David Fielding received an MBE for services to Aikido in the Queen’s Birthday Honours today 13th June, 2004.
He is the first non-Japanese player to become Men’s Individual World Champion, a 5th Dan, Manager of the GB National Squad and ex-Guinness world record holder. In a career spanning 25 years he competed in 9 World Championships winning a record 17 International medals, 4 of which were Gold.
David first started Aikido in the early eighties in Sheffield with Barry Vigrass and trained for five years at Leeds
Central before moving to London. He regularly trained at Sidcup, Clapham and Yawara with the Elephant and Castle becoming his main base. He joined the National Squad at its inception in 1988 and has not missed a session since. In 1993 together with his partner Vanda Fairchild, founded Tanseikan, a thriving club which runs Aikido classes in Southwark, Lewisham and Bromley. David was awarded the Wilkinson Sword in 1995 for his leadership of the National Squad. In 1997 he became the first Aikidoka to receive 4th Dan's from the BAA and JAA and in 2002 became the first Aikidoka to be awarded a BAA 5th Dan on technical merit.
David also runs a thriving junior aikido class in Rotherhithe, South London and said “I’m over the moon” and “I can’t wait to show the kids the medal, they will be so pleased”. “It is important to teach children from a young age the value of self-discipline and regular physical exercise".
As well as leading the National Squad and running Tanseikan with Vanda, David is also a Special Adviser for the Association of Charity Chief Executives (ACEVO) and an Independent Assessor for Ministerial appointments. Prior to this he was Director for Corporate Services at the National Lottery Community Fund and has worked in senior roles in local government and the voluntary sector. David said “I tend to keep the professional life separate from my sporting life but have found aikido principles very handy for dealing with demanding Politicians!"
As to next steps, David said" I'm looking forward to spending another two months training in Japan and then teaching at the Leeds Summer School". " Longer term, I hope we can all continue to strengthen the National Squad and build upon all those great performances we saw last year in Leeds".