Arun Aikido Club Mats Disaster

£671 of £968 goal

Raised by 23 people in 2 months

My name is Tony Wilden, I founded the Arun Aikido Club in 1992 in Bognor Regis, West Sussex UK. It is a small independant dojo that offers  aikido classes, self defence seminars, and private lessons.

In 2010 we moved to a new dojo training hall and invested in our own club mats.

Some of our adult members after a successful grading seminar in 2017


Photo above: some of  our junior members from a recent grading seminar. Photo below: some  of our members promoting  the Arun Aikido Club at  the Bognor Regis Carnival in 2017

 In  2016 we decided to expand our mat space and ordered another 26 puzzle mats from the same supplier at a cost of £611.  This was a large part  of the funds  raised from years of running a club.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo below we had issues with them. The 1st batch, the puzzles were not even cut. The 2nd batch, the puzzles were poorly done due to a cutting tool fault. Finally the 3rd batch  were laser cut , but our supplier measured incorrectly and they were the wrong size.


After  several months and  44 emails of attempting to expand our mat space, we realized it wasn't going to work out, and after returning all 3 batches we requested a refund of the £611 of club funds.

The refund was agreed and we waited to receive it. Unfortunately , we learnt that the individual had been ill for some time and  he eventually refused to return our investment.

After several more emails we were forced to take him to the small claims court and won the case. A County Court Judgement (CCJ) was awarded  for £671 , including court fees of £60 and we waited.

Sadly  the individual passed away  in 2017, and   was in debt, so his family were unable to return our club funds. I messaged the  club who were  using the returned  mats and asked for them back... they refused.

Out of respect for his passing and the feelings of his family, I decided to wait a year, before setting up this GoFundMe page.   The £671 investment in mats was a massive loss  to the Arun Aikido Club and represents  about 6 years of  club membership, admin,  and training fees.

At least £968 of  funds raised will be invested in new mats to increase  space for our existing students, and add   extra space to attract new students. We have a supplier waiting to take our order.

We have  found out, after much negotiation, that  the price of replacing our mats has gone up considerably in the 2.5 years since this issue began.

This is because the supplier is charging us £325 to set up the tooling required to cut the mats on top of the £28 per mat fee plus VAT... of course :(

Our target is now £968

Any extra funds raised  will  be invested in our unique   Aikido Training Grant   Programme,  designed for students  who cannot afford   a training uniform, membership,  and monthly training fees.

Thank you so much for reading our story...

The  instructors and students of the Arun Aikido Club would really appreciate the support of our family, friends, and colleagues in helping us to raise  the funds to   recoup our losses and expand our mat space.

Any donations, no matter how small will be gratefully received... Thank You!

When you donate,  you can offer suggestions of tasks that you would like club members to carry out...

1 - number of breakfalls in one class... be reasonable :)
2 - a sponsored walk for  Macmillan Cancer Support



Sensei Tony J. Wilden 5th Dan
Founder & Chief Instructor
Arun Aikido Club

P.S. To help  get the word out, please share the following link to your Facebook Timeline...  https://www.gofundme.com/aac-mats

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We have just found out, after much negotiation, that the price of replacing our mats has gone up considerably in the 2.5 years since this issue began.

This is because the supplier is charging us £325 to set up the tooling required to cut the mats on top of the £28 per mat fee, plus VAT... of course :(

Our target is now £968

We will use up our club funds, plus extras donated by family and attempt to raise the difference.

Wow... what an exhausting process!

We will keep you updated on proceedings, and thanks again for your support... it is much appreciated :)

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Hello everyone, I hope you are well. We are still discussing the mats order and sizes with the supplier. We don't want any issues this time :) I will let you know when the order has been confirmed, and the expected delivery date. Regards. Tony
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Go Fund Me have been transferring the funds over the last couple of weeks. Thanks to you we will soon be able to put in our mat order.

It may take a while as they are made to order. Once we have received them I will post photo's/video of Arun Aikido Club students training on them :)
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Thanks to Rob's donation we have now reached our target and will be able to increase our mat space. A massive thank you to everyone who has contributed.

If you haven't donated yet, then you can help us with our student sponsorship programme.

We offer free Arun Aikido Club membership, a free training uniform, and greatly reduced training fees to people who cannot afford to study Aikido.

Your donations will help us finance these unique training grants... and give potential students a real opportunity to get involved in studying Aikido.

Thanks again :)

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£671 of £968 goal

Raised by 23 people in 2 months
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