Category : News

Aikido News

BAF Summer update

To all BAF members.

With no Summer School again this year, there will not be an AGM, though the BAF is of course, alive and well. The BAF accounts for 2020/21 would normally be presented at the AGM. If any members wish to know the current state of the BAF accounts please contact the treasurer directly.

Best wishes to all as things open up through the summer months, and we move towards our “Return to Practice” course, hopefully in the Autumn.

Nick Belshaw (General Secretary)

Message from BAF Shihans

Dear friends

We hope you and your loved ones are all keeping safe and well.

The last 12 months or so have been very difficult for us all, with Covid spreading through our communities and taking our loved ones from us, but with the rollout of the vaccine hopefully we shall return to some sort of normality. With the lockdowns coming to an end and hopefully our dojo’s reopening, we look forward to getting back to training but none of us are in the same physical and mental condition we were before Covid. So when we return to training we should begin slowly and carefully so that our bodies and minds will have time to readjust.

We must also remember, before we can step on the tatami again, to make sure that our insurance and membership is fully paid up. The last thing that the seniors of the BAF would want is for someone to get injured and have no insurance cover, so please contact your club secretaries to re-new your membership so that we can welcome you back in a safe and responsible manner.

Although summer school and national courses have been cancelled for this year the seniors of the BAF have had discussions about the possibility of running a course in the autumn, as long as the conditions allow, based on a gentle way back to training so that we can start to lose those lockdown pounds.

Yours sincerely

The Shihan of the BAF

Remembering Kanetsuka Sensei

It is two short years since Kanetsuka Sensei passed on.

Our thoughts go to Sensei’s Family at this time.

For us all in the BAF and other students of Sensei being left without his instruction, direction, and advice, it left a hole in our practice.
But Sensei would be telling us now most important is Keiko, Keiko, Keiko.
Of course with this virus we have lost dojo time, so it is more important than ever when we come back, we work together to develop Sensei’s Aikido that he shared with us over the years together!
We can repay all the years Sensei gave us  by working hard ourselves, and most importantly to pass on Sensei’s approach to the practice he worked so hard to develop all his life.
Aikido without ego, and most importantly with heart.
We may never reach the level of Sensei’s Aikido practice, but he left a path for us to walk and he will always be in our Dojos with us, in our memories, and our hearts!
Peter Gillard Shihan
BAF Chairman

2021 Promotions

The BAF is very pleased to be able to report that Steve Parr has been awarded Shihan status.


Notice of BAF promotions in this year’s Kagami Biraki – congratulations to all.


Byron Thomas 6th Dan

Charles Judd. 5th Dan

Russell Milton. 5th Dan

Eric Gillett. 4th Dan

Michael Hudson. 3rd Dan

Simon McAsey. 3rd Dan

Andrew Ratcliffe. 2nd Dan

Chris Coates. 2nd Dan

Eddie Sacre 2nd Dan


Hombu link here



New Year message

To all our Members!

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year to you all.
We start the 2021 with a hope for the future.
Even since my last message all of a sudden things have started to change, and what a good time to come at the beginning of a New Year.
With the two vaccines coming on line we can look to the time that our Dojo’s will start to be opened and we can get back to normal practice.
Of course, when this happens there will probably still be some regulations around for sometime before it will be as it was before the virus came.
But I assure you all we will be looking at the position as things change and although like everyone be keen to get back into the Dojo, we will be making sure we do it in the safest possible way.
It will be important also to keep in mind the position of courses restarting.
At the present time Summer School is booked so fingers crossed that it will be able to go ahead…
It would be hoped  that we would be able to hold a weekend course before S/S but of course all things depend on the situation as it unfolds.
This time away from Aikido has been a time to appreciate what Aikido gives us.
For some that’s many years of our lives, and for others who may have just begun, a new journey.
Through the practice with the company of others we work together to develop ourselves physically and mentally towards not just an understanding of O’Sensei’s Aikido in the Dojo but we can learn to use the practice and message of his Aikido in our daily lives.
So with renewed hope for a Better New Year and Good Health to All
Peter Gillard
BAF Chair

Christmas Message

Dear friends,

No matter whether Shihan, senior instructor, club instructor or club member. This time has been no different for anyone of us. And no matter where we come from in the UK. Small and big Dojos
We have been and still are either restricted or unable to practice at this time. But like everyone else we look with hope and welcome the vaccinations coming on the scene, that we will in the not too distant future be back in our Dojo’s and slowly return to practice.

In the meantime we are looking at the possibility of courses and Summer School for 2021. We feel in reality, sadly, we will not be able to hold a Spring Course since it would probably be a little too early along the road. We are looking to the possibility of holding a “welcome back course” as soon as circumstances change and allow us to!
With Kanazawa Shihan, as posted on the BAF Summer School website.

In the meantime it would good to let us know how the virus has affected your Dojo and members. Were you able to train outside? Have you been able to get into your Dojo for exercise? And how has weapon training been going? What about individual training, or “zoom”?
Please let us know, and any other thoughts you may have!
…and of course, any questions you may have?

Have a Good Christmas and keep safe!

Peter Gillard
BAF Chair

Returning to practice

Dear Members – copied below is the message from the JAC regarding returning to practice. This and relevant documents containing detailed guidance, risk assessments etc are here JAC

The COVID-19 virus has effected everyone in every part of the globe resulting in unique times in the history of the world and indeed Aikido.
Over the last few months there has been great anticipation of the lockdown coming to an end and many sports are looking towards their governing body for guidance.

With information changing on a weekly and sometimes daily basis the information on what we can and cannot do fluctuates from accurate to incomplete, inaccurate, incoherent, misleading , misinterpreted or just ignored. For example; a sports facility opening does not mean you can practice indoors!

As a result of misinterpretation or ignoring the deeper meaning of the government guidance we have experienced U turns where local COVID-19 hotspots have resulted in those locations going back into lockdown. A second country-wide lockdown could be devastating for Aikido.
As a result it is better to be a fast follower than an early adopter of new or desirable information that can lead to misinterpretation if incomplete or out of date.

The JAC prefer to be fast followers.

Recognising that there has been much frustration expressed, the JAC would like to remind you all that the Committee is made up from volunteers who receive no remuneration for their contribution to Aikido, are also committee members of their own JAC member organisations as well as managing their own dojos. Taking into account the strain on family life as well, we therefor request that you respect our efforts.

The attached documents are to help you as JAC member organisation contacts and leaders to “unlock” after the COVID-19 lockdown in a safe and responsible way.

The Unlock process document has been approved by our insurers and the 1st August 2020 is our agreed date for commencing indoors interaction.
Please note that social distancing, PPE use and sanitiser etc., should be maintained/used and that we should recommence practice with taisabaki exercises and/or weapons only. Remember – if you can’t hug your grandchildren you can’t practice the body art!

The Indemnity document is to help with establishing if your instructors and/or students are fit and healthy and act as a track and trace document should one of you contract the virus.

The Club document is to ensure you are cognoscente of your governments “current and up to date guidelines”. Please note that these may differ between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so please check on a regular basis.

The Risk Assessment documents are a blank and examples based upon a number of “club” scenarios for you to refer to or use.

All documents (attached) are available in the COVID-19 Resource file on the JAC Dropbox cloud storage area. The link for access is here JAC COVID-19 Resource File 

Finally, don’t forget that there are a lot of frightened people in the general population and that some of these are self-appointed vigilantes, who, are looking for people breaking the rules and subsequently report them to the authorities. It would be detrimental to your club, organisation and the JAC to have a prohibition order enforced on you for inappropriate interaction at your dojo.

Please unlock wisely in a clear, responsible and robust way…

… and above all WELCOME BACK!!


Best Regards

Guy Needler
Joint Aikikai Council
General Secretary

2020 recommendations for promotion

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and looking forward to returning to Aikido in the not to distant future in your Dojos.

We would at this time be looking forward to Summer School but unfortunately this year due to the Covid-19 as you know the University cancelled our booking.
Also with the Government setting out the path of the lockdown it will be awhile before we can get back to full practice!

Part of our week at Summer School every year is the Yudansha grading and part of that are the special promotions.

So even though we cannot hold grading for the time being ,we can go ahead with special promotions.

So the Shihan and Technical Committee are recommending the following members for promotion this year.

Byron Thomas 6th Dan

Charles Judd. 5th Dan

Russell Milton. 5th Dan

Eric Gillett. 4th Dan

Michael Hudson. 3rd Dan

Simon McAsey. 3rd Dan

Andrew Radcliffe. 2nd Dan

Chris Coates. 2nd Dan

Eddie Sacre 2nd Dan

Mr. Steve Parr

Mr. Steve Parr has been a senior instructor in the North West for many years with his Dojo in Chester.

This year would have been Mr Parr’s 40th of organising the BAF Summer School with all that includes.
Everyone who has run a weekend local course will appreciate the work it must entail to organise Summer School in order to make sure everyone from the top to the first time visitors come away having had a worthwhile week.

Taking both these reasons into consideration we have taken the decision to recommend Mr Parr to the Hombu for the consideration of the position of Shihan

These recommendations will be considered by Hombu for a promotion announcement at the Kagami Birankai in January 2021 and at that point they are ratified?

On behalf of the BAF Shihan
Peter Gillard
BAF Chairman

Will all those who have been recommended for promotion get in touch with Steve to arrange sending their Yudansha cards etc .

BAF Looking Ahead

Hello, as we are showing signs of steadily coming out of lockdown it may be a good time to ask the question “how will we practice Aikido?”.

There are many issues to consider but perhaps most importantly is how do we do it safely.
There is no rush.

We are not at a stage to be able to issue clear guidelines but we do have time to formulate an approach and there are a few things that need to be considered.

As I am sure you are aware, the stages of leaving lockdown are different across the United Kingdom, and being aware of the guidelines that apply to your country (Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) is extremely important.

Stay in contact with the managers of your training facilities they will be able to offer advice and support and provide you with the information you need to start back up.

Social distancing will be with us for the foreseeable future along with effective hand hygiene and this means that partner practice is not advisable for now but a simple class focused on individual practice is achievable.

The points above are worth considering but, as stated, are not official guidelines but a way to get the conversation started.

On a personal note, during this experience I have been pleased to see how people all over the Aikido world have adapted, I have taken part in Aikido classes online and it has proved very useful. I have also joined discussion groups that have provided a good-humored distraction.

Online individual practice has become a very enjoyable part of my routine and I would encourage anyone who is able to, to take part as it provides social contact and promotes mental wellbeing.

Stay safe and please get in touch if you have anything to share that helps us prepare for classes in the future.

Russell Milton (BAF Vice-Chairman)