by James Ang.
Between Thursday 17th and Sunday 20th August, aikidoka were treated to first a SAF Seminar with an exceptional teaching line-up, followed by the 2017 WSAF World Championships, both of which were held at the University of East London.
The SAF Seminar held on the Thursday had some of the most famous names in Shodokan Aikido teaching. Headline teachers for the event were Nariyama Shihan and Senseis Omori, Sakai and Endo. The day started with Sakai Sensei leading the warm ups (kihon koso), followed by Nariyama Shihan teaching oyo waza from jodan, chudan and gedan kuzushi. After lunch, Omori Sensei covered selected techniques from the goshin no kata, and finally Endo Sensei….taught techniques without an underlying theme it seems! In total there were over 200 people in attendance from a variety of different countries and organisations.
The following few days saw the WSAF competition take place. Dojo highlights for the competition include Gemma winning a 3rd place medal in the Womens Team Randori Event and Maggie finishing in 4th place for the Womens Individual Randori. As a side note, the event drew together many former dojo members who were there as both competitors and spectators. Check out the following photo to see how many you can recognise!
(Note: SAF (Shodokan Aikido Federation) is the worldwide organisation our dojo is affiliated with. WSAF (World Sport Aikido Federation) is a recently created organisation that organises and hosts world championship competitions intended for all people that do aikido descended from Kenji Tomiki. For the moment, SAF does not host it’s own World Championships, instead preferring to attend WSAF events instead.)