Great News.
On Sunday Evening 28/06/2009, Derek Eastman was awarded with the Winner of the individual Education award, for his work in teaching Aikido.
The award was presented by TV/Radio personality Debbie McGee.

A great result, and a truly deserved one on Derek’s 50th year of Aikido.

See the following websites below for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/articles/2009/06/25/basingstoke_feature.shtml?page=2

http://www.destinationbasingstoke.co.uk/?page=NewsPage&article=77

http://www.destinationbasingstoke.co.uk/?page=PlacetobeProudofAwards

In 1955, Aikido, a Japanese martial art was introduced to the United Kingdom by Kenshiro Abbe, one of Japan’s finest martial artists and a legend in his own country.
Abbe started teaching this art exclusively at the ‘Hut’ dojo in Middlesex.
Most martial arts remain a mystery to the majority of the general public. Today, Aikido is one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world, and Basingstoke has one of the earliest British teachers of this art, Derek Eastman, who was also one of the first to study at ‘The Hut’ and also to tour and teach Aikido around Britain.
It is thanks to him and a handful of others, that Aikido has spread in this way.
I have studied and taught this art myself for 28 years, starting at the Basingstoke Aikido club, and although I have also learned from other instructors, none have taught it with such dedication and passion.

Since the 1960’s, Derek Eastman has been teaching and demonstrating Aikido to thousands of people. He is one of the very few people in the country to hold a black belt certificate signed by the founder of Aikido himself, O’Sensei Morehei Uyeshiba.
In 1968 he set up and started the Basingstoke Aikido Club, a club still running and now based at the Oakridge Community Centre hall, making last year the 40th year of the Basingstoke Aikido Club.
As well as Kenshiro Abbe, he studied Aikido and Kendo under some of the best instructors to ever visit Britain’s shores, giving him one of the widest range of skills and techniques of any instructor in the UK.
He has, in the past decades, tirelessly taught Aikido to the most exacting standards. He has kept traditional technique alive and relevant.
He is perhaps the only instructor in the UK who can explain and teach the various different styles of the original teachers of Aikido.
Most of all he has run his club as a modest club, keeping fees low for students, enough to cover costs and valuing the effort the student puts into his practice above all else.

2009 is particularly significant, as this is the 50th year that this man has been practicing Aikido.
He still actively teaches, and has been a principal instructor at national events such as the 2007 Nakazono Memorial Event, and more notably the Kenshiro Abbe Celebration of 50 Years of Aikido in the UK at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in 2005.
As one of the original Aikido teachers in the UK (there are only 4 left who are actively teaching) Basingstoke has, from a martial arts perspective, a national treasure.