Xmas Seminar & Grading Malaga


Dear Aikidoka,

Welcome to this “Newsletter” edition. In reality we appear to be slowly becoming more of a magazine; with great articles from Matt Houlton and Dan Ramsden and a view on under 18 years competition aikido from yours truly and we are now starting to receive letters (albeit anonymously)…what all this shows is the growing understanding and breadth of knowledge currently in the UK on Sport Aikido.

As this sharing of information, ideas and views on the sport continues, it can only become stronger for it.  This also suggests perhaps a change in the way we should be thinking about Aikido. When I first started in Aikido it was clear that the sport was being led by a few seniors in the UK, eg: Phil Newcombe for Shodokan, Bob Jones in the BAA and we had Nariyama and Shishida Shihans’ in Japan. There were reasonably clear lines of control and instruction that reflected the size of the sport at that time. But the sport has now changed; there are more senior instructors in both the UK and Japan, and an increasing number across the world. The thinking and development of Aikido as a sport now goes far beyond only the most senior instructors, again, I would refer you to Matt and Dan’s articles as an example. I think if we are to continue to develop we will only do so by recognising that the sport has to embrace a much wider knowledge base from all our members and become increasingly open to new ideas and thoughts. Although it is important to maintain the leadership, administration and responsibility at a senior level, we must also recognise the value and input from the membership as a whole … letters on this subject welcome (published in the next newsletter – anonymous if you prefer!).

Meanwhile, in the remainder of the Newsletter, an update on the Shodokan Aikido Federation (SAF). The new organization under Nariyama Shihan now has 80 clubs worldwide. Any new clubs wishing to join, are welcome to contact the SAF Administrative Officer, Sakai Sensei directly.  SAF also plan to announce the date and details of the next International Aikido Tournament soon.

….on a more local level….

We have been fortunate to have Sensei Mike McCavish, 5th Dan, teaching in clubs around the country until end October (full information on remaining sessions follows) and our congratulations on the marriage of Mike and Natalia! – many of you have met Natalia as she too tours around the country with Mike and in true Aiki style, post wedding, she also attended training that evening! We also said goodbye to the infamous City University, Islington club a few weeks ago.   Many of us have trained there and experienced what Chilean Deep miners must feel like, but a good farewell night and joined by many past members of the dojo including King Goodliffe! (you need to look at the photo…) and we have a very rare photograph of the Newcombe brothers…not long after their release from solitary confinement, (I think..).  Many thanks to all contributors and I would just ask most of you to ignore Martin’s suggestion about doing your own calendars – I have been in many changing rooms around the – I have been in many changing rooms around the Country…please don’t do them…remember, Martin’s is a student club – they have youth on their side!

…important events for the diary …

The 3rd London-Hove Aikido Festival.  A great day of seminars on Saturday with leading international and national Aikido instructors – not to be missed! Followed by a rapidly growing Randori event on the Sunday that will provide a real opportunity to try out your competition skills. With over 30 competitors last year

this is now becoming a regular competitive event in the UK Competition diary.  And finally, for the Juniors, Tanseikan have their next Fun-day in November and plans for a GB < 18years programme.

Chris Stamate