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Aikido News

Kanetsuka Family message

Following the sad events earlier in the year when the Kanetsuka Family and the BAF lost Kanetsuka Sensei, members of the BAF may wish to read the letter from the family.

Dear BAF Senior Committee,

We hope this email finds you well, despite the weather we have been experiencing recently.

This is an open letter from the Kanetsuka family and may be reproduced and distributed within the BAF as you deem appropriate.

Now that some time has passed since the funeral, we, the family, wished to express our sincerest thanks for the BAF’s support through such a difficult and emotional chapter.
As is always the case with such events, there is never one correct or ‘good’ way to handle all of the various arrangements, invitations and communication that is required. However, we are acutely aware that it would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the BAF, with special thanks, of course, to the Senior Committee members. We feel that we were able to pay our respects to the wonderful father, husband and sensei that he has been to us all, to the best of our ability under such circumstances.

Further to this, the family are indebted to the BAF for the all of the kindness, help and support, both inside and outside of the dojo, across the many years and decades gone. This year’s Summer School will surely have a different air to it, and it is our hope that whilst this will be a year of remembrance and reflection, it will also be a year that marks the continuation and the future development of the Federation across the many years and decades to come.
Far from being a ‘brief candle’, we, the family, look forward to taking on this splendid torch and keeping it burning as brightly as he did for future generations – as we hope you all will too!

While it is not her intention to be actively involved in the BAF, Mami will of course make herself available if there is any need at all.

With our deepest and most heartfelt regards to each and every member of the British Aikido Federation,

The Kanetsuka family


Our Chairman’s response…

Dear Toby,

On behalf of the committee and the members of the BAF,
thank you for your email.
It was a privilege to work alongside you and all of Sensei’s family during that sad time and share all our feelings of loss.
In many ways I believe we are all part of Sensei’s family, I hope you don’t mind me saying.

As you mentioned this year’s Summer School will approached with mixed feelings. The joy of coming together to practise and the feeling of a large imported part missing. That of our long time instructor, guide and friend our
Kanetsuka Sensei.

Mami tells me she is find it hard at moment it will take some time I’m sure but our thoughts are with her and we hope when she is ready she will return to practice.

It is up to us now to face the reality of his passing and to pay back all we owe him by taking the BAF and our practice forward in to the future with his legacy and to try our best to live up to his hopes that one day we may understand what he had worked hard to share with us.

It was very special to met all Sensei’s family it was a pity at such a sad time but I hope you know you welcome to keep in touch with the BAF as we go forward knowing your father will always be with us in spirit

Deepest Regards
Peter Gillard
Chairman BAF

2019 Summer School gradings

2019 Summer School Grading 
6th Kyu
Shuxiang CAOOxford
4th Kyu
Vanilla SHIBristol University
3rd Kyu
Diana GIURAAshby Folville
2nd Kyu
Chris MITCHELLKillingworth
Phil NORWELLAshby Folville
Paul NORWELLAshby Folville
David SANDERSONKillingworth
1st Kyu
Denham PHIPPSWagokan (Manchester)
Simon BENNETTGreenwich
Eloi PEREZWagokan (Manchester)
1st Dan
Drew DEAVESShobukan (Cardiff)
John ALARCONWagokan (Manchester)
Keith HARRISGenbukan (Macclesfield)
James HAYESWhitechapel
Mitch TULLOCHGreenwich
Lorraine GOMEZWagokan (Manchester)
2nd Dan
Peris CALEPort Talbot
Paul ADKINSMalvern
Nigel KAYWagokan (Manchester)
Ivan BOYADZHIEVMalvern
Vinicius EGERLANDGreenwich
Gilberto ALMEIDAGreenwich
3rd Dan
Martin HUGHESRyusuikan (Chester)
Brian COURTShobukan (Cardiff)
Maria BALAEVAWagokan (Manchester)
Adrian JENKINSShobukan (Cardiff)
Frank TRANRyushinkan (Deventer)
John STEPHENSGenbukan (Macclesfield) (KB 2020)
4th Dan
Caroline SMITHWagokan (Manchester)
Nick BELSHAWOxford (KB 2020)
5th Dan
Andy KINGMenai (KB 2020)
Andy MARGINSONRyusuikan (Chester) / Budokan (Colwyn Bay) (KB 2020)
6th Dan
Alex MEGANNShiseikan (Southampton) (KB 2020)
Allan HAGANShobukan (Cardiff) (KB 2020)
7th Dan
Ian McCLARENCESeishinkan (Newcastle) (KB 2020)
Don MORGANPort Talbot (KB 2020)
KB 2020 - signifies recommended promotion yet to be confirmed by Hombu. if successful these promotions will be announced in the 2020 KagamiBiraki

SummerSchool approaching!

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.

Course Hilight

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.

Spring Course – a time for reflection

Dear all

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)

Minoru Kanetsuka Shihan

It is with deep sadness I find myself writing this about our Sensei.
Although Sensei has been unwell for some time it came as a shock when Mami San informed us of his passing on Friday.
To many of the seniors in the BAF, Sensei’s passing is more than a loss of their instructor, it is the loss of someone with whom they have walked a long road together. From the times when they shared the practice with him in classes with Chiba Sensei, through the hard times of his cancer, after which his thoughts and practice developed and would continue to develop for the rest of his time.
As Sensei developed, so we would try to climb that mountain with him, but he would have to come back again and again to show us were we where going wrong. But this he did and he made that part of his practice.
Kanetsuka Sensei has lived a very full life.
In university he trained with Shioda Sensei and was a Nidan in Yoshinkan Aikido. During those time he also met Fujita  Sensei who would become an  important part of his and the BAF in the future! Life took Kanetsuka Sensei to many places. To Katmandu where he not only opened a restaurant, he also became friends with the Royal Family! He worked in many jobs in India. In fact, sitting with Sensei and listening to his stories made you wonder how he managed to fit so much into his life.
After Chiba Sensei’s departure from the UK, Sensei became BAF Technical Director and from then he also spent time travelling to Greece, the Netherlands and South Africa and in all these countries he held a similar position. He visited many countries during those years and importantly built special relationships with Russia and Poland which have lasted through to today.
 Kanetsuka Sensei gave his life to Aikido and he will be missed, leaving an empty space not only in the BAF but in the hearts of many.
An important part of history has passed in losing Kanetsuka Sensei and it is for us to carry on with Aikido as Sensei would wish!
I know you will all join me in sending our condolences to Mami, Masaki, Miyuki and to the whole Kanetsuka family!
Peter Gillard Shihan – 10th March

New Year Message from our Chairman

To all Members as we begin a New Year,
Firstly on behalf of the committee, our thanks to you all for your support during the last year.
As another year comes to an end we look back at the highs and lows of 2018. Unfortunately the low point of the year came on hearing the news that Kanetsuka Sensei  had been taken ill. During the year he was unable to attend the Spring Course and to our great disappointment was also not able to attend Summer School, and indeed following that Sensei could not make Dojo Cho’s visit to Manchester. Also, the courses at Oxford, Bristol and Cardiff which Sensei has taken over many,many years, he was sadly missed.
We send our Best Wishes to Kanetsuka Sensei and look forward to his full recovery in the New Year and his return to the Dojo to share his Aikido once more with us all.
The visit of Dojo Cho to the UK to help celebrate the BAF’s 50th anniversary was a great success all round. Many thanks to the support of Dojo Cho over the weekend, and for the efforts of Sue and Dave Yates which made the event a great success. It was also special that Dojo Cho brought with him a group of young Japanese students to take part and share the practice, this I’m sure with an eye to the future. I hope we can strengthen the connection between the British Aikido Federation and the Hombu Dojo.
    As Dojo Cho said in his speech, he looks forward to returning for our 60th and we certainly do!
Now we must look forward to 2019 and what that will bring…
As I have said before, firstly we hope for Kanetsuka Sensei’s return to health, also to Holland Sensei’s full recovery and we look forward to his support as always during the year.
We also look forward to Kanazawa Sensei returning to Chester this year and we will give our full support for Summer School.
A New Year means a new beginning, to look at our own practice, Kyu grade or Dan grade, student or instructor, is our individual practice developing, is our Dojo developing? Both these things are important to build for the future of Aikido. In todays world were will that future take us? For a strong future we must build on a strong past. As each year passes we move further away from the Founder’s time but we must not move further away from O’Sensei’s Aikido principles, and we must ask ourselves what will we pass on.
So lets look forward to the next 50 years of the British Aikido Federation, developing through each and everyone of it’s members, it’s practice, and understanding of Aikido
A Happy New Year to Everyone
Peter Gillard
BAF Chair
Rhaid i chi fod yn ddewr i fod yn greadigol

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