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Local Bloke – Ken McLean From Bronte

By James Hutton on October 30, 2012 in People

Photo: Grant Brooks

Bronte surfer and Aikido specialist Ken McLean shares his local favourites with The Beast…

How long have you lived here?

I moved to the East in the mid-’70s and Bronte from the late ‘70s… so over 30 years.

Have you always lived locally?

I lived in Crescent Head and before that Bendalong on the South Coast. As a youngster I lived in Sydney but at 15 left school and hit the coast.

What’s your favourite beach?

Bronte; whether it’s surfing the reef, the bunker, or the bank out the back. And you’ve got the Bogey Hole, the pool and the train for the kids.

What’s your favourite eatery?

We often eat the delicious fare at the Bogey Hole Cafe in Bronte. We also enjoy the cooking at Wet Paint. Occasionally we’ll buy the family tofu burgers from Out of the Blue and we like the brown rice and veggies from Iku in Waverley.

Where do you like to have a drink?

Occasionally I’ll have a social drink on special occasions. Other than that, the only other hard stuff I have is mineral water!

Do you have a favourite sporting team?

These days the only sport I watch is surfing and in that I like the usual suspects: Parko, Bede Durbidge, Wilco and the rest of the crew.

What music are you into at the moment?

I moonlight as an acoustic guitar-playing singer/songwriter and play around the traps a little – pubs, cafes and the odd festival – so that’s the main music I hear these days. Anything with an acoustic guitar will get my juices flowing.

Who is your favourite person?

It would have to be my wife Emma and the ten kids: Li, Jemma, Luke, Amelia, Simon, Jasmine, Geordie, Ciara, Sarah and Rory. And my two eldest daughters’ partners Scotty and Neil, and the five grandkids: Jake, Ella, Kobi, Billy and Aiden!

What do you get up to on the weekends?

I usually work on Saturdays and try to catch a late on the reef. On Sundays I try to do a bit of nippers with the family (but usually I’m in the surf) and maybe play some music in the arvo.

What do you do for work?

I run a centre called Shin Sen Dojo in Kensington, which is a full-time Japanese-style dojo, teaching the non-violent martial art of Aikido and the mind/body discipline of Ki Energy Cultivation and the healing arts of Ki Shiatsu and Macrobiotics. I also take groups to the Blue Mountains to train and meditate under the flowing icy waters of the waterfalls there.

What’s your favourite thing about your work?

With the Aikido it’s the fact that you can challenge each other on the mat in a positive way without aggression and competitiveness, and develop yourself in an enjoyable way that is full of flow and positivity. It’s a lot like surfing.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“Many miss the near to seek the far.”

Any other words of wisdom for our readers?

If you’re interested in learning Aikido, please call 93009545 or visit