The prospect of the Summer school returning to Leeds, with a new venue, after a four year absence provided a new impetuous to training in the region. Four leading coaches provided a diverse range of input over the three days. Many clubs were represented, York, Epic, Leeds, Yon Ju Hachi, Tanseikan, Tatsumaki, Bradford, Skipton, Sheffield, Wakefield, Manchester, Eastleigh, Southampton, Huddersfield and Wharfedale with over 70 participants.

Steve Evans entertained and enthused through the exploration balance breakers especially for Randori and demonstrating the importance of technique over strength in the execution of good freeplay. For the juniors he performed randori fun drills introducing them to active play. His sessions were both active and informative.

Vanda Fairchild’s sessions were quite varied and focused on hontai no tsukuri, 6 directional avoidance, some tanto kaeshi waza combinations, tanto tsukiari exercises, tanto atemi waza and ridatsu (escapes) against tanto. For the juniors Vanda provided insight into directional avoidance, tanto kakarigeiko and techniques from grasps.

Gitte Wolput provided a very thought provoking session focusing on inner power and concentration to enhance technique both for embu and randori.

Bob Jones explored aspects of Kime no Kata, a part kneeling Kodokan Judo Kata with many and varied links to Aikido. The second session focused on kokyu techniques and the importance of correct breathing during the execution of technique.

The grading overseen by a panel of five senior practitioners, Vanda Fairchild, Bob Jones, Mark Aldridge, Paul Holding and Nicole Anson led to four Dan grade promotions including: –

  • Natulie Smalle to 3rd Dan
  • Dominic Cheshire to 1st Dan
  • Seb Jackson to 1st Dan
  • Nathan Lomax – Cooke to 1st Dan

The summer school North is now looking forward to next year and its 42nd year of providing high quality and interesting Aikido to the membership.