Feb 152014

Open letter to Kieth Holland, Chairperson of BAB in response to the unsolicited communication to JAC members;

We were disappointed to learn of the letter you have written to the now ex-members of the BAB. I was hoping that our departure would be handled in a manner appropriate to the principles of the art that we all follow. It seems that is not going to be the case.

Your concern over the welfare of JAC members is commendable, but before you contacted ex-members of the BAB, it would have been advisable to check out the facts rather than to give out inaccurate and ill-informed information…no doubt in an attempt to spread alarm and undermine the unity of the JAC.

For your information then the FACTS are.

  1. During the summer all JAC groups held AGM meetings at which there was an overwhelming vote in favour of leaving BAB, this was not a decision taken in haste nor in secret, it has been 2 years in the preparation with our members being fully informed during this process.
  2. When the PR subject was raised 4 years ago, it was overwhelmingly rejected by the smaller groups whose influence within the BAB is out of proportion to their aikido authority. So the point that I made about never being able to democratically change the direction of the BAB in accordance with our members wishes is very valid.
  3. The insurance company who have secure our business have confirmed that they view the JAC as the ‘governing body’ in relation to insurance matters and will support JAC coaching awards which have been carried over from BAB.
  4. DBS disclosures which we presently hold are transportable and are valid until expiry, providing the activity remains the same.
  5. Our members (small m) will in fact be paying exactly the same insurance fees than with the BAB.
  6. We have also secured the services of a free-lance legal adviser and an expert on child protection should this be required
  7. The membership application to Sports England has been made, it is at Stage 1 and being considered along with another large BAB group. To claim that there is ‘no chance’ again is ill informed information. In fact your unwarranted and unsolicited communication to JAC membership will only go to support our application.
  8. We do though; hold full membership of World Aikikai Foundation all our grades are awarded on behalf of Doshu, the grandson of the founder of aikido.

Instead of this attempt to undermine the stability of JAC, your time would have been better spent trying to understand the reason why this situation has arisen and work out a way to stem the growing exodus from the BAB.

Again I will reiterate my regret that this situation has developed, I was confident after our meeting at Christmas that the JAC/BAB could work in harmony for the benefit of aikido in the UK. ….clearly I was mistaken.

Gordon Jones

 Posted by at 15:09