Dear Iaidobu and Jodobu Members,
It is with much regret that we have to announce the cancellation of both the Spring Iaido and Jodo Seminars and the Iaido and Jodo Nationals. This decision was only taken after thorough consultation with Iaidobu and Jodobu EC officers, Spring Seminar Leaders, the NC Chair, and careful consideration of the current global situation.
As you are no doubt aware there is at present a global health emergency (recently declared a pandemic) involving a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus is putting a significant strain on health services in areas where person-to-person transmission is increasing rapidly and it poses a risk to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. The next few weeks are a critical time where we have the possibility of slowing the spread of the disease so that the peak of cases is spread out and comes after the end of the seasonal flu season. Whilst the risk to the majority of our membership from training at the seminar is very low, we cannot in good conscience run an event that involves people using mass transit systems, staying in hotels and dining together in close proximity; Activities which in all likelihood will contribute to the spread of the infection. Although the vast majority of people infected will only suffer mild symptoms, events such as these would contribute to the spread in our communities and put others at risk.
We will of course refund all those who have paid registration and grading fees, but if you are happy to defer to another event please do let us know (contact email addresses available on the ‘Contact Us’ page here: https://www.britishkendoassociation.com/contact-us/ ). There will be a financial implication for the bu as we have paid for venues etc. and we realise that individual members will have to cancel accommodation and booked travel. However, we hope you will agree that these are exceptional circumstances and that this is the right decision to make.
Regarding the Scottish Iaido seminar and other events through 2020, we will continue to monitor the situation very closely. The situation is highly fluid, and this makes it very difficult to make proportionate and evidence-based decisions far ahead. We will of course only cancel events if deemed absolutely necessary and endeavour to make that decision as early as possible.
William Heal, Iaido Bucho and Stojanka Vidinic, Jodo Bucho.