On the 10th of July the UKA held a EGM to review and consequently pass certain amendments to the UKA constitution. The details of the changes have been circulated but are available from Guy. Broadly they consisted of required housekeeping amendments and clarification of the setting up and administering a new House.
As many of you are aware a number of senior students made the unilateral decision in November 2015 to form a new House with a proposed commencement date of 1st January this year. There followed 3 months of negotiation and meetings, but due to the personal aspirations of certain GSK members and the continuing divergence of the technical direction of UKA/Hombu and GSK a split was the inevitable consequence. GSK resigning from the UKA last month. After 40 years this is a regrettable situation not least for the 38 students of GSK, but we wish them all well on their continuing aikido journey.
This year we are privileged to be able to welcome a new Hombu Dojo teacher for Summer School. Sugawara sensei wrote to me earlier this year explaining he would not be able to take part in UKA Summer School he felt that it was time for the younger generation of Hombu teachers to be our visiting instructor. Katsurada sensei is a 6th Dan Hombu teacher, he has taught at many international seminars but has never been to the UK. I am certain that we will enjoy his teaching.
Following the massively successful visit by Dojo Cho last year, this further demonstrates the close association we have established with Hombu Dojo.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Kevin Ginns, who after 9 years has resigned from the role of membership coordinator. His contribution to the success of UKA has been very considerable. Martin Penrose has agreed to take over in this role, please give him your full support.
The UKA would like welcome around 50 new members from dojos in the north of England who have joined Ren Shin Kan under the guidance and direction of Philip Smith. I am negotiating with another group of 100 members who expressed an interest of become part of the UKA. I see this as the start of an influx of Aikikai dojos looking to be part of the Aikikai family in the UK.
In June this year Peter Brown undertook a 3-week training visit to Kimori in Japan as a guest of Suwada Shihan….he was the Shihan that accompanied Dojo cho during his visit last summer. I understand that is was an immensely successful trip during which Suwada sensei agreed to be our guest at our winter course next year, the exact details will follow shortly.
Finally, 5 years ago I instigated the creation of the Kensankai, giving the opportunity for ‘younger’ teachers to take a leading role in the teaching and running of the UKA. With the change this year of Hombu teacher to a Shihan of the younger generation, it has brought into focus the planning of the medium and long term future of the UKA. Clearly advanced middle age is bearing down on many of the Shihankai members with health problems as an accompaniment!
The Shihankai have decided to gradually expand the roles and the membership of the Kensankai over the next 3 years.
The Kensankai will run several regional courses every year open to any UKA member of 3kyu and above who have aspirations of becoming an aikido teacher.
At Summer School this year the Kensankai will interview a number of senior members who will be invited to join their ranks over the next 3 years. These members will be expected to attend the Kensankai courses where their teaching presentation can be accessed, they will then be given teaching opportunities at the main UKA national courses and Summer School. To make way for these new teachers the Shihankai will take a (small!) Step back.
This initiative reinforces the UKA’s aim to be a forward looking, progressive organisation, the UK is littered with the remains of once good aikido groups who have not successfully embraced the very challenging transition from one generation to the next. The departure from the UKA of GSK typifies the problem.
Please make an effort to support the UKA Summer School on this defining year.