A persons Aikido improves greatly from training with different people. For this reason it is important to attend Gasshuku (合宿, Training Camps) when possible. Aikido is a community activity so there are many courses and seminars throughout the year.
This is by far our most important event, every year in August the B.A.F. holds its week long summer school. This is something of a showcase event attended by many aikidoka from the U.K. and abroad (including the Russian Aikido Federation, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Japan to name but a few). The Star attraction each year is a visiting Shihan from the Honbu Aikikai Foundation, most commonly over recent years Mr. Yukimitsu Kobayashi (7th Dan Hombu), Mr. Shigeru Sugawara (7th Dan Hombu), and Takeshi Kanazawa (7th Dan Hombu) providing excellent instruction and insight to Aikido.
There is also the opportunity to attend classes with British shihans Mr. Matthew Holland Shihan (7th Dan Hombu) of the S.A.F. with his direct and honest approach, both who deliver superb classes, Mr. Ian McClarence Shihan (6th Dan Hombu), and Mr. Don Morgan Shihan (6th Dan Hombu) with an accumulation of over 80 years experience between them. Not forgetting that it is an opportunity to attend classes of the other B.A.F. Shidoin each offering there own facets of the many sided jewel that is Aikido.
Summer School Is where all the B.A.F. senior grading are taken under the quality control of the visiting instructor.
Besides this there is the social side also apres training is very important, many of the dojos gather for meals or drinks and of course the odd party. The week is ended with the Gala Dinner and traditional knees up, raffle and initiation of new dan grades, much fun is had by all.
The Venue: Chester University, City Of Chester
This Year is: 17th until 24th August 2019
Visiting Shihan: Mr. Takeshi Kanazawa (7th Dan Hombu)
An important Weekend course in the B.A.F. calendar featuring Senior B.A.F. Shihan and other Senior instructors, in previous years this has been Our late Technical Director Minoru Kanetsuka Shihan and Mr. Holland Shihan.
Currently Mr. McClarence and Mr. Morgan feature at Spring Course. It is important for people taking senior grades to attend so the grading committee can look at their Aikido.
Venue : Chepstow
These Are Technical and Teaching courses from the lead Shihan they take place over a saturday and sunday. The venue is usually the university of Oxford. These courses are an important part of senior training and are mandatory parts of the grading process. Often either Mr McClarence or Mr Morgan take part of the Session each. These events are commonly where Dan grade certificates are presented.
Next Course Date:
Outside of the B.A.F. there are a number of Aikido and related courses Some are run through the J.A.C. (Joint Aikido Council) which represents the Hombu recognises associations in the U.K. These are a good opportunity to expand your Aikido knowledge and experience different practises. .