Oct 312021

The General Assembly of the International Aikido Federation has taken place via electronic means. A new Directing Committee has been elected. 17 countries became IAF Members and 4 countries became IAF Associate Members.

On the 13th of October 2021, 120 participants joined the General Assembly of the International Aikido Federation. Considering the global pandemic, the only solution for joining representatives from countries around the world was through electronic means. Therefore, the platform for the meeting was Zoom and the platform for the confidential voting system was Election Runner.

Aikido Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, President of the IAF, opened the meeting with a speech and also did the closing remarks.

The official reports of the Chairman, the General Secretary and the Treasurer were approved without objections. Also, the Statute and the Fee Structure were revised in order to keep with current times.

17 new country members joined the IAF: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cuba, India, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, North Macedonia, Peru, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Turkey and Polynesia.

4 countries joined as IAF Associate Members: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Malta and Tunisia.

A new Directing Committee was elected inside the General Assembly. The new team is as follows:

Chairman – mr. Wilko Vriesman
General Secretary – mr. Dorin Marchis
Vice Chairman – mr. Kei Izawa
Assistant General Secretary – mr. Corrie Human
Advisor from Aikikai – mr. Shoichi Kamiya
DC Member – ms. Yoko Okamoto
DC Member – mr. Charlie McGinnis
DC Member – mr. Adam Manikowski
DC Member – mr. Frederic Heylbroeck
Treasurer – mr. Satoshi Kaga

Dojo-cho Mitsuteru Ueshiba announced the lists of the two Councils members that were appointed by the IAF President:

Technical Council 
Miyamoto Tsuruzo Shihan
Yokota Yoshiaki Shihan
Hayato Osawa Shihan

Senior Council 
Tada Hiroshi Shihan
Yamada Yoshimitsu Shihan
Asai Katsuaki Shihan
Suganuma Morito Shihan
Ozaki Sho Shihan
Tony Smibert Shihan
Christian Tissier Shihan

For a better organization of the General Assembly, there were 5 online pre-meetings during May-September, that allowed the members to fully discuss and approve topics concerning the activity of the IAF.

The next General Assembly will be in 2024, as according to the original calendar.

On behalf of its member and affiliated organisations in the UK, the JAC Executive wants to thank the outgoing team for its efforts to create interest in, enthusiasm for, and growth of Aikido around the world.   The JAC welcomes all the newly affiliated countries and looks forward to working with the new Directing Committee to continue the promotion of Aikido.

Apr 012021

While the news is promising, Covid 19 is deadly and likely to be with us for quite some time.   Inevitably this will affect our return to AIKIDO practice.

Attached are summary versions of regulatory information from the four UK governments.   Because each Government uses differ formatting on its website I have grouped the attachments according to the original format.

It is important to note that each Government has different timetables and regulations. 

Please re-familiarise yourself with the Covid 19 information already posted on the JAC website

Wishing you all well and a safe return to practice.

Bob Hill
General Sectretary

Complete details are available online:
ENGLAND: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
SCOTLAND: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus
WALES: https://gov.wales/coronavirus
NI: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19

Jan 242021

To all JAC member organisation principals, contacts,

Please note that the 2021 JAC AGM is planned for the 2:00pm on Sunday 7th March. Minutes of the 2020 supplementary AGM are attached for reference.

Agenda to be advised closer to the date and attendance is COVID-19 permitting.

However, as a main function of the AGM the positions of the Officers of the Committee are looking for refreshment / re-election and as such the role descriptions and role application forms are attached to this email.

As a function of role rotation these positions should be filled by JAC member organisation members that have not previously filled the roles and as such applications from the BAF or UKA are not included.

If you wish to apply for one of these posts please fill out the form accordingly and email back to the JAC General Secretary (Guy Needler) before the 25th February 2021

Dec 142020

Dear Joint Aikikai Council members,

2020 has proved the most challenging of years.  The first thing I must say is that our deepest sympathies go to all who have been affected by COVID and our thanks to all NHS staff and all key workers who have worked tirelessly during the course of this pandemic.

Since March we have been unable to train in our wonderful art as we normally would do and I know that this has been the longest I have gone without training for the best part of 48 years and I am sure that you are all missing it as much as I am.  Of course, some of you have found some very innovative ways of training throughout the year with weapons classes (socially distanced, of course!!) and Zoom classes, which has kept us going.

Hopefully, things will get back on an even keel very soon and we will all be able to come together and train with each other again.  It can’t come soon enough.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year.

Stay safe and look after yourself, your loved ones and each other.

All the very best,

David Yates

JAC Chairman.

Sep 152020

While social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England and Wales (please check your government website for updates in Scotland and Northern Ireland) from 14th September, the government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue, as can organised outdoor sports and physical activity, this includes indoors weapons, Solo Ukemi and Taisabaki exercises in Aikido Dojos.

However, people should not attend these venues “Socially” in groups of more than six.

The reason for the difference is because sports and such activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and as a result these venues are classed as Covid-secure given the measures introduced.

Please note this could be subject to rapid change.

Sep 062020

The JAC Process when considering the wearing of masks in the dojo is below and should be considered with reference to the Government link:-


Note that: when claiming an exemption to wearing a mask for a student or themselves, the Dojo Leaders/Instructors must identify to their JAC member organisation Gen Sec, not the JAC, the following:-

  1. The dojo and instructor concerned
  2. The student who is exempt
  3. Under what basis of the government guidelines they are exempt
  4. That they take full responsibility for that exemption and this is recorded by the dojo leader/instructor and the JAC member organisation.

However, it must be noted that each instructor has ultimate responsibility for the instruction, health and safety, safeguarding and well being of their students whilst in their dojo. This includes decisions made surrounding the wearing of masks, use of sanitiser and other PPE (should it be deemed necessary) whilst practising indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to government guidelines.

For reasons of data protection/GDPR this information is confidential but can be used for track and trace should the dojo discover a student who is COVID-19 positive. If this is so they should alert all participants, who should immediately self isolate, and inform the relevant authorities for further direction.

Aug 062020

Dear JAC Member Organisation contact/leader,

Thank you for your patence in these trying and confusing times. Especially when the government goal posts are changing. It is because of these ever changing goal posts and conflicting information that I have just managed to speak directly to a senior individual in the insurers for detailed clarification of our insurers position. As you can imagine they are all working from home and are difficult at best to contact via phone as a result.

The issue we had is that we are a full contact body art and the classification of our dojo venue locations, with us being in a plethora of different types of venues such as; sports halls, gyms, YMCA’s, purpose built dojos, rented space, arts facilities, church halls and village halls or even our garages, we were therefore classified as being within the 2nd wave of disciplines and facilities to be “Unlocked”.

Having explained that we can describe our various venues as a “sports facility” and that we can practise non contact at a distance, the insurers agreed that we can categorise our dojos as such thereby allowing us to be in the first unlock category. 

Basically put, you can open your dojo’s to students from today.
There is work to do to support your dojos unlocking though.
To open you need to perform the following.

1) Use the JAC Unlock process. See attached.

2) Make sure all students (and instructors) fill out the student indemnity form. This is our track and trace form. See attached.

3) Create a register for each class. Check student indemnity status at each class.

4) Fill out the JAC club declaration and email a copy the JAC General Secretary.

5) Update your risk analysis forms to include the COVID-19 aspects. See attached examples. This may need to be updated as government guidelines or venue facilities change. It should be considered a live document.

6) Gain permission from your venue owners or manager for you to  practice indoors. If you rent a property its your landlord! They need to be happy with what you are doing.

7) Your venue may have their own rules that you will need to follow so check with them first.

8) Keep a constant check on your devolved nations governmental guidance on COVID-19 as guidelines will differ between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

9) Keep your mat area sanitised and clean. Before and after every class. 

Please note that social distancing, PPE use and sanitiser etc., should be maintained/used and that we should recommence practice with solo taisabaki and/or ukemi exercises and/or weapons only. Remember – if you can’t hug your grandchildren you can’t practice the body art! 2 meters distance indoors and outdoors is still in place I believe.

Weapons must be sanitsed before and after use, especially club owned weapons. Masks are optional outdoors but compulsory indoors.
Pay particular attention to localised lockdown guidelines if in a location where there is a second wave of infection. 


  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Burnley
  • Rochdale
  • Hyndburn
  • Pendle
  • Rossendale
  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • And Leicester, which is still subject to some restrictions.

Thats it. It looks like a long list but once in the process its quite quick to do.


All documentation is available from the JAC Dropbox or from direct download below:

Jul 252020

Dear JAC Member Organisation contact/leader,

The COVID-19 virus has effected everyone in every part of the globe resulting in unique times in the history of the world and indeed Aikido. 
Over the last few months there has been great anticipation of the lockdown coming to an end and many sports are looking towards their governing body for guidance.

With information changing on a weekly and sometimes daily basis the information on what we can and cannot do fluctuates from accurate to incomplete, inaccurate, incoherent, misleading , misinterpreted or just ignored. For example; a sports facility opening does not mean you can practice indoors!

As a result of misinterpretation or ignoring the deeper meaning of the government guidance we have experienced U turns where local COVID-19 hotspots have resulted in those locations going back into lockdown. A second country-wide lockdown could be devastating for Aikido.
As a result it is better to be a fast follower than an early adopter of new or desirable information that can lead to misinterpretation if incomplete or out of date.

The JAC prefer to be fast followers.

Recognising that there has been much frustration expressed, the JAC would like to remind you all that the Committee is made up from volunteers who receive no remuneration for their contribution to Aikido, are also committee members of their own JAC member organisations as well as managing their own dojos. Taking into account the strain on family life as well, we therefor request that you respect our efforts.

The attached documents are to help you as JAC member organisation contacts and leaders to “unlock” after the COVID-19 lockdown in a safe and responsible way.

The Unlock process document has been approved by our insurers and the 1st August 2020 is our agreed date for commencing indoors interaction. 
Please note that social distancing, PPE use and sanitiser etc., should be maintained/used and that we should recommence practice with taisabaki exercises and/or weapons only. Remember – if you can’t hug your grandchildren you can’t practice the body art!

The Indemnity document is to help with establishing if your instructors and/or students are fit and healthy and act as a track and trace document should one of you contract the virus.

The Club document is to ensure you are cognoscente of your governments “current and up to date guidelines”. Please note that these may differ between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so please check on a regular basis.

The Risk Assessment documents are a blank and examples based upon a number of “club” scenarios for you to refer to or use.

All documents (attached) are available in the COVID-19 Resource file on the JAC Dropbox cloud storage area. The link for access is here JAC COVID-19 Resource File 

Finally, don’t forget that there are a lot of frightened people in the general population and that some of these are self-appointed vigilantes, who, are looking for people breaking the rules and subsequently report them to the authorities. It would be detrimental to your club, organisation and the JAC to have a prohibition order enforced on you for inappropriate interaction at your dojo.

Please unlock wisely in a clear, responsible and robust way…

… and above all WELCOME BACK!!


Best Regards

Guy Needler
Joint Aikikai Council
General Secretary

Special thanks to the UKA and BJA for sharing their documents.

Jun 292020

To all Joint Aikikai Council members,

I know how difficult the last few months have been, not only for your aikido training, but for life in general.  The coronavirus pandemic has been involved in many deaths in the UK and all around the world and deepest sympathies must go to all those people affected by it.

Although we are seeing the beginnings of recovery from this tragic period, I suspect it will be some time before we get back to aikido training as we knew it just a few short months ago.  I know that many of you have kept up your individual practise and recently, weapons training in small groups has become a possibility.  I’m sure that all of the individual organisations have encouraged you to do so and that you will keep it up.  We must keep the correct mindset and spirit that will see us, eventually, get back to training together and in the way we have done for many years.

I know all seminars have been cancelled in the immediate future and that we are having to find new and innovative ways of remaining in touch and training.  We all miss the contact with our fellow aikidoka but this will pass and when it does we must resume our training with all the enthusiasm we had before and equally as importantly, try to encourage others to come along and try this wonderful art of ours so they can have the same enjoyment that we have all had for so many years.

Hombu dojo has gradually reintroduced training as a result of the easing of the lockdown and restrictions imposed in Japan and I hope we are not too far behind. 

Understandably, we have had very few JAC members renewing their membership and insurance since lockdown began but please remember that, unless you have current insurance, you are not covered for any aikido related activities.

Q & As with regard to insurance for online / weapons training:

Q: Are online classes covered for liability, in case someone has an accident or injury while at home?Any advice from the insurers on how classes or practice must change to mitigate the risk of virus?Are we covered for liability in case a member believes they contract the virus from the club?

A: In respect of online classesCoaches/instructors can coach/instruct remotely, including uploading general videos, on the basis that:The coach/instructor should be suitably qualified to instruct on the activityThe activity being suitable to be undertaken in someone’s homeThe coach reminds participants to check their surroundings are clear and to keep any pets of distractions away during exerciseThe coach should specify at the start of any video that this is general guidance and anyone doing the exercise should be aware of their own capabilities and only do what they are comfortable to do or seek medical advice if in any doubtThe coach should remind participants to stay hydrated.The coach/instructor should be mindful with regard to the use of copyrighted music/materialIf our client is coaching vulnerable adults or anyone under 18 there are potential safeguarding points we need to considerGain written consent from parents and explain what the purpose of the training is, when it will be done, on what platform etc.Use an online-share platform – that way the coach will not necessarily need access to the children’s contact details and only use it for the purpose of the training.Do not make contact with athletes outside of the training unless with parental consent.Ensure that you and the athletes wear appropriate clothing at all times.

Q: What cover we have if we practice the weapons side of the art in a non-contact way (indoors or outdoors) with 6 people. Are we insured?
What, are the expectations of Hiscox in how we interact?

A: You will have to follow government guidelines in respect of a maximum of 6 people outdoors keeping the 2 metre distance.Your risk assessments will also have to be updated in respect of Covid 19.

Q: With the opportunity to practice in small groups of 6 people 2 meters apart outside this means that we may not be in the location of our dojos. Would this be an issue?

A: As government guidelines state it can be outside however in respect of the policy there is no issue as long as risk assessments have been updated and the new locations have been assessed for safety.

Mar 142020

This is a new virus for humanity and everybody’s immune system has to develop antibodies. Corona virus Symptoms are a cough, temperature and breathing problems but most people seem to just have a mild cold or feel under the weather.

Mortality is 2-4% depending on test, country, how many people are actually being tested.

Apparently, older people, and people with underlying problems (for example: immunosuppression, recent chemotherapy, lung disease etc. are at higher risk, children seem to be ok).

Therefore: anybody with symptoms should not turn up at Joint Aikikai Council member organisation dojos, seminars or events just in case one is infected with corona virus (although risk is low to moderate unless one has just travelled from a high-risk area).

If one has symptoms stay at home, ring the NHS for advice, they will come to the house and test you if they feel it is necessary.

Do not go to the GP or hospital unless you have serious problems and even then, it’s better to ring 111, the GP may arrange direct hospital admission rather than potentially infecting the GP practice.

Sweat does not transmit the virus but the droplets from coughing or saliva do. It is of most importance not to cough or sneeze into the open air, instead cough or sneeze into a paper tissue, dispose of the tissue appropriately and wash your hands immediately for a minimum of 20 seconds.

During practise, seminars or events we should avoid sticking our fingers in our mouths, nose or eyes.

Use sanitizer whenever possible.

Refer to the UK Gov, NHS website for further guidance.


2020-03-16 Update: Government guidelines now suggest that vulnerable people and those over 70 years of age stay at home for extended periods to protect themselves.

2020-03-17 Update: Those that are holding dojos can practise in a contactless way by performing solo ukemi, suwarawaza, taisabaki excesises and weapons. 

Shared weapons should be wiped clean before being passed on.

Sanitizer should be used at the beginning and end of each class.