Message from the Chairman

Dear Members
As the Chair and on behalf half of the Executive Committee we hope that you are all well and safe.
It has been 18 months since the passing of Kanetsuka Shihan. This would have been the second Summer School with out Sensei but he would be still with us in spirit and in our thoughts as always! Sensei’s words of “Practice with your Heart” should be our aim!
In normal times we would now be attending Summer School, where I would produce a report for you, the members, at the AGM. Unfortunately this is not possible so I present my report to you directly. We are far from normal times and are experiencing something beyond anything any of us have known or could have prepared for.
The fact is it is probably the longest time many of us have had without practicing and when we do get back we will be faced with what is being called the ” New Normal! ”
Although we have been able to practice outside recently with weapons and exercises, our hope is to return to the Dojos but when we do careful preparation will be necessary, following Government advice. It should be noted that the Government advises the Governing bodies of all sports and will provide regulations appropriate to each type of sport. In our case that will be the JAC. But if we feel there is something more that can be done we will of course keep you informed.
As it has been pointed out each of the four countries has been moving at different speeds and applying different regulations but as members of the BAF are mostly In England and Wales, clubs in either country should make sure they know the local regulations. Other countries In Europe have either started practicing or will be in the near future so we will be looking to them to see how they are managing .
As you will have noticed this year has been lost for courses and events but the committees and the Shihans have worked to try to keep things moving. We are looking forward with a positive mind and are very pleased with the confirmation of Summer School during August next year. As things become clearer we will be arranging weekend courses, plus Spring Course. It will probably be a while before this is possible but as soon as we can we will do our best to make up for the lost time. Not only do we look forward to getting back to practicing, but the BAF must look forward to how to accommodate changes taking place both inside the Aikido world and outside Aikido. I am sure there will be a lot of discussion of developments before they reach the BAF but we, on the committee will work to keep you informed and will pass on any news or regulations as soon as we are aware.
Behind the scenes there have been many discussions on both sides of the BAF – the technical side and the administrative side. So I would like to thank Ian, Don and Ken for their positivity during this time, made more difficult by not being able to discuss things face to face, the discussions have been very fruitful. Also thanks for the input of the technical committee.
On behalf of myself and the members, many thanks to Dave, Nick and Russ for all work that they have carried out through this time. Not only doing the normal day to day running of things with the added challenge of the virus, but also planning for the future and how we attract new members. Thanks also to Allan for the work he has done as Membership Secretary, and to the members of the BAF committee.
And most importantly to those of you who run Dojos, those who instruct and the members who are the BAF – many thanks for playing your part and providing support .
Most important when we move forward from this present difficult position will be the thought that we all work together – the instructors, the members , the Dojo’s and both committees to carry on developing both our Aikido practice and the BAF as an organisation.
This would have the 40th year of Steve arranging Summer School.
I’m sure you will agree with me that another and important thing that we will all miss – with Summer School being cancelled – is being greeted by Steve, who seems to know all the names new and old and treats everyone the same. In truth Steve has always done a marvellous job and although perhaps not mentioned enough it is much appreciated .
Many Congratulations and thanks Steve.

Remember O’Sensei’s message was one of “Harmony” coming together, and such a message can not be more relevant than at this time.

I hope each and every one of you stay safe, well and positive.

Peter Gillard


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