Thursday, 20 February 2014

" You have to know the past, to understand the present " - Carl Sagan

Photo left: 
Ken Williams Sensei a senior Judoka with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1955.

Williams Sensei became the first UK student of Aikido, chosen by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. Later, Abbe Sensei promoted Williams Sensei to National Coach of the `British Aikido Council`. [BAC] 
Sensei Williams was based at the once famous  `Abbe School of Budo`  [Hut Dojo] he was the first dan grade from the inception of Aikido to the UK, 

The  ` Abbe School of Budo` affectionately known in the early days as the `Hut Dojo` .
Sensei Williams initially selected a small group of seven dedicated hard training students to be graded to dan grade by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Masahilo Nakazono Sensei 
These were the first Aikido dan grades in the whole of the UK.
D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis - L Ballard - P Dowden - D Eastman.
Williams Sensei and the magnificent seven were the true pioneers of British Aikido.
K Williams Sensei is now the president of the `Ki Federation GB `.

Letter dated 19th May 2000 from the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba to Henry Ellis Shihan.
"Aikidoists who were awarded dan grades by the founder are becoming fewer year by year. I believe that a person like you is very precious. It is my earnest hope that you will take very good care of yourself and contribute to the development of Aikido long for the future. - Doshu M Ueshiba.
Photo: Doshu - H Ellis [ Co-author of the book ` Positive Aikido `]

Below: Letter dated 3rd November 2008 from TK Chiba Shihan to Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman Shihan

Extract: -  
"The reason for this invitation is in recognition of and respect for your sincere devotion, commitment and persistence in the cause of British Aikido for over half a century, to begin as pioneers and being the first black belt students in Great Britain recognized by Hombu.  Most importantly to preserve the lasting friendship between ourselves." 
TK Chiba Shihan .
Photo - 1967 Summer School - H Ellis - TK Chiba

Thursday, 30 January 2014

British Aikido History
 " No matter your pretence, you are what you are, nothing more " - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei

To the ` British Aikido History ` Blog 
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 1915 - 1985

British Aikido History
The Beginning of a Great Era of UK Budo

     UK Aikido History Milestones

Henry Ellis and  Derek Eastman Sensei's are proud to have their lineage diploma's signed by
 Osensei Morihei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei - Masamichi Noro Sensei - TK Chiba Sensei - Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman Shihans both direct students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei from the 1950s. Training at the birthplace of British Aikido at the now famous `Hut Dojo`. Hillingdon London.
They offer a personal insight with articles - videos - photos of the early history - lineage and training with Budo legends.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Tadashi Abe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei - Masamichi Noro Sensei - Nobuyoshi  Tamura Sensei - TK Chiba Shihan and many others. 


Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
ESTA Founders: Derek Eastman & Henry Ellis; a brief UK Aikido history timeline from the 1950s to 2014.

Right: 1958 -  Kenshiro  Abbe Sensei's butterfly emblem of the BJC - BAC - BKA.

1.     1955.       Kenshiro Abbe arrives in the UK at the invitation (under contract) to the `London Judo Society` (LJS) - 
2      1955        K Abbe meets Masutaro Otani Sensei in London, the bonding of two great Budoka and an amazing future journey for British Budo.
3      1955.       K Abbe aged 40 takes on 33 LJS dan grades in line up - tells each one the technique he will use, left & right - he beats every single one. 
4.     1955        K Abbe introduces Budo + Aikido - UK. at `Royal Albert Hall London` - K Williams 1st UK student /dan grade - 1958 -BAC National Coach.
5.     1956.       K Abbe severs contract to London Judo Society. Abbe Sensei wanted to teach KyuShinDo Judo - the LJS were only interested in competition.
6.     1956.       K Abbe now joins forces with Masutaro Otani of the M.O.S.J.A. ( Jubilee Judo Club ). This was the beginning of a great era of UK Budo.
7.     1958.       K Abbe and M Otani create the `British Judo Council` (BJC) - `British Aikido Council (BAC) - `British Kendo Council` (BKC).
8.     1950s.     First UK Aikidoka - K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore.      H Foster - H Ellis - D Eastman.

9.     1950s.      K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis - D Eastman first  UK dan grades recognized by OSensei and Aikikai.
10.    1959.       K Williams - H Ellis taught first  w/e UK Aikido seminar - Devises Judo Club Wiltshire UK as guests of Graham Burt Sensei.
11.   1950s.     Hut Dojo ( Abbe School of Budo ) first 8 dan grades to K Abbe Sensei;H Ellis-5th - D Eastman-7th.

12.   1957.       Kenshiro Abbe invites the first Japanese Aikido master to the UK - Tadashi Abe Sensei - `1926 - 1984` - Student of Osensei from 1942.
13.   1960.       H Ellis & D Eastman first UK Aikido TV exposure on Harlech TV with K Williams and all other Hut dan grades.

14.   1961.       K Abbe invites Masahilo Nakazono Sensei ( 1918 - 1994 )    to the UK as the official AikiKai rep for North Africa - Europe - UK.
15.   1962.       Masamichi Noro Sensei  1935 - 2013 - makes the first of many visits to the UK.
16.   1963        Ellis & Eastman traveled for one year around the UK - promoting - teaching - introducing Aikido for free - sleeping in dojos - car - name it.
17.   1963.       H Ellis & D Eastman first teachers to officially introduce Aikido to the UK Education System whilst traveling and teaching Aikido.
18.   1963.       Ellis - Eastman - others - Royal Albert Hall - 1963.K Abbe - M Nakazono - M Noro - M Harada - H Michigami - M Otani.- Shoei Hamano.

19.   1963        Summer School - Grange Farm Essex - K Abbe - M Otani - H Michigami - M Harada - M Nakazono - M Noro -  guest S Hamano 9th dan.
20.   1963.       Ellis - Eastman 1963.1st UK filmed Aikido demo - UK USAF West Drayton UK. - The event was the USAF European Judo Championships.

21.   1963.       K Abbe invites Mutsusuke Harada to teach Karate at the Hut Dojo - H Ellis and D Eastman studied with Harada Sensei.
22.   1964.       K Abbe visits Tokyo summer Olympics, visits Osensei, asks for TK Chiba to be sent to the UK as official AikiKai representative.
23.   1966.       Henry Ellis opens 1st Bracknell Aikido Dojo, demonstration by K Williams Sensei & all the Hut dan grades.

24.   1966.       TK Chiba Sensei arrives in the UK - makes first visit to the ` Hut Dojo`. Chiba Sensei makes sure the `Hell Dojo` lives up to its name.
25.   1967.       K Williams Sensei leaves the `Hut Dojo` in the care of Haydn Foster Sensei and moves to Wales to create the Ki Federation GB.
26.   1967.       H Ellis leaves `Hut Dojo`  as assistant to TK Chiba Sensei.1967 - 1972. Dojos - Earls Court London - Times Newspapers Black-friars London.
27.   1968.       H Ellis & K Chiba - First BBC World Radio Broadcast - 30 min Aikido interview.

28.   1968.       TK Chiba - H Ellis hold summer school in Bracknell - N Tamura - T Ichamura - H Tada.
29.   1968.       Derek Eastman creates the org `Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido`.[ ESTA ] then invites Henry Ellis to join.
30.   1968.       H Ellis & K Chiba - Granada TV - Aikido Demonstration.- see article ` Two Handsome Young Men `.

31.   1975.       William ( Billy) Otani Judoka and eldest son of Masutaro Otani Sensei tragically died aged 33 yrs - 1942 - 1975.
32.   1977.       Masutaro Otani head of Samurai Budo family dies aged 81 yrs - 1896 - 1977.- Together with Abbe Sensei, created the BJC - BAC - BKC.
33.   1977.       British Aikido Board created from the Martial Arts Commission by the members for the members until discredited in 2000.
34.   1984        Tadashi Abe dies in  Japan - 23-11- 1984 - aged 58 yrs. He was the first Aikikai teacher to introduce Aikido to France and Europe  1952.
35.   1985.       Kenshiro Abbe Sensei dies peacefully at his home in Tokushima Prefecture - Japan. aged 69 yrs. (15-Dec-1915 -- 1-Dec-1985)

36.   1991.       Tomio Otani - Kendo - died aged 52 yrs - 1939 - 1991. - Tomio  student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. Tomio a close friend of Derek and I.
37.   1992.       Henry Ellis visits Masahilo Nakazono at his home in Sante Fe New Mexico USA.
38.   1994.       Masahilo Nakazono Sensei dies peacefully at his home in Sante Fe - New Mexico USA. aged 76 yrs. (20th-Dec-1918 - 8th-Oct-1994)
39.    2000.      British Aikido Board now discredited, attempt to corrupt the history of UK Aikido. ( they failed miserably  )  
40.    2004.      Henry Ellis forces the BAB to a meeting with Sports England. BAB receive strong reprimanded - ordered to apologize to Henry Ellis.
41.    2005.      Book Publication of "Positive Aikido" - A book on UK Aikido history anecdotes & techniques
42.    2005.      Ellis & Eastman organizing members "Kenshiro Abbe 50th Memorial Event". Crystal Palace London - Event totally sold out.
43.    2006       W `Bill` Woods died - 1930 - 2006 - Bill, personal assistant to Kenshiro Abbe, Bill was the most influential of all UK Budoka. 

44.    2007.      Ellis & Eastman organizing members "Masahilo Nakazono Memorial Event".
45.    2010.      Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman receive 6th dan AikiKai Hombu from the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.

46.    2011.      Haydn Foster Sensei  aged 84 yrs - 1927 - 2011 - Pioneer of UK Aikido dies peacefully at his home.
47.    1950s      2014 -H Ellis & D Eastman Diplomas signed by - Osensei Ueshiba - K Abbe - M Nakazono - M Noro - K Chiba - Doshu M Ueshiba.

48.    2012       UK Aikido History Articles published - Aikiweb - Fighting Arts Int - Aikido Today - Blitz MA Mag - Martial Arts Illustrated.
49.    2012.      H Ellis - D Eastman promoted to 6th dan AikiKai Shihan by TK Chiba Shihan and Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba - 3rd - 8th - 2012.
50.    2012.      Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman the original UK Aikido pioneers to be promoted to Aikikai Shihan by TK Chiba and Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.
51.    2013.      Masamichi Noro Sensei dies peacefully at his home in Paris France, aged 78 yrs. ( 21st-Jan-1935 -- March 15 -2013)
52.    2014.      March -The discredited British Aikido Board begins to fragment with over 50% members leaving - incl the JAC and the BAA.

53.    2015.      Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - born 1915 - 100 years celebration of the birth of the legendary Budoka. 

Henry Ellis admin

Thursday, 31 October 2013

British Aikido - Important - This site is not associated with the crass discredited British Aikido Board. [ BAB ]
BAB = Bad at Budo

This site offers the genuine students the true History of British Aikido
From its inception in 1955 by the Legendary Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 1915 - 1985.
by Shihans
Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman
  Direct Students of  Kenshiro Abbe Sensei
Diplomas signed by 
Osensei Morihei Ueshiba - Sensei's  Kenshiro Abbe  - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro  - TK Chiba Shihan - Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.

" No matter your pretense, you are what you are, nothing more "  - Kenshiro Abbe 

It Only Takes the Good Aikidoka to Stand Quietly By - For the Fraudulent Plastic Samurai to Succeed.

Read of the Betrayal of British Budo - Visit the `British Aikido Board Exposed` Blog

Visit the ` Ellis Aikido ` YouTube Video Channel for a large collection of Videos..

Scroll Down for Documented British Aikido History

Tadashi Abe Sensei - 1926 - 1984. Direct student of Osensei  from 1942.  Abe Sensei was the first Japanese Aikido teacher invited to the UK by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Quote; from T Abe Sensei.
" The Aikido I knew and learned with Osensei was Budo. Since my return to Japan, I realise that what we teach today has nothing to do with this martial art.
What remains of this martial art inherited from Samurai, which was formed by the founder for men. Today, it is a sport of women ! "   ~ Tadashi Abe Sensei

Tadashi Abe Sensei began his Aikido study with Osensei in 1942, he was the first official AikiKai representative to Europe.

Right: Tadashi Abe Sensei and Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Tadashi Abe Sensei visited the UK in the 1950s at the invitation of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, he would make several visits before the arrival of Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei in 1961 and Masamichi Noro Sensei in 1962.

Aiki - Deludo

If only Tadashi Abe Sensei could see senior Aikidoka  today, grading themselves - or -  being graded
higher than Abe Sensie himself, by their own students, some adding a Shihan / Han-shi / and Soke titles as a bonus, - throwing gullible students with a nod of the head - no touch throws - breathing through their toes - Aikido Ribbon Dancing - Touch freezing students - Music in the Dojo - Ki Blasts' the sadness is endless. 
I can imagine when I was a kid, if the class got together and told our teacher we were promoting him to professor, that vicious cane would be flashing everywhere.

 Rest in Peace ~ Tadashi Abe Sensei.

Abe Sensei was a hard man in every way, he was small, powerful and dynamic. During the second world war he had trained, and qualified, as a one man suicide pilot of a ` Kaiten `  ( Return to the Sky ) submarine, which in reality was a glorified torpedo. TK Chiba Sensei personally told me that Abe Sensei was his hero, he also told me how Abe Sensei was in preparation to go into action with the Kaiten when the war suddenly ended - Chiba Sensei said that Abe Sensei felt to the day he died,  fate had cheated him of his destiny, to die for his Emperor, and Japan.

Henry Ellis Admin.

For more history - visit ` Aikido Stories ` True Aikido Stories


`Judo News Magazine` - 1963.

Reporting on the great Budo Event at the `Royal Albert Hall` London. - November 22nd 1963.

` Judo News ` cover: L to R : M Noro - H Michigami - K Abbe - M Harada - M Nakazono - seated M Otani.

From Judo News
"" The display finished with Mr Nakazono taking on four Aikido dan grades individually, and finally taking on all four at once, throwing all four with one movement ( two going off the stage ) . A spectacular finish to a truly thrilling evening. Nakazono Sensei then presented all the Aikido dan grades with their official certificates which had come from the AikiKai in Japan.
Photo centre: K Williams being presented with his 3rd dan by Nakazono Sensei with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Noro Sensei looking on.
Aikido dan grades taking part in this, the greatest Budo event ever held in the UK to this day - were Sensei's - K Williams - H Foster - H Ellis - D Eastman. ""         


The Hut Dojo from 1955

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1959/60.

Sensei would often call in to the famous `Hut Dojo`, he would simply step out of his shoes and go on the mat in his suit and teach.

Here he is pointing out as he often did that Irimi is not a one step entering technique, he would say " necessary not one step - necessary walk through your opponent " .

Sensei would often teach with the help of a Shinai, with a little whack on the offending part of ones body would be a good indication of where you were going wrong ( very effective )

Abbe Sensei would say " My English very bad, Shinai speaks English fluently "

Right: Henry Ellis with uke Derek Eastman 1960.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei
In those early days there were no names for the various techniques, Abbe Sensei would simply indicate what he wanted from his uke - he would describe all techniques as  " necessary this action " - It actually worked very well. It was only with the arrival of Nakazono Sensei and Noro Sensei that the names of techniques were added - along with the forms system, which I still teach to this day.

There are many English dialects that are very difficult to understand, even for fellow countrymen. I am often amused as so many teachers and students attempt to speak some form of Japanese, how would that sound to a Japanese person ?

When I was assistant to Chiba Sensei 1967 - 1972, we entered a dojo in the north of England to attend a seminar - the students all lined up respectfully, and all, as one, chanted something in what I assume was an a well rehearsed attempt at a welcome in Japanese, Chiba Sensei looked at me quizzically, Sensei then asked " Mr Ellis, what they say ? " - I returned an equally puzzled look, and replied  " I have no idea Sensei ?".

Henry Ellis

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

There are many dubious claims for credibility by so many to have trained at the famous " HUT DOJO" with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei in those early days - A visit to the Hut Dojo or cleaning the dojo windows or even a pint of beer in the Hut Pub does not a pioneer make.  


                                  The First British Aikido Dan Grades from 1955

First Five Dan Grades in Order - K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis.

                                                                                     Direct Students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1915 - 1985
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei introduced Aikido to the UK in 1955. As part of a demonstration of Budo at the Royal Albert Hall London  at the London Judo Society National Championships.
Of the original group there are now only Sensei's Ken Williams - Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman still involved after 58 years.

                         Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 8th dan Judo - 6th dan Aikido - 6th dan Kendo - 6th dan Karate - 6th dan Ju-Kendo.
All Japan 5th dan Judo Champion.

                                                                                 Top L to R: Ken Williams - Dave Williams - Eric Dollimore.
                                                                                       Centre:  Haydn Foster - Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman.
                                                                                      Bottom: Andy Allen - Hamish MacFarland - Trevor Jones.
                                                                       Names in Italics /underlined  are sadly deceased - see the Memoriam.

 The first dan grades later promoted outside of the `Hut Dojo group  were as follows.                          

Left: Ralph Reynolds - deceased - he became the British Aikido Council  representative for Birmingham and the Midlands.

Right: Tom Weir became the first British Aikido Council dan grade representing Scotland.

1950s - Britain was still suffering from the after effects of the second world war, bomb sites were everywhere - food, clothing, petrol was still only available with rationing coupons until 1957. Both Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman personally experienced a hostile attitude from fellow work colleagues for being involved with the Japanese in martial arts - some workers had actually been Japanese prisoners of war. Today, one would probably find it difficult to understand such difficult times.  

Each of the pioneer UK Aikido dan grades were based in the one dojo - " The Abbe School of Budo " -  affectionately known then, and now, as  `The Hut Dojo `, they had all been graded by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei was the official AikiKai representative for Europe and North Africa.

Kenshiro Abbe's ` British Aikido Council ( BAC ) was the first British Aikido organisation recognised by the Aikikai Hombu and Osensei Morihei Ueshiba,

1961 - Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei was invited from France to teach in the UK by Abbe Sensei -  there was a shock in store for all of us on that first day on the mat with Nakazono Sensei.

Abbe Sensei had asked Sensei that we ``all `` be re-graded to meet Nakazono's Sensei's own standard, and
that of the then AikiKai. 
All the dan grades were approved, and we were also highly complimented by Nakazono Sensei.
Our diplomas were written by Nakazono Sensei and signed by Osensei Morihei Ueshiba.

That is, except for one student, he was one of our best dan grades, he was a second dan, he was to our surprise demoted to first dan by Nakazono Sensei. - We were never told why ? - - It was rumoured  there was an edict from Japan to keep the dan grades low in number to enhance the image and grades of the following visiting Japanese teachers - true or not ? I do not know.

Nakazono Sensei then spoke those immortal words to him " Necessary sell your gi and hakama whilst prices are high ! " -

Sadly, the demoralised student did not see the humour, he would leave the Hut, and Aikido, never to return.

Jiro Nakazono Sensei, the second son of Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei, personally told me the following story.

" As a 14 year old schoolboy in Paris France, I would wait eagerly for my father to return from England, he would tell me many wonderful stories of the Budo men of England - my father said the English were the toughest Budoka in all Europe.
 I still remember those stories today.

Jiro Nakazono Sensei

Read the story of  Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei - Click  Man of Peace & Pieces
Admin: Henry Ellis

British Aikido Origins from 1955
Narration & Movie Slide-Show by Henry Ellis ~ The Arrival of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Development of Budo in the UK.

 Masahilo Nakazono Sensei - Sweden - 1968

No - 2 - 1963 - UK - USAF - AFB - Earliest UK Video.

1963 - Earliest known UK Aikido Demonstration - Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman at the USAF European Judo Championships - West Drayton London..The video is converted from 8mm film of poor vision but still a valuable piece of history.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


British Aikido History

The True Origins and the Legends - and the BS

As time gathers pace, there are now just two direct students surviving and involved  from the original group of UK Aikido pioneers. All from the famous `Hut Dojo` the cradle of UK Aikido from its inception in 1955 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and his first student a high ranking Judoka named Ken Williams Sensei who would later be promoted to National Coach of the "British Aikido Council" ( BAC).

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman are the last of the original group, they are the only two original pioneers to be promoted to Aikikai Shihan by TK Chiba Shihan and the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. They are proud to have their grading diplomas signed by - Osensei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - The Doshu M Ueshiba.

Along with other direct students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei of both Judo and Aikido, we have all worked tirelessly to offer the students of today, and of the future - the truth.

Aikiweb article by Henry Ellis of his first meeting - and time - with TK Chiba Sensei in 1966. " Two Handsome Young Men " - Click Aikiweb Article

The truth in British Aikido is like dog feces - one has to be very careful where they tread, there are organisations actually colluding with members to re-invent themselves. We never cease to be amazed at the constant flow of BS claims by many to have been a special friend of Abbe Sensei or to have trained at the Hut Dojo - when we see these sad desperate claims for some form of recognition - we expose them for what they are = BS

I recall the first ever Aikido seminar held in the UK, it was 1957, Williams Sensei asked me to go along for the weekend to the `Devises Judo Club` in Wiltshire - We travelled down on Sensei's big old `Ariel Square Four` motorbike and side car, I was in the side car which had all the luxuries of a coffin and about as frightening - I have never been in one since.

I have never met another man that could have achieved what Williams Sensei did in those very early days, he created Aikido from nothing in 1955 - he then built an organisation which only fragmented eleven years later with the arrival of TK Chiba Sensei in 1966.

I could not believe the disrespectful claim on a martial arts website concerning Sensei Williams, a man who without doubt had the greatest influence and progress on the development of Aikido throughout the UK - Ken Williams Sensei was the first UK student of Kenshiro Abbe, and the first UK dan grade for Aikido.

Quote from a martial arts website.

" Ken Williams used to be in Wales. If the "legends" are true Chiba Sensei blindly pointed his finger to Wales on a map of the UK and said "you go there". So he did. basically he was exiled to Wales for trying to muscle in on someone else's dojo. So the story goes any way ". 

This never happened, I was personal assistant to Williams Sensei from 1957 until 1966 and I was assistant to TK Chiba from 1967 to 1972.
This is not North Korea or Russia where you can banish someone to another part of the country.

Stories such as this have absolutely no foundation, so, how the hell do these people make them up ?

In 1967 Williams Sensei did make a pre-planned move to his family roots in Wales where he established his Ki Federation GB.

Many years later Williams Sensei moved to Somerset - planned once again of his own free will.

Henry Ellis - admin

Visit the ` Aikido Stories ` Blog  UK Aikido History Stories

Friday, 19 October 2012

Detailing the True British Aikido History and Lineage from its Inception by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1955

1959/60 - Left: Kenshiro Abbe ( H Ellis centre ) Sensei would often just step on the Hut Dojo mat and teach in his suit - Centre: Book `Positive Aikido`- Right: Teaching at the Crystal Palace London  " Kenshiro Abbe Memorial Event 2005 ". The mat was full to its allowed capacity of 425 students with 400 plus spectators. This was probably the greatest display of all the Budo arts ever witnessed in the UK.

The Traditional Aikido introduced to the UK in 1955 by the Budo legend Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was a martial art - It was a time before the rise of the plastic Samurai -There was no Ki Aikido - There was no dancing Ki with ribbons or breathing through ones toes - there were no silly `` no touch throws ``- There was no throwing from a distance with a nod of the head - There was no music in the dojo - there was no attacking by flying ukemi - no falling down on command - No one would dare to grade themselves or be graded by their own students, or give themselves titles of Hanshi or Shihan.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei is a Budo legend highly respected in the world of Budo - yet - there are members of the British Aikido Board who have graded themselves higher than Kenshiro Abbe Sensei with the approval of the B A B.
Aikido was once a Martial Art.
Henry Ellis with Masahilo Nakazono 1992 - NM - USA
Nakazono Sensei is one of the most revered of all the early teachers. I was pleased to be invited to his home in Sante Fe New Mexico where I spent several hours talking of the early days of British Aikido. Sensei asked " who is grading all these high grades in the UK that I hear of ? "
I replied " Sensei - there are some that are Aikikai affiliated, the rest either grade themselves or grade each other "  Sensei laughed, then said " Henry, I should not laugh as this is rather sad, what would Abbe Sensei think ? "   

The  British  Aikido  History  Blog 

Click the link below for a early video of the first visit by Masamichi Noro Sensei to the UK and the `Hut Dojo`.

The purpose of this website is to promote the true history of British Aikido.

It is unfortunate that the "British Aikido Board Controversy" has now become an unacceptable part of our history. It does show that such conduct will not be tolerated by the students of both today and tomorrow. 
Visit Aikido Books for `Positive Aikido` Positive Aikido 

Scroll down for my Rare Collection of Aikido Books

                The ESTA and this website are not associated with the discredited British Aikido Board 


Aikido - UK - first demonstrated at the London Judo Society (LJS) National Championships by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei at the Royal Albert Hall London in 1955.
Abbe Sensei had arrived in the UK at the invitation of the LJS - After just one year Abbe Sensei decided to leave the LJS and join with M Otani Sensei.

This would be a successful partnership with the creation of the British Judo Council `BJC` - British Aikido Council `BAC` - British Kendo Council `BKC`.

Right: Ken Williams Sensei seated with Abbe Sensei at the `Hut Dojo`. Williams Sensei a Judoka 3rd dan who became the first UK Aikido student of Abbe Sensei and Aikido.
Left: 1950s - Early students of both Aikido and Judo at the `Hut Dojo`.
Front centre: Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Ken William Sensei - Henry Ellis second from right back row.

Left: Kenshiro Abbe. Right: Ken Williams Sensei the first UK student of Abbe Sensei for Aikido.

This site is dedicated to preserving the true history and lineage of that amazing era in post war Britain - After the second world war these were hard times, they were also good times. It was a time when grades and titles were earned the hard way - the only way - the true way. 
Dan grades in all martial arts were a rare breed and very highly respected - No one was ever graded by their friends and students.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei would laugh were he able to see some of the clowns of today - idiots that have graded themselves to the same grade or in some cases higher than Abbe Sensei.
Kenshiro Abbe - a man who was a true Budo legend.

Right: Mitsusuke Harada Sensei

Right: Guests - Henry Ellis - Mitsusuke Harada - Derek Eastman.
They joined Harada Sensei at the TK Chiba 40th Celebration in 2006.

Harada Sensei was invited to the UK in 1963 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - He held his first classes at the Hut Dojo.

Harada had no students to begin with - Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman studied Karate with Harada, he in turn studied Aikido with them - Harada began to incorporate Aikido moves later into his Shotokai Karate as can be seen in his teachings today.

Left: Henry Ellis with his son Rik Ellis at the Hut Pub and Dojo where Aikido began in 1955 - Henry and Rik had just had lunch with TK Chiba Shihan - 2011.
Rik Ellis a student of both Aikido/MMA and BJJ - Rik is the UK1 MMA -light heavy weight champion 2012.

The Betrayal of British Budo

This Blogsite is dedicated to the true history and lineage of British Aikido from its inception 
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955

In the year 2000.  The British Aikido Board chairman Toni Davies, enthusiastically supported by the BAB secretary Ms Shirley Timms conspired with one Jack Poole to completely alter the true proud history and lineage of British Aikido. The following year, the new chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter would continue with this charade.

Left: Toni Davies - Right: Ms Shirley Timms


Left: The ` Hut Dojo` history board that the BAB would, given the opportunity, give it a coat of white wash.

Until the year 2000 it was accepted that the legacy of the founder of British Aikido Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was the corner stone of UK Budo History.
The stories of the early days of Aikido in the UK with Abbe Sensei's and his first student Ken Williams Sensei, along with the first four dan grades - Dave Williams - Eric Dollimore - Haydn Foster - Henry Ellis - these factual events were well established.
This was until the British Aikido Board `BAB` who publicly claim to ``Maintain standards in British Aikido `` actually colluded with one Mr Jack Poole to change this history, the BAB defied all logic and accepted Mr Poole's version of the origins of British Aikido.
Henry Ellis advised the BAB of the errors of their crass conduct - the slide show below details their reaction to being exposed.

The British Aikido Board Controversy Slide-Show

The documented slide-show offers the genuine students of Aikido a quick insight into the crass conduct of the British Aikido Board and its favourite son Mr Jack Poole.
Mr Poole has many supporters, I can understand why they are prepared to go to great lengths to protect his devious fraudulent history, simply because at the same time they are desperate to protect their grades whatever their value.
For more detailed information visit in the right hand column " The Martial Arts Encyclopedia " ( The investigation into the BAB & Mr Poole )

The British Aikido Board Controversy Slide-show


The British Aikido Board Event Presentation Programme
Reads ( pause at 7m 14sec )

" This year is a particular special event because we will be honouring 5 ( FIVE ) instructors who have served over 40  ( FORTY )  continuous years teaching Aikido in the UK. "

They are:  H Ellis ~ H Foster ~ R Reynolds ~ W Smith - D Eastman.

NOW look at the presentation group photo and the named 5 ( FIVE ) has mysteriously become 6  ( SIX ) 

Documented evidence of the conduct of the UK Governing Body for Aikido.

Detailing the BAB's attempted collusion with one Mr Jack Poole to change forever the true proud history and lineage of British Aikido, from its inception to the UK in 1955 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Henry Ellis was actually Mr Poole's first teacher, this is obvious to anyone who is not a student of Mr Poole or a member of the BAB executive .
It can clearly be seen from the large collection of photos and statements that Mr Poole's history is a sham, this did not deter the BAB from proudly parading Mr Poole along-side his teacher as a `Pioneer of British Aikido` .


Imagine, you are a direct student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and recognised by both the Doshu and TK Chiba as a pioneer of British Aikido.
The UK Aikido governing body, the BAB, invite you to receive an award in recognition of your achievments.

As you wait to meet the Lord Mayor of Birmingham - you hear a shuffling sound - you look behind - standing there unannounced and totally unashamed is one of your old students, by the name of Jack Poole, unbelievably he is standing in line to receive the same award as the true pioneers - unbelievable.
You could not make this up - The BAB did.

The British Aikido Board can make your Day Dreams a Reality.

British Aikido Board Exposed.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and the early pioneers of Aikido in the UK, they could never have imagined that 50 years on, there would be a governing body for the art of Aikido, sadly, this was not  a governing body that would work for all that is good in Aikido -  This governing body, would collude with a self-graded Mr Jack Poole and others, to corrupt the true history and lineage  of Aikido in the UK.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman dared to question the conduct of the BAB.
The BAB, despite knowing that Henry Ellis did not even have a simple motoring offence against his good name and character - the BAB began to spread slanderous rumours that Mr Ellis had been charged with "GBH" grievous bodily harm - a very serious charge, which in the UK is second only to murder, a sentence that can result in a life prison sentence.
This gross act of slander was exposed by an ex-senior BAB executive.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman took their case first to the Minister for Sport at the `Houses of Parliament` - then to - `Sport England`.
The BAB were reprimanded for their crass conduct and instructed to give a written apology to Henry Ellis. The BAB apology was not a sincere acceptance of regret - The BAB was exposed by the ex- executive, the BAB would continue to slander the good name of Henry Ellis.

It is our aim to protect our proud history, and lineage, from those that create their own grades, titles and history.

 Future generations will one day look for the truth.

Visit the ``British Aikido Board Exposed `` Blog.
Read the shocking truth about this crass organisation. British Aikido Board Exposed

See my Rare Aikido Books Below

The British Aikido Lineage Tree

The British Aikido Lineage Tree
British Aikido Lineage comes directly from OSensei Ueshiba by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei to the UK in 1955..Photos in decending order are: OSensei ~ Kenshiro Abbe ~ K Williams ~ L- E Dollimore. R- D Williams- below - L- H Ellis -R - H Foster..below L to R - L Ballard - P Dowden -D Eastman - T Jones - R Reynolds...below the first Japanese teachers in order - M Nakazono - T Abe - M Noro - TK Chiba..The Lineage tree shows all the early teachers both British and Japanese. Click ~ British Aikido History site.

Aikido in the UK " The Beginning !!"

This article by Henry Ellis tells of the very early days of Aikido in the UK at the now famous " Hut Dojo " In those early days It was known as the " Hell Dojo ".
Aikido in the UK - The Beginning !

Video 1963 First UK Aikido Film ? Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman also other Ellis Aikido Videos.