carleton Gardens, Melbourne, auspiced by The City of Melbourne, mentored by Robert Mate Mate, Australian Aboriginal Elder. It was a great success.

1996 Founded with Cathy Temby, “Down by the Riverside Inc.” a Non Profit organization, raised the funds to run a one day festival in the Huon Valley to help the local community celebrate its achievements & cultures to counteract the difficulties of it being an economically depressed region. Five thousand visitors came, the largest one day influx ever in the region. It helped change the tide.

2007 Founded Non Profit Unity Aikido Association Inc., raised funds & purchased a HQ building & taught Aikido voluntarily for Kids, Teens, Adults, fit & unfit & Senior Adults. 2007- 2010.

Gradings/Ranking Awarded: (All grades in Tomiki Style Aikido)

  • 1st Dan AIKIDO, British Aikido Association – 16th July 1968 signed Kenji Tomiki Japan Aikido Association Headmaster, cosigned Itsuo Haba 4th Dan Japan Aikidō Association. Supervised J. Gay 3rd Dan British Aikido Association & recommended by Tsunemitsu Naito 4th Dan Japan Aikidō Association.
  • 2nd Dan AIKIDO, Australian Aikido Association – 21st Dec 1975 – signed Kenji Tomiki Australian Aikido Association President & Headmaster of Japan Aikidō Association. Supervised & recommended by J. Gay 4th Dan Japan Aikidō Association.
  • 3rd Dan AIKIDO, Australian Aikido Association – 30th March 1977 signed K. Tomiki Australian Aikido Association President & Japan Aikidō Association Headmaster, cosigned & supervised by Australian Aikido Association Chief Instructor John Gay.
  • 4th Dan AIKIDO, Australian Aikido Association – 10 April 1981 signed H. Ohba Australian Aikido Association President & Japan Aikidō Association Headmaster, cosigned sensei Kenkichi Futami 4th Dan Japan Aikidō Association. Recommended & supervised by J. Gay 5th Dan Japan Aikidō Association.
  • 5th Dan AIKIDO Japan Aikidō Association – 1st May 1991 signed T. Nariyama Japan Aikidō Association Shihan 8th Dan, up to 2012. Recommended by Fumiyaki Shishida, Japan Aikidō Association Shihan, 8th Dan.

Current gradings:

  • 7th Dan UNITY AIKIDO – 23/2/ 2005 self & peer promotion on founding Unity Aikidō as Headmaster, signed as witness by F.A. Ali ElSenossi Unity Aikidō Honourary 10th Dan Mentor of Unity Aikido. Assisted by Unity Aikido student body & William Fettes 4th Dan Japan Aikidō Association, Adelaide SA & Shindo Muso Ryo Jodo level 4 Menkyo/license.
  • 8th Dan AIKIDO, Japan Aikidō Association – 1/1/2011, signed Masako Tomiki, President of JAA. For services to Tomiki Aikidō over a lifetime, awarded in the 100th year of Master Ohba’s Life Celebrations. Letter of offer signed Masako Tomiki Japan Aikidō Association President. Assisted by Kenkichi Futami 7th Dan Japan Aikidō Association.