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Chairman’s Correspondence Issue No 2 December 2020

Updated: Mar 9

The Official Newsletter of the BAA Edited by Lee Adams BAA Chairman


Issue No 2 December 2020


From the Chair

2020 was probably the most challenging year for our members, government restriction and subsequent variances meant that many clubs were forced to close and seek novel ways to maintain training with their members, some clubs unfortunately closed their doors for the final time.


As you know Paul Wildish stepped down as chair this year, I would like to add my thanks and gratitude to his work both as Chair and for the production of the popular Shizentai magazine, my thanks also go to the volunteers of the EC who dedicate a vast amount of personal time supporting necessary tasks on behalf of the membership, and finally and by no mean least to those volunteer members who take the leap into the unknown when starting a club so they can continue to share their love of Aikido within their communities.


Tomiki’s legacy is represented by several groups and associations which is small in comparison to other martial arts, my hope for 2021 is that we start a dialogue to put those differences aside so we can come together once more.


Style should never be a barrier it should be a learning opportunity and if we adhere to the principles then I believe we as practitioners are more in line with Tomiki’s vison.


There is a brief respite over the Christmas period to enjoy with family, I and the BAA executive, wish all our members and friends all over the world the very best for the festive holidays.


BAA Club News

Many of you will have been recently contacted by our Club Liaison Officer Paul Holding this is to enable the BAA to understand each clubs current status and to understand what support you may need when you open your doors to students once more, I would like to thank those of you who have already suggested some excellent additions to club support and my hope is that where ever possible the BAA will be able to implement these.


Mentoring groups are being established, usually groups of 8 higher grades (1 Kyu and above) to provide ongoing technical and coaching support. The initial pilot group has been working for over two years and has trained on three occasions with one additional virtual meeting. Bob Jones is in the process of recruiting a further group from the North of England and one from the South of England. Interested parties should contact Bob at either jonesbinw@btinternet.com or ceo@britishaikidoassociation.co.uk or via the general enquires number at the head of this newsletter.


For those clubs needing assistance in getting back into operation please contact the BAA via the general enquires number to discuss how we can help. Bob Jones BAA CEO


BAA Membership portal/ Website/Social Media

After a rigorous due diligence process the BAA is to adopt a system currently used by the British Judo Council to process memberships and provide an interface with coaches and the membership. Agreement now will ensure a system in place by February/March next year. The system is affordable within current budgets due to COVID expenditure savings on competitions squad and meeting costs. The system provides for the EC to interrogate clubs and member data, send direct e mails to the membership, club representatives to have direct access to their members and renewal slips. It is safe and secure and satisfies all GDPR requirements.


Risk Assessment templates are available on the existing British Aikido Association website or by contacting Bob Jones on either jonesbinw@btinternet.com or ceo@britishaikidoassociation.co.uk


The BAA Media/ Website officer has been working tirelessly to reformat and update the website and social media sites.


The Website is also being re designed to be user friendly and modern and have a member’s area. This work is ongoing and again should be ready for February/March next year and a re-launch of the Association. Provision within this will be access to downloadable posters and other marketing materials.


“Leading into the New Year we have been focusing on making our social media platforms and website as inclusive and effective as possible, This means giving you, the members the tools you need online to better your aikido whether that be training coaching or learning new skills such as refereeing. The new website, hopefully, to launch at the end of January, will give you control over your membership and help you get all the information you need. We also hope to improve communication and grow aikido through these platforms too, helping to spread the word of clubs small and large so that we can spread the sport we know and love.”


Chris White


BAA Technical Committee

Zooming in on the future The new Technical Committee has met via Zoom, three times since last October to review the current state of our BAA Clubs, and to plan ways of assisting clubs technically through this crisis and when we are able to reopen fully in 2021.


Zoom lessons are being offered by Technical Committee members, Shaun Hoddy and Paul Bonett and we urge members to take advantage of them. Zoom has offered us a platform we intend to exploit even after the Pandemic has ended. The Technical Committee envisages a more comprehensive use of online media, via YouTube and Zoom providing tailored teaching sessions to Kyu, Dan grades and coaches.


This has also caused us to consider the part that Zoom, or similar platforms can play within our grading structure, particularly when travel is restricted and makes holding gradings difficult. Online gradings have already been conducted at the kyu grade level and the Technical Committee, will be reviewing their viability to fairly assess performance and progress. Expect more information about our intentions to be announced in 2021.


The Technical Committee has also discussed a long-term review of the kyu grade curriculum, where we would like to explore and encourage a greater emphasis on club randori-ho and the self-defence aspect of Tomiki Aikido than we have done of late. Fumiaki Shishida Shihan described Tomiki Aikido, as the ‘Way of Kata and Randori’ and we must never forget that kata informs randori and randori informs kata, but a balance is necessary, and our curriculum must reflect it.


Current members of the Technical Committee are Lee Adams, Harvey Goodman, Bob Jones, Lesley Hepden, Shaun Hoddy, Paul Bonett and Paul Wildish. Each brings their own expertise, experience and technical lineage to the mix, reflecting the BAA’s history of openness to all quality teaching and technical innovation that improves the quality of our Tomiki Aikido and our enjoyment of it. Good luck to all our clubs in 2021.


Paul Wildish BAA Technical Officer


BAA Membership Officer

The Current membership data base will migrate to the new online system as previously described early into Q1 of 2021, this will resolve many of the issues, the new online payment system will also be live in early 2021.


As a reminder, all BAA members who were in date and without arrears, and whose membership renewal becomes/was due between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020 is to have their membership extended by 12 months. The BAA Membership Officer will be amending to ensure this is reflected in membership records.


A list of current, paid up members will also be sent to Club Coaches during the coming weeks so records can be reviewed and amended where required. This will be key as we migrate onto the new database.


Claire Gundy General Secretary / Membership Officer


Remember Train Smart, Train safe


Lee Adams BAA Chair

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