This was the first formal meeting of the JAC (Joint Aikido Council) since we resigned from the BAB (British Aikido Board) and became financially integrated. The committee status quo was retained with Gordon Jones, Guy Needler, and David Yates as Chair, General Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
There was a vote of thanks from the floor to Sue Yates, who manages the memberships, and David Yates and Guy Needler for the tremendous amount of work they have put in to get the JAC functioning as a professional body. Overall the JAC has gone from strength to strength; it now has 1700 members, with 114 dojos in seven organisations. The finances are currently very healthy, with a balance of £6500. The consensus of the meeting was that this sum be kept in reserve and the funds accrued over the next year used for the direct benefit of the members. Suggestions included a ‘free’ course with a Hombu Shihan, and subsidised coaching courses.
Over the last few months there have been a number of groups who have expressed a desire to join the JAC. At the meeting we agreed a number of policies that would allow limited affiliation. Guy has written up the full details, which are available on request. As a general outline: for groups that have Hombu direct recognition, JAC membership will follow if requested. For groups that have a working relationship with an aikikai shihan and consequently hold aikikai ranks, then membership of the JAC will be through an existing foundation group.
For those groups that aspire to achieve a Hombu connection they can also join through a foundation member, but will be subject to coaching monitoring for insurance requirements. The JAC has grown to become a manifestation of the principles of aikido in the broader, far-reaching sense. It is warmly appreciated and valued by Hombu dojo as a working, international illustration of how differing aikido groups can work in harmony. The JAC policy document has already been given to many international groups who have found difficulty in establishing a working relationship with one another.
It is achievement that we all can be justifiably proud to be part of.