BRITISH AIKIDO HISTORY
" If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything " - Mark Twain
" You have to know the past, to understand the present " - Carl Sagan
Ken Williams Sensei
A senior Judoka with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1955.
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, - Henry Ellis was the personal assistant to Williams sensei from 1957 to 1967.
Right: Mutsuro `Masahilo` Nakazono Sensei
Nakazono Sensei - first official teacher invited to the UK by K Abbe Sensei with the approval of OSensei Ueshiba - 1960.
When Nakazono Sensei arrived in the UK there were only 8 dan grades for Aikido in the UK, they were all based at the ` Hut Dojo `.
The 8 dan grades were proud to have been graded by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei,
It came as a shock when Abbe Sensei informed all the dan grades they were all to be regraded by Nakazono Sensei, this to make sure they all met with the then AikiKai standards - we all passed. Now we had our shodan and ni dan diploma's signed twice by two great teachers.
Nakazono Sensei stated " you could all visit the AikiKai and train equally with anyone there of similar grade."
Jiro Nakazono Sensei told Henry Ellis, when he was a schoolboy in France age 13/14, he would wait excitedly for his father to return from his visits to Britain and tell the stories of the tough Aikidoka of Britain. who his father described as " The British are the toughest Budoka in all Europe ".
The ` Abbe School of Budo`
affectionately known in the early days as the `Hut Dojo` .
These were the first and only Aikido dan grades in the whole of the UK.
D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis - L Ballard - P Dowden - D Eastman - J Caldwell.
Williams Sensei and the team of eight were the true pioneers of British Aikido.
Front centre: K Abbe Sensei - left of Sensei is Haydn Foster junior - right of Sensei K William - Back row - second from right Henry Ellis - Back row second from left 14 yr old Robing Otani - fourth from left Haydn Foster Senior -