It was my intention this summer to travel round all l the UKA dojos to promote ongoing unity for the future success of the UKA. Unfortunately, I have had a bit of a health issue so was unable to complete this commitment. Hopefully this is behind me so I will look forward to completing the ‘UK tour’ later in the year.
This year we are fortunate to be able to welcome back Kobayashi sensei to our Summer School. His dynamic aikido and approachable, outgoing personality makes him a very popular teacher. I understand he is changing his aikido style, look forward to seeing that!
The residential numbers are down this year so please try to support our major event as much as possible as day visitors. There is no formal meal this year but there is a barbecue on Wednesday evening, there are a limited number of places so please book when you arrive on Saturday morning. Just to note the new format is a full day Saturday no half day Wednesday and finish Thursday.
This year there are more Shodan and Nidan candidates than senior ranks, a far healthier balance. It is worth mentioning that the UKA policy is, and has been for many years, to adopt Hombu timescales between grades plus approximately 50%. It is the instructor who should decide when a student is ready for a promotion test not the student who counts the days till the timescale is reached.
In 2018 Summer School is moving to Worcester university. After 15+ years at Harpers it’s time for a fresh approach to SS. We owe Sue Hayward a massive vote of thanks for the countless hours the family have spent organising the event for so long. Worcester is offering a greater choice of accommodation (from £27), city centre 30 minutes walk away and a more flexible approach to organisation. We will be able to book on line with UKA members been given a 10% early booking and 10% membership discount. More details to follow.
We have approached Hombu dojo with a request for a ‘junior’ Shihan to be our guest instructor at Winter Course next year. The success of WC 2017 (147 students on the mat) means that it is a sustainable event option. Hombu acknowledge the important role the JAC has in the development of Aikido in the UK and have requested that the JAC membership be part of this event, which we are happy to fall into line with. The discount element above will apply the UKA members.
The UKA registrar is Martin Penrose, he is working with Jeff Christie to put the final touches to the UKA online registration site which should go live before SS. This will simplify the administration and give Martin his Sundays back again!
I would like to clarify the role and status of, what where called, associated members. On a directive from the insurance company they now hold full UKA membership but not House membership. Each of these groups have a direct technical direction and association with a Hombu registered Shihan living abroad, therefore they are not holding nor seeking Aikikai grades emanating from the UKA. If any members would wish to take Yudansha examinations under the auspices of UKA Shihan they would of course be required to join a UKA House, but at the present time these groups motives are the use JAC insurance and to be part of the Aikikai family in the UK. As UKA members they are, of course, welcome to take part in any UKA event.
If you wish you can contact me regarding any of the above, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to seeing you at Harpers for the final time!