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" 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.
"" 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.
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 to attend a seminar - the students all lined up respectfully, and all, as one, chanted something in what I assume was an attempt at a welcome in Japanese, Chiba Sensei looked at me quizzically, Sensei asked " Mr Ellis, what they say ? " - I returned the quizzical look, and replied " I have no idea Sensei ?".