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British Aikido Board

The National Governing Body for Aikido in the United Kingdom.
Aikido is a martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba, that focuses on harmonising with your opponent, it can be practiced as a sport, self defence and an art using hand to hand and japanese weapons.

Welcome to the British Aikido Board

The British Aikido Board seeks to:-

  • Represent the majority of bona fide organisations practicing aikido in the United Kingdom.
  • Support, encourage and promote the highest standards of aikido within an environment of mutual respect for offering styles practiced.
  • Raise awareness of the value of aikido not only as a contributor towards healthy living, but also in the development of adults, young people and children, without regard to race, gender or creed.

The British Aikido Board operates primarily through its member Associations. There are 42 currently Full Member Associations with 5 Associate and Probationary Member Associations of regional and national status, who each retain their independence, both technically and financially, with a combined membership of some 5,000 , which includes 1235 instructors holding current Coaching Awards.

The Board is recognised by Sport England , as the only governing body for aikido in the United Kingdom and is a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.


The Board seeks to further the advancement of all styles of aikido and to establish and monitor standards of safety and behaviour for practitioners of aikido.

The Board advises member Associations on all relevant UK and European legislation and procedures and develops appropriate policies and codes of practice.

Other services provided include:-
•  Insurance cover, for members, instructors and Associations.
•  Promotion of a Nationally recognised Coaching Scheme in conjunction with UK Coaching / Sport England.
•  Organising a National Courses.
•  Supporting initiatives to encourage the teaching of Aikido in schools.
•  Publishing Newsletters and specialist information bulletins eg. Safeguarding and Coaching.

The Board has completed a number of initiatives, arising from the work of their major Governance Audit and through the adoption of a wide range of recommendations, contained in their Aikido Development Plan will support their key objective of encouraging all Aikido groups to join together under this “Aikido umbrella”.

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  • Entering Amazon from here before you purchase ensures the BAB is supported by Amazon.

  • Entering Amazon from here before you purchase ensures the BAB is supported by Amazon.

  • Entering Amazon from here before you purchase ensures the BAB is supported by Amazon.

Entering Amazon from here before you purchase ensures the BAB is supported by Amazon.

Visa Endorsement of International Teachers

Home Office Immigration Rules for the BAB – as a Sport Governing Body – to Endorse Applications from its Associations for Long-Term Visits by a Recognised International Aikido Teacher/Coach


Following a successful application to the Home Office in 2017, the British Aikido Board is listed as a Sport Governing Body for Aikido and can endorse Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Creative and Sporting Category applications from its Members.



Where an Association wishes to host the visit of an international aikido teacher to the UK for longer than the permitted 6 months allowed under a “visitors” visa, the Home Office rules and process outlined below must be adhered to.

Such a visit falls under the Home Office immigration policy applicable to Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Creative and Sporting Category and is specifically for sportspeople and coaches (and their entourage where appropriate) who are internationally established at the highest level in their sport, and/or will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport in the UK.

A Sport governing body is one recognised by the home country sports councils (for example: Sport England).  Every governing body must be approved by the Home Office before they are included in Appendix M of the Immigration Rules.  The list of governing bodies and the Tiers for which they are currently approved by the Home Office is detailed in the following website:

Application Process

Member Associations who wish the BAB to sponsor such visitors must have a sponsor licence.  Before applying to the Home Office for a licence the Association must be endorsed by the BAB. This endorsement confirms to the Home Office that the application is from a genuine Association that has a legitimate requirement to bring migrants to the UK as sportspeople.  Once licensed, Associations can assign a certificate of sponsorship to a sportsperson or coach with a job offer that allows them to apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK.  Each individual must also have a personal endorsement from the BAB for their sport before the Association assigns the Certificate of Sponsorship.

Endorsement Requirements

BAB endorsements for an individual will be considered for National Level Head Coaches/Teachers subject to their meeting all of the following:

  • have been recommended by the hombu (HQ) of the relevant aikido style in Japan.
  • have a minimum grade of 4th dan (Black Belt) or above and a minimum of 3 years technical coaching experience in their aikido style, issued from a credible source recognised by the BAB.
  • can communicate effectively in English (orally). This will be ascertained through the application process and a letter of confirmation from the Association confirming that the level of spoken English is of an acceptable level.
  • have undertaken or be willing to undertake health and safety, first aid qualifications, and an awareness of child protection issues.

If an extension period is required or there are changes to the above details a new BAB Governing Body endorsement will be required.  Moreover, the issue of the BAB Governing Body endorsement does not guarantee that subsequent endorsements will be issued as each endorsement will be considered against requirements and information at the time of the request

The sponsor will need to provide evidence that there are no resident workers who are qualified to do the job. The job must have been advertised in the most appropriate national medium (such as the BAB website or Aikido Times) which provides the best way of reaching suitably qualified resident workers. This will be ascertained by the sponsor providing screen shots or photocopies of the adverts within relevant publications to show where these roles were advertised extensively and externally.

Submission of Applications

The website details the specific application requirements for sponsorship and the conditions to be met by the Tier 5 “visiting aikido teacher” before a Home Office licence and/or visa will be granted.

Associations seeking BAB endorsement to host the extended visit of Home Office Tier 5 “aikido teachers” are solely responsible for researching and establishing the requirements, and for the presentation of their application to the BAB Executive Committee Liaison Officer:

Keith Holland
BAB Chairman
March 2018

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