Category : News

Aikido News

Updated: Message from the Chairman

To all British Aikido Federation Members..

Dear Friends

I hope you and your families have kept safe during these times.

When the first ” lock down” finished we had hoped by this time we would be moving towards getting back to our Dojos and returning to practice , even wondering if it would able to run a weekend course.

I know some of us were able to start practicing with weapons outside and a short time ago were able to move inside following the “Covid regulations “.
I know some were not able to get back for different reasons but hoping to get back soon !

Unfortunately we are now back under new regulations, albeit different in each of the four countries.

Lets hope we can return to the Dojo as soon as possible .

In the mean time following the Doshu’s message we should look forward with positive minds to coming together once again and sharing our practice.

I’m sure of one thing, we will appreciate the practice of Aikido and our fellow members more than ever, making up for lost time and building for the future when we return.

O’Sensei’s Aikido was not only for the Dojo but for everyday living with its principles and solo exercises, as also with the practices Kanetsuka Sensei shared with us can be practiced anywhere.

We are being promised a light at the end of the tunnel so lets move positively back into the Dojo when we can and develop our practice within what ever regulations to keep safe.

Take care everyone

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)


Comment regarding insurance at this time

Dear JAC Member organisation contact,

In response to the BAB missive on withholding insurance to their members during the COVID 19 Lock down.

The JAC committee members have discussed the response of the BAB and have chosen to not react.

To suspend insurance would create a lot of work and expense because the JAC recently renewed the insurance with Hiscox. There is no provision for the present situation within the policy and cancellation at this stage would be subject to cancellation fees.

The membership would save little and the JAC would gain a significant expense to no real purpose.

Indeed, it would be impossible to calculate rebates etc on an individual scale as people will return to training at different times and for what they would get back, it creates much more work than it is reasonable to expect us to do.

We feel that the BAB have done this to actively stop people practising.

We also feel that the JAC membership is sensible enough to follow UK Gov directions and advice without issue or question in this unique time.

Best Regards

Joint Aikikai Council Committee

New Year wishes from the Chairman

To all members and friends,
This once again is the time we look forward to the New Year, and indeed a new decade. But it is also a time for reflection on the passed year. It was possibly the worst year for the BAF since our founding. The passing of Kanetsuka Shihan was a great loss to his natural family and to his Aikido family and leaves a huge hole in the hearts of both families. We in the BAF will honour Sensei’s legacy by continuing to study hard to understand the principles of Sensei’s practice which he had worked hard to share with us over the years he was with us. We hope one day we may grasp a part of Sensei’s teaching and know he would have been happy with our progress… in that way at least, we can repay Sensei for his teaching.

Now we look forward to the New Year and indeed a New Era for the BAF and us all. For the first time since our foundation we are without a Japanese Shihan at our head. We are moving into new territory which will be a learning period for us all. So I ask everyone to be patient as we work to develop the situation we find ourselves in, for all our members. Most important is that we continue to work on our practice, to develop our BAF instructors, to strengthen the BAF membership working with you the members, and to continue our connection with the Hombu and it’s visiting Shihan.
This is not only for the New Year but the New Decade

Many thanks for your support to each and every member.
A Happy New Year and I hope in Harmony to all.

Peter Gillard
BAF Chairman

Seasons Greetings from the IAF

Dear IAF member friends,
As we look back upon the past year, we would like to acknowledge those who have
helped us shape our initiatives. Thanks for a great year, and we wish you all the best as
we embark on 2020.
The global environment surrounding Aikido keeps changing and bringing new
challenges and opportunities. The IAF has taken the task to work closer, more than
ever, with Aikikai Hombu Dojo under the leadership of Doshu and Dojocho. We have
also received numerous suggestions and collaboration to our initiatives from our
members and this has allowed us to have a fruitful year as you have seen from our 6
month reports.
The team representing you all is small and budget is limited but we have tried to
dedicate our time and efforts in anticipation of the coming challenges and prepare to
take on actions that matters and that will be of great importance to Aikikai in general.
While we have not been able to focus equally to all the regions of the world, we have
embarked to try and expand our scope of geographic coverage as well as on topics as
you will see in the International Aikido Summit of 2020.
IAF is a member based organization for friendship but as Aikikai continues to recognize
newer organizations around the world, it becomes crucial for us, not only to provide the

platform for friendship and activities but to extend some coverage to those who are
Aikikai recognized entities that are outside of the current IAF structure. As Doshu
directed “all those Aikikai recognized entities that wish to join IAF, should be able to join
IAF, if they so desire” is a mission for IAF. This directive matches the requirements of
the international organizations such as GAISF that expect that our IAF members
represent the largest share of Aikido practitioners in each country.
IAF, under the directions of Aikikai, will strive to promote a stronger Aikikai identity
through the web and through some events and activities. Your assistance, contributions
and suggestions will always be welcome.
During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our
success possible. It is in this spirit that we say thank you and best wishes for the
holidays and New Year.
Best regards,
Kei Izawa
International Aikido Federation

New Club in Preseli

Opening in the new year Preseli Aikido.

The Dojo head is Alice Courvoisier, 1st Dan Aikikai and Level 2 Aikido coach for the British Aikido Federation.

Alice started her Aikido journey in 2002 and has been training under the direction of Sensei Ken Marsden, 6th Dan, Shihan, whilst living in Yorkshire until June 2019 ( She regularly attends the British Aikido Federation Summer School in August and other national courses.

Full details can be found at Preseli Aikido

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