A great wave of aikido crested and rolled into Herne Bay Judo Club at this year’s BAA Autumn School. Teaching this year were Lesley Hepden 7th Dan, Paul Wildish 6th Dan and Paul Bonett 5th Dan.

Lesley Hepden began the weekend’s programme by teaching the receptive and eager audience the Koryu dai Ni. When Lesley Hepden is teaching you take note, if you want to learn this kata intimately. No one teaching in the UK or Europe today is closer to the source, for
Lesley studied in Japan the Koryu no Kata under Hideo Ohba Shihan’s personal direction. Lesley also trained with Takeshi Inoue Sensei, a close student of Ohba, during his long stay and subsequent visits to the UK. Inoue Sensei took ukemi for Ohba Shihan and was one of his top students during the time he was developing the Koryu no Kata. Lesley’s knowledge of the Koryu no Kata is profound and all BAA members should try to get to one of her sessions to experience her teaching directly.

Paul Bonett is another expert in his field and gave his always engaging and enthusiastic rendering of Shodokan practice for tanto kaeshi waza. Travelling every year to train at Nariyama Sensei’s Shodokan Hombu (HQ) Dojo in Osaka, Japan, Paul Bonett manages to keep himself up to date with current practice.

In this way Paul’s transmission contributes greatly to our knowledge of Tomiki Aikido in its many forms and interpretation and helps keep that synthesis that the BAA aspires to. Paul Bonett taught both the formal tanto kaeshi (counters) waza kata and randori applications
which were received enthusiastically by the participants with great attention to practice.

Paul Wildish introduced the concepts behind the proposed new Toshu Randori rules and looked at the issues of kuzushi, tsukuri and how to make techniques more effective. In his final session he led a very well received ‘weapons workshop’ where dai san weapon variations were shared.