Thursday, 16 October 2014

BRITISH  AIKIDO  HISTORY

"  If you tell the truth, you  don't have to remember anything "  Mark Twain



Site Admin - Henry Ellis AikiKai Shihan & Derek Eastman AikiKai Shihan.

Grades signed by - OSensei M Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Mutsuro Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - Doshu M Ueshiba.

Co- authors with Dave Rogers Sensei of the book ` Positive Aikido `



BRITISH  AIKIDO  HISTORY

Scroll down for " Aikido Then and Now "

1955 - 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, - 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` .

Sensei Williams initially selected a small group of seven dedicated hard training students to be graded to dan grade by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and later Masahilo Nakazono Sensei 

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.

K Williams Sensei is now the president of the `Ki Federation GB `.
Left:  The `Hut Dojo ` circa 1957.

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 - 
Letter dated 19th May 2000 from the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba to Henry Ellis Shihan.
Extract:- 

"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 `]


`You may know one thousand techniques on the mat - do you have the fighting spirit to apply just one in the street ` ? - Henry Ellis


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." 

Right; TK Chiba Shihan - Henry Ellis - Summer School 1967.



The original `Hut Dojo ` Dan Grading board  ( dart board ) from 1955 with names of both Judo and Aikido dan grades - all the original dan grades are there.

 If your name, or the name of your teacher is not on this historic lineage board - then, you were never there. 
There are so many these days making claim they, or their teacher, trained at the `Hut Dojo` ( in the early days ) sadly, most of them are full of compacted bull shit. 

There is a big difference between having trained at the Hut Dojo in the original small pioneering group and being an occasional or one off visitor. - Standing in a garage doesn't make you a car.

 It is accepted someone visited the Hut Dojo occasionally and cleaned the outside windows on a rare weekend, maybe that was their teacher contribution ? 






Below:  K Williams Sensei with K Abbe Sensei.

The ` Hut Dojo
Initially a Judo Dojo - When Ken Williams Sensei joined with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei he renamed the dojo ` The Abbe School of Budo ` even though to this day the dojo was and still is affectionately known as the " Hut Dojo " .

When Sensei Williams left the Hut Dojo in 1967 he left it in the capable hands of Haydn Foster Sensei - I honestly feel that when our old friend Haydn left us, so did the character and atmosphere of the original Hut Dojo.

I first started Judo at the Hut Dojo - in 1957 I joined the Aikido section with Haydn Foster who had joined some 2 or 3 months earlier.


Above:  Original grading book from the 1950s.  




  Henry Ellis - Haydn Foster - Derek Eastman.->
`` Mr Foster  ``
To this day, many students and teachers refer to Haydn Foster Sensei as ``Mr Foster `` without understanding why ?
At the Hut Dojo in the 1950s Although Mr Foster was not senior to us in grade, he was  approx 10 years older than Derek Eastman and Henry Ellis, as teens in those early days young people were taught to respect their elders, so, we, Ellis and Eastman simply and fondly called Hayden ` Mr Foster `, other students followed, and so it carries on, even to this day.


Henry Ellis - Harada Sensei - Derek Eastman


We were all guests at TK Chiba's 40th UK celebration dinner 2006.
Harada Sensei was teaching in Brazil where he was a bodyguard to the Japanese Emperor during a visit to that country. Harada Sensei was invited to the UK by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1963 - Henry Ellis gave up some mat space on his evening class at the Hut Dojo to Harada Sensei, as there were no students to begin with, Ellis and Eastman were the first students of Harada - in turn they taught him some Aikido which can be seen today in his `Shotokai ` karate movements and style. - Harada Sensei later took an outstanding young student named Ken Waight as his first ever UK assistant.


The `Hut Dojo ` Hillingdon London.

In the 1950s / 60s the Hut was a place of pilgrimage for many students of Aikido and other martial arts from across the UK and Europe, it had a powerful atmosphere that many visitors claimed you could grab by the handful as you entered, I looked on the Hut in those early days as my second home. With the sad passing in 2011 of Haydn Foster Sensei, - for me now the Hut no longer has that special feeling, it was gone forever, on our last visit to the Hut Dojo after we met with TK Chiba Shihan.  Derek Eastman and I jointly declared that this would be our last ever visit to the Hut Dojo. it held nothing more in our hearts, although the old Hut is no more, our memories are alive and strong. - The original building has been refurbished and bears little resemblance to the original dojo, sadly you can't refurbish the atmosphere or bring back those very special people that created the once famous `Hut Dojo` from its origins as an old Scouts Hall.


BJC - Grange Farm Summer Schools 1959 – 1966 - Judo - Aikido - Karate - Kendo.

Left: 1961 - Nakazono Sensei with uke Henry Ellis.- Grange Farm.

Right: Tada Sensei with uke Henry Ellis.

Grange Farm.
One of the great events of those early days was the summer courses held at Grange Farm Sports Centre – Chigwell – Essex. - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei would invite many great Budoka to attend th dan – Shoji Hamano 9th dan – Haku Michigami 7th dan – Mitsusuke Harada 5th dan -  Mutsuro Nakazono 7th dan – Masamichi Noro 6th dan – TK Chiba 6th dan - Tomio Otani Kendo National Coach.
– Mutsutaro Otani 7

____________________________________________________________________________



Aikido - Then and Now - 1955 - 2014

Henry Ellis - I am often asked the following question.

 " What is the difference between the Aikido of the 1950s and the Aikido of today ?"


1950s - This was a time when all kyu and dan grades were highly respected, simply because everyone knew that even the lowest grade had been honestly earned through blood sweat and tears, not like today, often given as a Christmas present by your own students, or ordered online from the inept British Aikido Boards website for a modest fee.

Students never handed out titles to their own teachers, such as Shihan - Grandmaster - Soke - Hanshi - Doctor - Professor and any others you can think of.  - Just imagine being at school and the kids informing the teacher that the class had jointly awarded him/her a PHD, now that would be worth six strokes of the cane on both hands in my school days.





Photo Left: Kenshiro Abbe teaching - Henry Ellis centre.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei taught that uke should always attack on balance - today it is more often a ukemi attack with uke being overly compliant and acrobatic. 

If you attack on balance, then the techniques have to be good to control the attacker - the nod of the head, and no touch throws would then be comical, sadly, many students show as much resistance as an unattached piece of string.

Importantly, it was a time when students did not grade their own teachers as so many do today.
It was also a time when there was no Aikido with ribbons, if anyone had been daft enough to come into the dojo with a bundle of coloured ribbons ?  they would have been found hanging by them from the Hut Dojo roof beams.  

It was a time when Aikido was a respected martial art, respected by all the other m/a.
If Abbe Sensei thought his teaching wasn't getting through - no words were spoken - Sensei would `tap` the offending body part with a crack of a Shiinai - this was a very successful method of teaching, it gained immediate attention, it would be a reminder and an indicator to the student what their problem was, no one ever complained - The Ki people would be in tears today.



TK Chiba said to Henry Ellis  " There are now so few martial art dojos, they are nearly all social clubs ".


It was a time when students would train hard, and the techniques would be strong and effective, everyone attacks a little different, therefore you cannot plan what your defense would be, the attacker makes your defense ( or not ) It was a time when people trained hard to understand the techniques - if, as so many do today, trying to scientifically analyze Aikido with engineering and physics, Aikido is natural movement, not for some,  for example, if a student asked Kenshiro Abbe or Mutsuro Nakazono anything of a technical nature, they were told to practice with an ` empty mind ` only a clear mind will adsorb the  knowledge.


Left: The 4th dan certificate presented to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei by Emperor Hirohito of Japan in the 1930s.


1955

This was a time when Kenshiro Abbe sensei was the only 8th dan in the UK .


We now live in a different age, a crazy age, where 7th and 8th dans are like post-boxes, with at least one in almost every town and village in the UK, thanks to the inept - " BAB   -  you can grade yourself, or ask your students to grade you - and simply add ``British Aikido Board Approved ``. It is like ordering a doctorate online.

Aikido training In those early days by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and with alittle encouragement of a Shinai, the traing was very physical, building fitness, fighting spirit, and physical and mental strength, after the warm up, there was always a session of kicking and punching techniques, this was followed with push-ups, depending on grade, with between 20 for beginners and two hundred for dan grades of push-ups on the back of the wrists. 

It was also a time when all Aikido came under the respected `British Aikido Council` [BAC] overseen by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei.

In later years we would see the creation of the so-called governing body for Aikido, the ` British Aikido Board` [BAB] - a body that started with good heart and honest intentions, only to become a an overly bureaucratic body that would recognize its own grandmother as an ` approved ` Hanshi or dan grade,  an organisation that would later offer online dan grades for money.

The BAB would knowingly recognize well known fraudulent practitioners grades, publicly promote the offenders profile to its membership and the genral public. 

The BAB allow the endless use and abuse of `` BAB Approved `` for the promotion of self appointed titles of Shihan - Hanshi - Grandmaster - Professor - Doctor - Soke .

The British Aikido Board has now become a home for the homeless, the established organisations such as the JAC and the BAA, which are creditable organisations who are all associated with Japan HQ - these organisations have resigned from the BAB.

Tadashi Abe Sensei - 1926 - 1984.

" The Aikido I knew and learned with Osensei was Budo. Since my return to Japan, I realize that what we teach today has nothing to do with this martial art.
What remains of this art inherited from Samurai, which was formed by the founder for men. Today, it is a sport of women ! "  Tadashi Abe Sensei student of OSensei from 1942.


Aikido Dancing   -  Aikido Ribbon Dance  -  Nodding Aikido  - Fantasy Aikido

Times change, people change, and Aikido will change - but sadly it is not always for the better.

`The Aikido Controversy`

Admin - Henry Ellis

Co-author of Positive Aikido`

http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/  




Tuesday, 30 September 2014


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



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

British Aikido History
1955
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 the technique he will use, left & right - he beats every single one. 
4.     1955        K Abbe introduces Aikido - UK. `Royal Albert Hall London` - K Williams 1st UK student /dan grade - 1958 -BAC National Coach.
5.     1956.       K Abbe leaves 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 M 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 - `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 1 year round 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 - Royal Albert Hall - 1963.K Abbe - M Nakazono - M Noro - M Harada - H Michigami - M Otani.- S Hamano.

19.   1963        Summer School - Grange Farm Essex - K Abbe - M Otani - H Michigami - M Harada - M Nakazono - M Noro - S Hamano 9th dan.
20.   1963.       Ellis - Eastman 1963.1st UK filmed Aikido demo -USAF West Drayton UK. - 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` assistant to TK Chiba Sensei.1967 - 1972. Dojos - Earls Court London - Times Newspapers - 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 K Abbe , 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 Eu 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.      H Ellis - D 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

Sunday, 28 September 2014


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
from
1955


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. ( Otani Sensei complained they made him sit down because he was old, )




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. Centre; Henry Ellis - Right; Lennie Ballard.

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





The Royal Albert Hall 1963.

The ` BJC ` National Judo Championships November 23rd
November 1963. This was the greatest Budo event ever held in the UK with many Budo legends.
Kenshiro Abbe - Matsutaro Otani - M Michigami - Mutsuro Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - Shoji Hamano - Mutsuki Harada.- Bill Woods.

Ken Williams Sensei received his 3rd dan from Sensei's Nakazono and Noro.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman along with other ` Hut ` dan grades assisted both Nakazono and Noro Sensei's.

The souvenir programme cost `One Shilling` = 5p today.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

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.


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.

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