Winter School Roundup and Changes to NSW Aikido

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Winter School Roundup and Changes to NSW Aikido

Winter School 2016 at Narrabeen was a great success and I thank all of those who participated or took charge of the organisation for their contributions.  Our Shihans - Senseis Tony Smibert, Hanan Janiv, Robert Botterill and Roger Savage - all gave inspiring classes and our guests Peter Goldsbury Shihan and Louis van Thieghem Shihan provided insights into the breadth of aikido available.  Peter Goldsbury Shihan also fascinated students with his detailed knowledge of the myths and legends of Japan.  A number of other local instructors also provided interesting classes.

Special mention is also made of the contributions of Felicity Peters, whose driving organisation skills were exceptional and, Greg Tonowicz who stepped up, and into, Sensei Wayne Sheils’ shoes as mat laying specialist and all-round practical solution expert.

Thanks again to all who gave to make the school a great success.

We experienced the highs and lows during the yudansha grading on the Friday.  Overall the gradings were of an exceptional standard.  Instructors and students are reminded that students preparing for a yudansha grading need a strong consistent year of study and physical preparation before attempting the grading.  The TTC has signalled that it expects applicants to have spent a full year committed to preparation for the grading and intense study of the syllabus.

I cannot over-emphasise that the Technical and Teaching Committee (TTC) expect students to have regularly trained with senior instructors (both within NSW and through TTC weekends) to ensure they know the techniques and forms which the TTC expects them to be able to perform and that they can meet the physical requirements of the grading within their own capacities and limitations.

All students intending to grade for the 2017 summer school should already be actively ensuring they have trained with the senior instructors in NSW (Senseis Roger Savage, George Lo, Steve Armfield, Andrew Dziedzic, Wayne Sheils and Machiko Hirata) as often as possible.  Additionally, you should ensure you are improving stamina and focus!

Results from the Gradings

Yondan (4th dan) - Felicity Peters and Maciej Skierski

Nidan (2nd dan) - Mike Smith

Shodan (1st dan) – Sathvik Prasad

Nick Lanthimos and Wade Rutledge will represent to Roger Savage Shihan in the next 6 weeks.

Changes to NSW Area Representative

Recently Tony Smibert Shihan asked me to take on a new role as chief administrative officer of the Aikido Foundation – a role which will be a good challenge and very demanding.   I was happy to accept and suggested it was a perfect time to inject new blood into Aikido NSW leadership and suggested Jikou Sugano as my replacement as Area Representative.

Smibert Sensei and the other Trustees of the Aikido Foundation were happy to endorse Jikou Sugano who will transition into this role over the next 8 weeks.

I am very pleased to pass on this role to Jikou Sugano who, as many of you will know, is an exemplary student of aikido with a good and true heart and a commitment to maintaining our aikido traditions.  I thank you all for the opportunity to serve as Area Representative over the past nine years.

Austin James

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