At the beginning of 2021 we wondered if and when we would be able to return to our Dojo’s. A little light began to shine through with the role out of the vaccinations, and slowly the future looked brighter that we might be able to return to practice during the year. So it was, and slowly we started to return, in some cases outside, and because of the regulations weapons became part of regular practice. Of course a lot depended on our clubs and their rules in Leisure Centres, Universities etc. Also, which part of the UK we live in, as the regulations were different in each country.
Importantly, during the year the BAF committee looked to see in what way it could help clubs. The most direct help to encourage clubs is for the BAF to pay insurance and affiliation fees. The decision was made to do this and information was sent out to all clubs and we hope it will be helpful in keeping your clubs going.
The committee is also looking towards the future as things get back to normal, how can we contribute to rebuilding membership. Of course we remain in some uncertainty, wondering how long this current virus wave will last, but importantly for us Spring Course has been booked along with Summer School, also the first National course in Oxford. We certainly are in a better place than last year, we will be moving on, and as events are organised they will added to the list!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the committee who have kept the BAF rolling along during this difficult time. And importantly all you members who have been patient and supportive. Many thanks – without you there will be no BAF! This has been a lesson to us all as we realise how important Aikido has been in our lives, as if we didn’t know before.
We are told we should practice with a “Beginners Mind”. Well this is a good time for BAF students to have a “Beginners Mind” and to look towards a positive future with all our members, from the novice to senior, together!
I wish you all a Very Happy New Year And a Year of Harmony
Peter Gillard BAF Chair