THE former Boots unit in Halesowen town centre has been converted into a martial arts and wellness centre.

Yoga classes and tai chi sessions will be amongst the activities on offer Ren Shin Kan, which is moving into the former Boots pharmacy premises on Peckingham Street.

Ren Shin Kan is an Aikido dojo and is headed Gordon Jones and Philip Smith.

The pair are officially recognised by Aikido World HQ Japan as 7th Dan Shihan (master teachers) in Aikido, and each have over 50 years of Aikido experience.

They run seminars as far afield as Australia and Singapore.

The club, established in 1968, was based in Castle Street, Dudley, but Gordon and Philip said they felt now was the right time to expand into new improved premises which include a purpose-built dojo and exercise studio.

Philip, aged 63, said: "We have invested several thousands of pounds creating the studio.

"The centre will offer daily Aikido classes for all ages as well as Yoga and Tai Chi sessions for adults.

"We have a fully matted area and upstairs there's a yoga and Tai Chi area."

Philip lectures at Coventry University in Sports Therapy.

Halesowen News:

Ren Shin Kan is a not-for-profit facility with a welcoming and friendly environment and contract free membership open to all.

Daytime Yoga and Tai Chi sessions will also be offered. Email visit