Janet Clift sensei started Aikido at the age of thirteen in her local club in Chester, Northern England, with Steve Parr Sensei. Shortly thereafter she also started practicing in Liverpool with Terry Ezra sensei. She attended summer camps from a young age in Chester where the British Aikido Federation summer schools are held each year. At the age of 18 she moved briefly to Oxford. She then moved to London in order to practice under the direction of Minoru Kanetsuka Sensei, the technical director of the BAF.
Moving to Japan
After two years in London she moved to Tokyo in Japan to the Aikikai Hombu dojo, the Aikikai headquarters. Living in close proximity to the Aikikai allowed for fulltime practice so she was able to attend the classes of the legendary Shihan who were active at that time. For instance Yamaguchi Sensei, Arikawa Sensei, Osawa Sensei and of course Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
Her practice partners were the uchi-deshi of the time, now senior teachers at Hombu dojo, such as Sugawara-sensei, Kobayashi-sensei, Kuribayashi-sensei and Kanazawa-sensei.
After 4 years of full time training at Hombu-dojo she moved to San Diego, USA, to train with T. K. Chiba-sensei. There she trained intensively with weapons and in Zen meditation, areas on which Chiba-sensei puts particular emphasis.
In 1994 Janet Clift sensei was awarded Yondan (4th Dan). She returned to England to open a dojo in her hometown. During this time she started travelling to mainland Europe to teach seminars. In 1997 she moved to Greece after having visited Athens several times to teach and train.
She currently holds the rank of 6th Dan and is one of the technical directors at Aikido of Athens. She is regularly invited to teach seminars around Europe, to dojos in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
In 2016 she was invited at the International Congress by IAF. It was held in Takasaki in Japan. The video from the class and the demonstration is at the Multimedia section.