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Aikido News

Dojo-cho course – review

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.

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.

2018 Summer School Gradings

Results of this years gradings 
Ikkyu
Ivan BiriukovLondon - Greenwich
Mitchell TullochLondon - Greenwich
Steve CostelloLondon - Ryushinkan
John AlarconManchester - Wagokan
Lorraine GomezMachester - Wagokan
James HayesLondon - Whitechael
Shodan
Neil McCluskeyNewcastle - Seishinkan
Nidan
Karolina PackoChester - Ryusuikan
Phil RedfernManchester - Wagokan
Umar SaleemManchester - Wagokan
Charlotte GambleCardiff - Shobukan
Marcin FilipManchester - Wagokan
Tamas HegyesLondon - Greenwich
Darren TelfordKillingworth - Yukokan
Angela TelfordKillingworth - Yukokan
Tom Oldfield
Sandan
Mark AshworthChester - Ryusuikan
Yondan
Gudrun RieckN.Wales - Menai
Simon FraserSevenoaks - Ryushinkan
Steve GendlerChester - Ryusuikan
Ron WattsCardiff - Shobukan
Mark Olney
Nanadan
Don MorganPort Talbot
Ian McClarenceNewcastle - Seishinkan

Joint Aikikai Council

Some news regarding the Joint Aikikai Council

Dave Yates is now Chairman of the JAC and Allan Hagan is Treasurer.

The Joint Aikikai Council is an umbrella group of major UK Aikido organisations – specifically

British Aikido Federation
UK Aikikai
British Birankai
Komokan Aikido Association
Scottish Aikido Federation
Dynamic Aikido Nocquet

These are the majority of UK Aikido groups officially supported by the International department  of the Hombu Dojo. For more information on the JAC, its origin and role you can check the link jointaikikaicouncil.co.uk

2018 – 50yrs old!!

On behalf of Kanetsuka Sensei and the BAF Committee we wish all the members of the BAF and supporting friends a Happy and Harmonious 2018.
This will be a special year for us as it is the 50th anniversary of the British Aikido Federation.
As such we should make each of our main courses, Spring and Summer School a celebration of those 50 years with the visit of Dojo Cho in October to share with us in celebrating this achievement and to set out on the path for the next 50 years!

We look forward to practicing with you and your support during this special year!

Peter Gillard
BAF Chair

Women in Aikido

Women in Aikido

Some news from the IAF…

 

IAF is launching its #AikidoWomen campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day month in March.

 

To this occasion we seek your contributions!

  1. First phase till 28 Feb: Contributions in the form of photos and articles, or short viewsPlease tell us:
    • What are Aikido women’s experience like in your dojo?
    • How can we encourage more women to practice Aikido?
    • How can we help sustain and prevent women in Aikido from giving up too early?
    • Other questions, views?
    • The best submissions will be collated by Vanessa. She’ll write an article about it to be published in March.
      You can email her directly (in copy of that mail here) or to me. 

2. Second phase starting 1 March-15 March

    Please share on Facebook and tweet photos of women in Aikido. Please use the following 3 hashtags simultaneously:

#Aikido (to share the experience with Aikido practitioners around the world)

#AikidoWomen (hashtag of the campaign)
#IWD2017 (to link to International Women’s Day)

Kind regards,

 

Henriette FLADER

Assistant General Secretary
IAF – International Aikido Federation

flader@aikido-international.org
www.aikido-international.org