The first organisation with accreditation from the World Aikido Headquarters in Japan to teach Aikido in Britain was the Aikikai of Great Britain. It was founded in 1968 under the auspices of the Aikikai Foundation, and in 1977 was renamed the British Aikido Federation, with Minoru Kanetsuka (Shihan, 7th Dan, Aikikai Foundation) as its Technical Director.
With its student wing (the British Universities Aikido Federation), the B.A.F. is composed of affiliated clubs from all over England and Wales. In the rest of the U.K. and Ireland, the other members of the International Aikido Federation are the Scottish Aikido Federation (S.A.F.) and the Irish Aikido Federation (Ir.A.F.).
The British Aikido Federation is therefore closely linked with the Aikido World Headquarters. Its technical advisor is Shihan Masatake Fujita (8th Dan, Hombu Dojo, Tokyo), and regular visits are made by senior Japanese instructors to conduct B.A.F. national courses. All dan grades (black belt holders) with the B.A.F. are recognised by the International Aikido Federation and hold certificates issued by the Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba.
The structure of the B.A.F. teaching syllabus is closely based on that of the World Headquarters and not only proficiency of techniques but also correctness of manner and attitude is greatly emphasised.
Kanetsuka Sensei conducts weekend courses throughout the year at Aikido centres all over the UK. The two major national courses: the Spring Course and the week-long Summer School have developed into international events attracting Aikido students from all over the world.
Thanks to its world-wide connections the British Aikido Federation stands very much in the mainstream of Aikido development, and by virtue of its close ties with the fountain-head of Aikido (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo) it maintains an orthodox direction in its teaching and development.
The original teaching of the Founder excluded any form of competition and emphasised the principles of non-aggression and harmony. The B.A.F. strongly maintains this attitude, and every effort is made to inculcate into our members the principles of non-violence and concern for others, both inside and outside the practice room.