Dear AYF members,

All this while the attendance rate was low due to the worsening Pandemic conditions and the Emergency state. However tests were conducted regularly and with consistent amount of applicants, which we found very pleasing. We started the Spring promotion campaign and it’s going on quite successfully, having brought considerable amount of new-comers.

Here are the topics of this Newsletter

1. Video shooting for “Ekiten Channel”, a local business rating service.  
2. Quarterly tests and preparatory seminars
3. New year related events cancelled except Hatsu-mode, the first visit to a shrine of the year
4. On-line seminar for North America and Russia/ Ukraine
5. High Rank Grading Committee meeting announcement

1. Video shooting for “Ekiten Channel”, a local business rating service

This quarter has been rich in media related events. Although we feel sorry for the inconvenience we caused to Honbu students with time changes and cancellations of lessens for the filming, it is definitely a good thing to be in demand. Ekiten Channel is an advertisement media service which promotes local businesses, where a user can find a place most suitable to his taste in a particular area, according to the rating and explanation it provides. We were happy to take the offer from the filming crew and represent Takadanobaba town where we’ve been located for more than a decade. The film introduces how a young lady without experience in any martial arts learn the basics of self defense: how to react when grabbed by the hand from backward, when a deliver boy breaks in, when held in a full Nelson, when attacked with a knife.
2. Quarterly tests and preparatory seminars

We had our regular tests, including two quarterly tests on September 25th-26th and December 18th-19th and an Instructor license test on the last day of December’s quarterly test. To ensure proper techniques mastering for each category we held preparatory seminars for Shokyu, Shodan and Yudan levels before each quarterly test, including one for the instructor license test examinees. The instructor license test happens only twice a year in June and December, for which domestic AYF students make a long term plan. With the current social distancing policy, we haven’t been accepting trainees from other dojos and quarterly tests have been going on almost without audience. It was refreshing to have guests, no less, it is the best way to keep the purity of the technique. We hope soon students from our international dojos will be able to take the exam at Honbu too.

3. New year related events

This has become one of the sad routines of the Corona days but we had to cancel all the traditional year-end and New-year events except the year-starting visit to the shrine. Our once merry and lively ‘pilgrimage’ with a group of Honbu students has become quiet, since only Honbu staff takes part in the visit in order to avoid gathering. 

4. On-line seminar for North America and Russia/ Ukraine

In January we had an outstanding event, a series of on-line training sessions, conducted by Masahiko Noriki Honbu Dojocho; one for AYF member-dojos in Canada and the US on 15th and one for Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine on 22nd. The event was organized as a part of nationwide budo webinar which Nippon Travel Agency, the nation’s oldest and one of the leading travel agencies launched within the Governmental program named “Global contents creation project”. We are very proud that we were invited to represent Aikido as a whole in this budo webinar. 

There were approximately 240 attendants in total, even though the first announced limit was per 50 accounts for a day. Nippon Travel Agency, the organizer, that is, was happily surprised how committed the International AYF members are. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who attended and answered the questionnaire.

The one-hour-long seminar was mainly divided to four parts; Kihon dosa (Tai-no Henko 1&2), Nikajo techniques for various levels, Dojocho’s demonstration and Q&A session. 

5. High Rank Grading Committee meeting announcement

The 1st High Rank Grading committee meeting of the year will be held in early May. Honorable bearers of 5th Dan or above seeking further promotion in rank are asked to study the instructions published here and submit their applications by April 11th.

This is all for this time. Thank you for the attention. 

AYF Foreign affairs