The inaugural British Open Championships was held on 13th June at Thomas Tallis Sports Centre in London. The day ran to time and was enjoyed by both players and officials from the UK, Europe and Japan.

43 competitors took in a variety of embu and randori events representing 12 different clubs. There were 14 referees and judges representing the SAUK and BAA which ensured that the allocation of officials per mat for each event was fair and balanced.

he enthusiastic adolescent score keepers and time keepers who assisted throughout the day helped enormously to ensure a relatively seamless transition from one competition event to the next. Nicole Anson as head Competition referee also played an excellent role in ensuring that standards of randori refereeing were high and consistent.

Effective co-ordination ensured that on the whole both mats were utilised throughout the day, helping to ensure that the event did not overrun. Many players remarked on how well the day went and how they had enjoyed cometing against unknown senior UK players from other associations.

The competitive spirit was tangible as was the camaraderie that was displayed by most aikidoka. The women’s individual randori event particularly deserves a mention due to the huge entry levels, with a record 15 individual women competing together, creating a dynamic
and extremely exciting event to watch.

I would hope that the BAA and SAUK will reflect on the success of this joint venture and strive to ensure that the event is held again next year.

43 Competitors – 12 Participating Clubs:

  • Leeds Central (LDS)
  • Huddersfield (Hudds)
  • Tanseikan (Tnskn)
  • Shodokan Aikido Spain (SAS)
  • University City of London Shodokan (UCLS)
  • Greenhills Tomiki Aikido Ryu (GTAR)
  • Tunbridge Wells Shodokan (TWS)
  • Sheffield Shodokan (SHFSD)
  • University of Leeds Shodokan (ULS)
  • Greenwich Shodokan (GS)
  • Sussex Sports Aikido (SSA)
  • Shodokan Scotland (SS)