The Winchester Spring School 2015 provided an opportunity for over 50 Aikidoka to practise and share experience both on and of the mat. The school itself has been growing over the years and is now established as regular BAA event hosted by Francis Burgess and many helpers from his club at the Winchester Lido.

Clubs came from far and wide including Leeds, Wakefield, Brighton, Herne Bay, EPIC, Newbury, Sheffield, Bristol and Winchester.

Instructors from varied backgrounds gave strong and interesting instruction covering a wide range of topics.

  • Lindsey Comens demonstrated techniques from the Daito Ryu school, which for many provided some interesting links between traditional and Tomiki approaches.
  • Paul Wildish undertook to teach the Dai Ichi; a traditionally focused Tomiki Kata.
  • Bob Jones focused on a kneeling techniques
  • Ilya Solonitsyn from Russia engaged the class with a unique approach focusing on inner power and generation of movement

The coaching course provided for seven more newly qualified BAA Coaches to teach at their respective clubs.

I really enjoyed attending this years spring school, it was good fun practicing with higher grades and people from different clubs. My favorite part was learning grasp techniques because I could perform them quickly and properly. The weekend has been lots of fun learning new aspects of aikido with new instructor and making lots of new friend.

Matthew Millen Age 11, Green Belt, Eastleigh Aikido Club.

Sarah Fletcher organised a number of coaches for the juniors who thoroughly enjoyed their experience including the grading on the Sunday.

The senior grading saw for the first time both traditional and Tomiki practitioners grading together under the revised grading regulations. The grading was difficult and exacting with eleven out of the 15 candidates achieving their next grade including 6 new Dan grades:

  • Jack Wilson
  • Sam Mossaheb
  • Jack Sharpe
  • Johnathan Hedley,
  • Darren Bird
  • Peter J Hall.

It was a great weekend including the social barbeque with exchanges of ideas and techniques making it enjoyable for everyone – if you weren’t there you missed a treat.

Course Report Bob Jones