The BAB operates 3 levels of Coaching awards. Level 1 is the starting level and is for students intending to instruct without supervision at club level. The Coaching & Club Handbook is downloadable from the BAB website details the Awards and is a good resource for all for coaching and running a club.

The Aikikai accepts not everyone wishes to teach or assist – high grades wishing to practise only are also valued and respected.

In the Lancashire Aikikai we have set out a step by step guide for aspiring instructors. Click on the steps below

BAB Requirements For Level 1 Candidates must:

  • Candidates must be an adult (18 years or over) when registered for the course.
  • Be recommended by their Association, possess the necessary technical knowledge in Aikido, and hold a minimum grade of Aikido 1st Kyu. {However to coach without supervision because of insurance requirements is not possible till you are 1st Dan}
  • Attend a Level 1 Coach course, approved by the Board, which will comprise a minimum of 12 hours (with a minimum of 9 hours theory).
  • Be successful in the assessment of a period of peer Coaching.

BUT before that the steps and protocol are:

1. Prospective Aikikai instructors would attend:

  • general courses (as many as possible)
  • Dan Grade & 1st Kyu courses (as many as possible) {as part of CPD}

2. Would not be teachers in other Aikido Associations. It was important our style was being taught and practised otherwise it would not be appropriate for them to teach in Lancashire Aikikai.

3. Discuss your aspirations with your Club Leader and receive their backing

4. Gain consent of the Head of Association to undertake a BAB Coaching course. (Only possible for 1st Kyu and above). This consent is unlikely to be granted if unknown to the Head of Association or if known only for a relatively short time.

Make yourself known to our Coaching Liaison Officer (CLO) as well - to whom you can speak and receive advice from

5. Understand your responsibilities as a Coach particularly in relation to teaching young people. Understanding the importance of following guidance and best practise contained in the BAB's Child Safeguarding & Protection Policy. Particularly the Code of Conduct for Coaches expressed in the policy's appendix 4

How to apply for a Coaching Course

You should register your interest on-line for a course with the BAB and also see courses presently available.

The authorisation of the Association is still required - the BAB obtain this by them contacting our Coaching Liaison Officer - so it is important to have made yourself known to our CLO previously.

It is possible to register using paper and you need to download a form - Sue can arrange for this to be sent to you or can be down loaded Click here

Our Association's Coaching Liaison Officer will assist you at any stage - but you need to contact her and to have made yourself known to her.

Financial Support is available from the Lancashire Aikikai

This is an Association requirement if you want to gain "Permission to Teach"

The BAB has stated that in its view a duty of care exists for coaches to ensure that First Aid provision within a dojo is available. The Board highly recommends that all Coaches have an externally validated HSE approved. First Aid qualifications should be assessed and candidates awarded a certificate of competence and not just a certificate of attendance.

Whilst having an individual First Aid qualification does not effect the coaching status in the BAB eyes the Aikikai's policy is it requires its Coaches to be First Aid qualified.

The Aikikai has in the past had a cycle of organising a course every 18 months. All students are welcome on the courses even those who are not yet 1st Dan. After all First Aid is a valuable life time skill and the more First Aiders a club has the easier an emergency can be handled.

The First Aid course, expected to run March 2021, has been postponed because of Covid. A course will be rearranged, later in 2021, when normality returns.

All Instructors, who take unsupervised classes are required by the Aikikai to maintain current First Aid qualifications (usually renewable every 3 years).

First Aid must be “Fit for Purpose” and be HSE Approved. The Aikikai's view is that any course should cover injuries or incidents that can be expected in a dojo and the course should be assessed inline with the BAB recommendation.

This rules out courses that are attendance only.

Further details

Competence for the Aikikai may be proved by holding the following externally verified qualifications:-

  • Four day First Aid at Work
  • Two day refresher course for First Aid at Work
  • St John's Ambulance Life Saver Plus Certificate
  • St John's Ambulance Life Saver Certificate and Sports Injury Module
  • St Andrew's Ambulance Association Standard Certificate
  • British Red Cross Standard First Aid Certificate
  • British Red Cross First Aid Certificate and Sports Injury Module
  • Qualified paramedic status
  • Qualified doctor status
  • Emergency First Aid - Approved by Health and Safety Executive in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • St John's Ambulance Sports First Aid

Certificates and syllabi of other organisations will be checked by the Lancashire Aikikai to ensure that standards are maintained. The criteria for a syllabus to be acceptable and added to our approved list include:-

  1. The certification is accredited by an external agency (nationally recognised body approved by HSE)
  2. The course is examinable and not just attendance certified
  3. The qualification can be deemed as fit for purpose
  4. Minimum length of course 1 day (6 hours)

Please check before taking a course that it is a course that is approved by Lancashire Aikikai. Any queries contact Lancashire Aikikai Coaching Liaison Officer:


Financial Support is available from the Lancashire Aikikai


This was a step where by all who taught required PI Insurance that was bought on an individual basis. The BAB however changed brokers and insurer around 2012 and as a result simplified insurance for instructors. It’s now the club dojo that purchases the public liability insurance that covers all instructors and club officials and Club executive by obtaining effectively venue insurance (Green Slip).

You continue to be personally insured through the blue slip that goes into your blue Aikikai membership book.

See the BAB website document "Insurance Guidance" for greater detail. Our insurance page gives an overview.

So this step generally will already be fulfilled

Permission to Teach

Before stepping onto a mat to teach unsupervised formal permission is needed. For the coaching role this is part of our recruitment process. (This is not needed for visiting instructors that our Head of Association is aware of).

Matters relating to Permissions are at Principal's discretion.

The Association will publish a list of permissions and its expiry date. Any permission can be withdrawn by the Head of the Association.

The recruitment process is required by the BAB. The Lancashire Aikikai considers our Permission process fulfils this in respect of Instructors. See your role as a job description

On gaining 1st Dan or if you hold this rank or higher and meet any remaining requirements such as First Aid, DBS check {if required} you then apply for Permission to Teach through your Club Leader. This procedure is detailed on the Permission page

Once you have been granted "Permission to teach" you may take classes unsupervised.

There is an expectation that you, as a minimum, attend at least one Dan Grade course over any two year period would be expected to attend at least 1 general course a year. This is explained in CPD section.

The next steps - after gaining permission to take classes without supervision

You need to keep the First Aid and DBS checks current. They have a notional life cycle of every 3 years. Your "Permission to Teach" ties into the DBS check cycle.

Although not a requirement, the Aikikai recommends that Coaches / Instructors should, also, undertake the BAB Young People course or Sport Coach UK Coaching Children and Young People course. This recommendation should be considered, particularly, if you are involved with any class that attracts juniors.


CPD for Dan Grades

The Aikikai believes that it is important to develop coaching skills so that its Coaches can progress to higher Coaching awards offered by the BAB and also ensure skills and knowledge are current, appropriate and serve to underpin existing practise as well as improving technical knowledge.

Notes: The Aikikai encourages its coaches to consider progress to higher Coaching Levels when possible. There are however minimum grade, age and time restrictions on progress. These are described in the " Coaching and Club Handbook"

CPD opportunities are afforded in a number of ways through attendance and feedback of observed sessions - We do this in the following manner:-

  • Through our general courses that Dan grades should make every effort to attend. (Attendance is being monitored.)

  • There would be two Dan grade courses in a year with a focus on standards and higher levels of practice. These are open to any Aikikai member who is 1st Kyu and above. Dan grades should attend these - with a mandatory minimum criterion of one in any two-year period.

  • That Coaches with "Permission to Teach" would have sessions watched mainly in their clubs, by the Principal or 5th Dan's of the Aikikai. Constructive feedback being given that would be recorded and retained by the Principal. The purpose is to provide a surety check and also to offer help and ideas in developing coaching standards. An example of the form to do this can be viewed here.

Regard to these matters will be taken when the Principal considers any renewal application under the Permission system.


The BAB Coaching & Club Handbook (Coaching Manual) covers in Section 2 Rules - Safety and Legal Requirements :

  • Coaching Ethics
  • Code of Conduct - for all especially coaches



Where to go for help / advice

For Coaching matters the Aikikai's Coaching Liaison Officer (CLO) will assist and support progress. It is helpful if those reaching 1st Kyu who wish to be potential coaches or assistants could be identified to the CLO by their Club Leader.


For DBS checks - contact your own Club Welfare Officer in the first instance. In case of problems contact our Association - Child Protection Officer

Once you are expeirenced, support for Coaches to open a new club is available


The British Aikido Board has a national Coaching Scheme. The Aikikai insists all its teachers are qualified through this scheme.

The BAB website has a list of all qualified instructors