The Big Three special weekend of
training was hosted by Hayden Foster, 6th Dan and chief instructor
of the Institute of Aikido, William Smith, 6th Dan and chief instructor of the
United Kingdom Aikikai, and Thomas Moss, 5th Dan and chief instructor of the Yama -
The very large turnout of over 140 people on both days made this
seminar one of the largest non-national courses, in England. The Waveney Leisure Center of
Lowestoft Suffolk was leased out, to accommodate the overwhelming response to this event.
The hall fitted all 245 mats, giving the attendees plenty of room to work out. All 245
mats were installed just one hour before the course began. This was an astronomical feat
of organization and timing. Well orchestrated, the last mat was just placed down on the
floor just as the clock struck one oclock, the time the seminar was due to start.
Hayden Foster opened the seminar emphasizing
correct hip movements and breathing. This would be his theme for the entire weekend. In Jo
and bokken practice, he used the large and flowing movements typical of his extensive
training, to demonstrate proper breathing, distance and timing.
William Smith continued by demonstrating the
correct use of bokken techniques against an attacking partner, and lecturing on
Aikidos birth. His focus in the class stressed that the techniques for higher grades
and beginners are really of no critical difference. However, the only real difference is
how hard and focused the move was performed and how experienced or inexperienced your
Students of every level rank enjoyed a vigorous workout. Mr.
Smiths class consisted of Ikkyo (1st technique), Shihonage (4 direction), with
tenkan and irimi-tenkan. A majority of the attendees found their experiences so enjoyable,
that they openly expressed a desire for Mr. Smith to give another session, the next day.
Thomas Moss demonstrated his
usual flowing and lightening fast throws made famous by the Yama-Arashi. The waza he
implemented involved holding your uke by the sleeve or lapel. This characterized the
familiar Aiki-leading motion that became his theme for the class. Overcoming the strength
of your partner by bending your arm and relaxing as you tenkan. (Turning on the front foot
outwards or inwards to break posture)
Over 70 people attended the Saturday banquet at the
Bo Lee Chinese restaurant. This was truly a credit to Mr. Broadly, to take such a
large booking. Everyone expressed having a very enjoyable and exciting time.
The seminar was well attended by Clubs of different styles
and organizations such as: Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, Birmingham and Coventry, Reading
and London, Grimsby, and not to forget the two hardy Scot's that made an epic 11 hour
journey from Edinburgh to attend this course. (Thank you Lawson and Lin.)
All three instructors mentioned how happy they were to see
people from different organizations training together, putting aside politics in order to
further the art we all love and complimented each other on their different Aikido styles.
My thanks and appreciation not only go to
instructors Foster, Smith and Moss for their excellent instruction, but to all those the
clubs and individuals who attended the Broadland Aikido Club seminar and have supported us
through the years.
Accolades and thanks to many: Carl Cook for
supplying the transport as well as physically moving 200 mats in and out of his van.
Thanks to Alan Puring, Jason Burridge and Lee Staff for helping with the running of the
seminar. Also, special mention to Ken Stevens, who took on the duty of organizing,
installing, and taking up of some 245 mats. Ken also used his influence with the Leisure
center staff to find us an additional 45 much needed mats on the morning of the seminar,
to compliment the 200 mats we already had.