Four weeks to go until the BAF Summer School!Takeshi Kanazawa Shihan 7th Dan Will Be Representing Doshu And Hombu Dojo alongside BAF senior instructors. As always we will be joined by international Aikidoka and of course our BAF members from all around the UK. Summer School is a great opportunity to improve your Aikido and to meet up and share views about the art.We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Manchester dojo hosted a two day course with Ian McClarence shihan over the weekend of 6/7 July 2019. The course was split so members of 3rd kyu and above attended on Saturday and Sunday was an open class. Unfortunately we have no photograph from Saturday, which was extremely well attended with BAF members from all over the North West, South Wales, London area and the North East attending, together with a single Lancashire Aikikai member; 38 in total attended.
McClarence shihan concentrated on basic posture, contact and kokyo-ho on Saturday.
On Sunday there were 22 BAF members attending the course (including 2 people who attended the dojo for the very first time; a bit of a pleasant surprise for them!!) and McClarence shihan worked on taisabaki, posture and basic waza. The photograph is of the attendees on Sunday.
Overall, a very well attended and informative weekend and all thanks must go to the BAF members who attended for their efforts and of course, McClarence shihan for taking the time to deliver the seminar.
The Spring Course in Chepstow has come and gone. For many of us it was a special one; the first one without Kanetsuka Sensei who sadly passed away last month. His absence was felt by many. This was especially so for our Chairman, Peter Gillard Sensei who received his Shihan certificate, recommended by Kanetsuka Shihan last year. A time for reflection on so many years and shared experiences.
The course was very well attended and it was especially lovely to see so many kyu grades. This year’s instruction was lead by our Shihans, Don Morgan and Ian McClarence, with support from David Yates and Gudrun Rieck who had us working on posture and movement.
It goes without saying that courses like this play an important role in our Aikido development. There is no substitute for training under senior instructors with their enormous experience. Every exercise and technique becomes an invaluable lesson with important insights. The course was quite exhausting but great fun and of course an opportunity to catch up with old friends and/or make new ones.
Thank you all for attending the course. We hope that you enjoyed it and went home inspired. Keep your eye on the Course Calendar for upcoming opportunities to train, and please put June 15/16 in your diary – this is the next National Course in Oxford.
See you soon!
Karolina Packo (Member Representative)
On Friday the 19th October at 6.45pm, despite a bit of jet-lag, Dojo-cho walked onto the mat at Leigh Sports Village near Manchester and opened the BAF 50th Anniversary course. After so many months anticipation and much preparation by members of the Manchester Dojo, the course was under way. With many friends of the BAF travelling from Europe, along with those from other UK Aikido groups, the mat in the sports hall, full to capacity, came alive.
Dojo-cho, Mitsuteru Ueshiba, had not travelled alone but was accompanied by a youthful and energetic group which included his talented uke, Akira Matsumura, a group of students from Universities across Japan, Kazufumi Soma from the Hombu office and of course Ikuko Ishii, our dearest friend and regular visitor at BAF Summer School! Setting the style of the weekend with his trademark crisp clean techniques, Dojo-cho focussed on a few basic techniques, emphasising posture and good control. Almost as soon it had begun, the 1 hour opener session was ended. This allowed Dojo-cho a little time to change before the evenings formal dinner with representatives from the Joint Aikikai Council(JAC) member organisations. Along with BAF committee members and course organisers, senior members of UKA, British Birankai, Komyokan, DAN and the Scottish Aikido Federation were present. A great start to this BAF 50th Anniversary weekend. Following the meal good humoured speeches were given by our Chairman, Peter Gillard, JAC Chairman David Yates and Dojo-cho. Peter Gillard recalled the origins of Aikido in the UK and how far we had come whilst David Yates commended the creation of the JAC. Dojo-cho noted that the BAF was older than himself which caused all to smile and wonder at the passing years. Ending with a request for us to look to the future and seek younger students, we could only agree and so toast everyones health, the future of Aikido and the next 50yrs of the BAF!
Through Saturday and Sunday training continued, a 2 hour session in the morning and again in the afternoon. The large group from Japan gave a truly international feel to the crowded event and brought an energy and enthusiasm to the mat that was infectious. Dojo-cho spent some time emphasising certain aspects of techniques and practice and Jean Paisley was most helpful in translating for non-Japanese speakers. Ending the weekend on Sunday afternoon with the Embukai, our sister organisations in the JAC each gave a short demonstration, followed by Ian McClarence Shihan, and finishing with a 6 minute energetic flourish by Dojo-cho and 3 tireless ukes. A truly entertaining performance which produced a long and well deserved burst of applause from all present, so bringing the proceedings to a close.
A most notable social event took place on the Saturday evening in the form of a buffet for over 100 course attendees, giving a chance for Aikido students of all ages and from all organisations to mix and chat. The visiting Japanese students were very active throughout the evening, mixing well and practicing their English. In the true spirit of Aikido new friendships were forged and old friendships renewed.
It was delightful that the visiting party was so large to make a real impact on proceedings. That they all travelled such a distance for such a short visit to support the BAF in its 50th year was humbling. Special thanks to the young students for supporting this event, Hayato Arima, Mizuki Otake, Hiroaki Sato, Anna Suzuki, Ryo Tanaka, Soh Yanagihara and Taiga Yoshino.
The much anticipated weekend finished, now we carry the memories and give special thanks to the Hombu and Dojo-cho for taking this BAF 50th anniversary course. The only cloud over the weekend was the absence of Kanetsuka Shihan and Matthew Holland Shihan because of illness and we wish them both steady recoveries.
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
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!