Newsletter – December 2016
As the holiday time approaches I would like to wish all UKA members a Happy Christmas and a healthy, happy and rewarding new year.
Personally, I have not had a good 2016, so I am looking forward to a new start in 2017. The UKA had mixed fortunes, we lost a number of old colleagues and students, but the resulting cohesion and harmony within the UKA was very evident at SS. Again, on the positive side, we attracted many more new members than we lost.
Summer School was moderately successful, our new visiting Shihan Katsurada sensei, presented us with challenging aikido, which I enjoyed very much but left many members struggling to find the connection with what Sugawara and Kobayashi Sensei have taught us over the years. The fundamental principles of his teaching were the same…relaxed contact, flexible centre, strong posture, but packaged in a very practical concept. We need to work on this to get a better understanding of the ‘style’ of a very talented and valued Hombu dojo teacher.
the UKA is privileged to be able to welcome Sawada sensei to our Winter course
Into 2017 the UKA is privileged to be able to welcome Sawada sensei to our Winter course, this is the first time we have been able to have a Japanese Shihan to our first course of the year. Hopefully this will be repeated in coming years. Again, I would like to thank Peter Brown for making this possible. It will be a major event for the UKA with many visitors from other organisations here in the UK and overseas attending. Please to your best to support this event.
We have decided to keep UKA summer school at Harper Adams for 2017, fortunately Kobayashi sensei once again has agreed to be our guest teacher.
Having said that we want to give SS a fresh look. Training will begin on Saturday morning, so there will be 2 full days of practice on the weekend. We intend to ‘market’ this as a ‘weekend course with Kobayashi sensei’ to attract students outside the UKA. There will be no half day on Wednesday and SS will finish on Thursday evening not Friday.
There will be no formal meal but a BBQ on Wednesday for everyone. Other events during the week will be notified later.
Most of the negative feedback we received from SS was around the high cost. The UKA overheads… flights, fees, transport and dojo rent are derived from mat fees alone, the accommodation is organised at cost. As an alternative, we will publish this year a list of local B and Bs, campsites and cheap hotel for those wishing to make cost savings.
Closer to home, under the direction of Phil Smith, Dudley Dojo has undergone a facelift, new changing rooms where the mat was and a new larger pillar free dojo. Grand opening in some time in the New Year!
I believe that the priority for us all in 2017 is to further develop the unity and interconnection of the membership of the UKA Houses, if we fail in this the UKA will simply evolve over the coming years to be just an administrative body. For my part I intend to visit as many dojos, on the regular class nights, in 2017 as possible in an effort rebuild the cohesion that we had in the past.
Finally, we are undergoing an accurate documentation of UKA dojos throughout the UK in order that we furnish the insurance company with accurate information. The House Principles will send copies of the document to all affiliated Dojos. These need to be returned by the end of January before the February renewal. ….No form no insurance!!!
Again, best wishes for Christmas and New Year.