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AIKIDO IN THE NEWS

BIG THREE SEMINAR in GREAT BRITAIN
by
Chris Metcalfe, Broadland Aikido Club

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The Big Three special weekend of training was hosted by Hayden Foster, 6th Dan and chief instructor of the Institute of Aikido, William Smith, 6th Dan and chief instructor of the United Kingdom Aikikai, and Thomas Moss, 5th Dan and chief instructor of the Yama - Arashi, UK.

The very large turnout of over 140 people on both days made this seminar one of the largest non-national courses, in England. The Waveney Leisure Center of Lowestoft Suffolk was leased out, to accommodate the overwhelming response to this event. The hall fitted all 245 mats, giving the attendees plenty of room to work out. All 245 mats were installed just one hour before the course began. This was an astronomical feat of organization and timing. Well orchestrated, the last mat was just placed down on the floor just as the clock struck one o’clock, the time the seminar was due to start.

Hayden Foster opened the seminar emphasizing correct hip movements and breathing. This would be his theme for the entire weekend. In Jo and bokken practice, he used the large and flowing movements typical of his extensive training, to demonstrate proper breathing, distance and timing.

William Smith continued by demonstrating the correct use of bokken techniques against an attacking partner, and lecturing on Aikido’s birth. His focus in the class stressed that the techniques for higher grades and beginners are really of no critical difference. However, the only real difference is how hard and focused the move was performed and how experienced or inexperienced your partner was.

Students of every level rank enjoyed a vigorous workout. Mr. Smith’s class consisted of Ikkyo (1st technique), Shihonage (4 direction), with tenkan and irimi-tenkan. A majority of the attendees found their experiences so enjoyable, that they openly expressed a desire for Mr. Smith to give another session, the next day.

Thomas Moss demonstrated his usual flowing and lightening fast throws made famous by the Yama-Arashi. The waza he implemented involved holding your uke by the sleeve or lapel. This characterized the familiar Aiki-leading motion that became his theme for the class. Overcoming the strength of your partner by bending your arm and relaxing as you tenkan. (Turning on the front foot outwards or inwards to break posture)

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Over 70 people attended the Saturday banquet at the Bo Lee Chinese restaurant. This was truly a credit to Mr. Broadly, to take such a large booking. Everyone expressed having a very enjoyable and exciting time.

The seminar was well attended by Clubs of different styles and organizations such as: Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, Birmingham and Coventry, Reading and London, Grimsby, and not to forget the two hardy Scot's that made an epic 11 hour journey from Edinburgh to attend this course. (Thank you Lawson and Lin.)

All three instructors mentioned how happy they were to see people from different organizations training together, putting aside politics in order to further the art we all love and complimented each other on their different Aikido styles.

My thanks and appreciation not only go to instructors Foster, Smith and Moss for their excellent instruction, but to all those the clubs and individuals who attended the Broadland Aikido Club seminar and have supported us through the years.

Accolades and thanks to many: Carl Cook for supplying the transport as well as physically moving 200 mats in and out of his van. Thanks to Alan Puring, Jason Burridge and Lee Staff for helping with the running of the seminar. Also, special mention to Ken Stevens, who took on the duty of organizing, installing, and taking up of some 245 mats. Ken also used his influence with the Leisure center staff to find us an additional 45 much needed mats on the morning of the seminar, to compliment the 200 mats we already had.

Submitted by Chris Metcalfe, Broadland Aikido Club

  

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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
1978 C. Matrasko

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1/4/2002