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Archive for July, 2011

Junior Summer Timetable 2011

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Junior Aikido Summer Timetable

The Junior timetable will be amended for the summer holidays:

Tuesdays- as normal timetable

Wednesdays- no class

Fridays- one class only 6.15-7.15

(no 5.15-6.15)

 Saturdays- classes as normal timetable

 All Juniors welcome on all classes regardless of grade.

 Juniors also welcome on Thursday morning class 11.00-12.30

 Temporary changes to take effect from Tuesday July 26th until Tuesday 6th  September(classes as normal on 6th)

Lowestoft – Tribute to lost friends 2011

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011


Over Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2011, Broadland Aikido Club once again hosted the annual weekend course which has become so much a part of several Aikido Associations’ calendar.  This year’s event was entitled  “Tribute to Lost Friends,” in honour not only of Senseis Haydn Foster and Pat Narey, whom we have lost since last year’s course, but also all those who sadly have left us over the 13 years the event has been running.

Sensei Frank Burlingham, who organised the first “Big 3″ course in May 1999, started Saturday’s proceedings by thanking the guest Senseis and all the students for attending, but then explained that this was to be the last one, as he considered that the series had arrived at its natural conclusion after the loss of the last of the original instructors.

 Sensei Burlingham explained for newcomers that he had organised that first course by telling each of the three “Big” instructors that the other two had already agreed!  Bit of a risk, of course, but it paid off handsomely.  The “Big 3″ were Senseis Haydn Foster, 7th Dan Institute of Aikido; William Smith, MBE, Shihan of the United Kingdom Aikikai; and Tom Moss, then 5th Dan, later 6th Dan Yama Arashi UK.  So these three Associations came together for the first time, in such a resoundingly successful event that even before the last foot had left the mat, Sensei Burlingham was being asked when the next course was to be held, and had very little option but to start organising what he then decided to call “The Big Three + 1.” 

What Sensei Frank intended, of course, was “The Big 3″ Plus One Year, but by then the three Senseis had discovered his little deception, and they decided that the “+ 1″ would have to be Frank himself!  And again, an outstandingly successful course, characterised not only by the standard and variety of Aikido, but also in the attitude of both students and Senseis, who demonstrated a true Aiki attitude of harmony and friendship with the other Associations, such that people who only saw each other at these courses looked forward to meeting again at the next year’s course.  Indeed, at the Registration desk this year, it was less like an Aikido course and more like a Family re-union!

 The recession has regrettably had some effect on the number of students able to afford the weekend, down slightly from an all-time high one year of about 150 over the weekend of the first course, but still easily high enough to fill the mat comfortably on both days, actually no bad thing when students are using jo and bokken!

 After the unfortunate early loss of Sensei Tom Moss, the next course was dedicated as a Tribute to him, similar dedications being made after Sensei William Smith passed away, and also Shihan Ken Cottier, who had been another guest-instructor. Over the years, other superlative instructors have been invited, including Sensei Shane Riley, 7th Dan of White Rose Aikikai; Sensei Philip Lee of Singapore; Sensei Htun Han (3rd Dan); and Sensei Frank’s own long-term Sensei, Shihan Osamu Obata, 7th Dan,  to name just a few.

 This year’s guests included Sensei Lawson Moore, 5th Dan Institute of Aikido, and long-term friend and associate of Sensei Foster, who demonstrated basic weapons work, but left-handed and in the opposite posture, which definitely presented some special challenges; and Sensei Simon Thackeray, also 5th Dan IoA, who took the first session on Sunday morning and proved that the Chinese are apparently correct in thinking that we Westerners have “Hurry Disease!” 

 Sensei William Timms, also 5th Dan IoA, led an interesting session on Sunday when he talked about and demonstrated the connection between uke and tori, within the technique and ukemi, and also some kata dori attacks and responses, but unfortunately due to travelling-time had to leave before the end of the day, as did Sensei Mario Falaschi, 5th Dan UK Aikikai, whose session concentrated on various yokomen attacks and some very effective responses.

 Sensei Barbara Moss, 5th Dan Principal of the Yama Arashi (UK) Association, included in her class the first half of a kata devised by Sensei Tom, and, being of a petite build, demonstrated convincingly that actually “size DOESN’T matter;” while Sensei Philip Smith has clearly inherited the Bokken-gene from his father, and put this to emphatic effect by demonstrating how techniques with and without the bokken produce exactly the same result on the uke.  He also showed some “fully-prone submission” techniques which resulted in the uke almost achieving escape-velocity!

 Sensei Frank himself, 5th Dan Institute of Aikido and also 5th Dan Hombu (United Kingdom Aikikai), showed us among other things how the balance-point of the jo combines with the twist of the wrist to produce an irresistible posture-break and projection, which judging by the subsequent immediate improvement in technique, clarified for many students the effectiveness of the jo in Aikido.

 But sadly, “All Good Things Come To An End,” and all too soon it was time for the final Reis, the presentation of “Thank-You” gifts from Sensei Frank to the guest-instructors, and thanks to all the students who had attended over this weekend and others in the series – and naturally, as a finale, a swift soda-water (!) in the bar before departure…….

 Although the sequence of courses which began with “The Big Three” has now ended, there is  “light at the end of the tunnel.’  It is planned that the Lowestoft course will return in about two years (as it will probably take that long to organise), but with a different and – hopefully – unique theme; so “Watch This Space!”


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