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.