Month: September 2018

BAF Member Representatives

Following discussions by the National Committee and at the Annual General Meeting in Chester, the BAF committee now includes 2 Member Representatives. Voted by the membership at the AGM, Karolina Packo and Tom Curry are now members of the National Committee with the specific roles of making the NC more accessible to all BAF members. They are aiming to provide an easy and confidential route to get ideas and views to the NC and also to feed information from the NC to the membership. In a changing world with ever more distractions the BAF needs to adapt to new technologies and ideas and the NC and its members should be responsive. Karolina and Tom will be making this happen! …with your help of course.

Introducing your new MemberReps – who can be contacted directly via MemberReps@bafonline.org.uk

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Karolina Packo

My Aikido journey started in Gdansk, Poland in 1999. I know many agree that Aikido is very addictive and I got hooked very quickly. Obviously then, on moving to UK the first thing I did was to find a dojo!

Fast forward to 2018 and Aikido is of course a big part of my life. To many of us Aikido is much more than a martial art; it’s a way of life. Being a member of the BAF has not only given me the opportunity to train with some of the best instructors but also make some wonderful, life long friendships. I would love for more people to discover Aikido and start their own exciting journeys.
I hope that as a Members Representative on the National Committee of the BAF I will be able to do just that; create opportunities for others to find out about Aikido (and try it!), help the BAF to grow but also encourage BAF members to get involved in making the BAF bigger and better. So if you have any concerns or ideas get in touch. We would love to hear from you. More than that, we need to hear from you!  We make the BAF so let us all get involved!
Karolina
Member Representative of the BAF
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Tom Curry
From an early start doing Taekwondo at the age of 7yrs my Martial Art career in Aikido began while working at the University. Joining the Bristol University Aikido Club was a new experience and has given me many opportunities to study under talented instructors, most notably with Kanetsuka Sensei. My present focus is in developing fitness and flexibility to better enable practice, with about 7 hours of classes a week and additional fitness training every day. Having started when I was 7 my plan is to carry on until I’m 77 – at the very least! Aikido is so complex it presents endless challenges but enabling others to train and improve is something I find particularly rewarding.
Outside of the Dojo I feel the recent changes to the BAF committee structure to introduce Members Representatives is a great opportunity. I hope I can be an effective representative for all BAF members and ensure that there is no mystery about what happens on the National Committee. The BAF exists for its members, and cannot exist without them. It’s important everyone is represented fairly. 
Thanks again for the support given to me and I look forward to helping everyone.
Tom
Member Representative of the BAF

Introducing the new BAF ViceChairman – Russell Milton

Get It Together…
 
Thinking back to when I started practicing Aikido in Cardiff in 1990 it is a bit of a surprise to now find myself as the new ViceChairman! This is an honour and also a responsibility. I must confess I got the bug for Aikido straight away and have never looked back! First I got myself a few books and even got hold of a few VHS Tapes to watch, my how things have changed today! People now can access all types of information so easily and can have too many ideas before they even set foot in the Dojo for the first time.
  
I think part of the role of the BAF is to present a reliable standard of traditional Aikido, to filter through all the information and get to the heart of what Aikido practice should be. We want to offer a clear route for beginners to get started and a path for students to make steady progress. 
  
The people in the BAF are definitely our best resource. In our senior instructors there is such a wealth of accumulated knowledge and skill of our Art that extends to the early days of Aikido in the UK and further, to its roots in Japan. Aiming to bring our organisation up to date we now have Member Representatives to support the National Committee and help ensure that the lines of communication are always open.
 
In my own life, being a part of the BAF has truly been a benefit. It is a wonderful way to make friends locally, around the country and indeed around the world, because of our common pursuit. The culture in the BAF  has always been about pushing oneself, learning and understanding Aikido and because of that it has certainly given me a focus and helped in many aspects of my daily life. The concepts of avoiding conflict we develop in the Dojo can be applied in all areas of our lives, meaning both emotional and how we deal with people.
 
The BAF is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and the next fifty can be stronger if we work together and support each other as a community, locally, nationally and internationally. Being part of the worldwide Aikido Community comes with a lot of benefits but also responsibility. We must all do our bit to sustain our Art even if it means going that bit further. I will certainly be trying my best to keep the BAF strong, with your help. Thank you for your support at the AGM, I will not let you down.
  
Russell Milton – Vice Chairman Of The BAF
 
P.S. I still have the VHS tapes, which I keep on a shelf at home with all the other books, dvd’s, posters and lots of other Aikido related stuff that I have kept over the years.