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fast follower than an early adopter of new or desirable information that can lead to misinterpretation if incomplete or out of date.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.

Apr 142019

Please find attached details of our 20th anniversary course to be held on the 4th and 5th May.

If you’d like to attend the course, or the evening meal, please use the following booking forms:

Course Booking Form: http://jointaikikaicouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/booking-form-bw-version.docx

Dinner Booking Form: http://jointaikikaicouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Dinner-Booking-Form-2019-.doc

Mar 092019

The Kanetsuka family announces with great sadness the loss of Minoru Kanetsuka. He passed away peacefully on Friday 8th March 2019.
The family will be working with the BAF to make arrangements for a memorial service/celebration of life for anyone in the Aikido community wishing to pay their respects, the details of which will be announced once they are finalised.

We ask that the privacy of the Kanetsuka family is respected at this sensitive time.

 Posted by at 22:23
Jan 132019
Miyuki Kumazawa Sensei – 6th DAN

Ryusuikan Dojo
Housesteads Drive,
Hoole Lane
Chester, CH2 3DL

Sat 2nd March 2019 2pm – 5pm
Sun 3rd March 2019 10am – 1pm

Adults – £25 (£15 per day)
Juniors (U18) – £15 (£10 per day)
(proof of insurance cover must be provided)
Members of all organisations and styles welcome

Contact: David Yates Tel: 07712190995
Email: david.yates42@btinternet.com

For further details www.manchesteraikido.com or see the flyers here & here.