" It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit " - Noel Coward
Grade diploma's signed by - OSensei M Ueshiba (2) - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei - Masamichi Noro Sensei - TK Chiba Sensei - Doshu M Ueshiba.
1955 - BRITISH AIKIDO HISTORY - 2016
Article: " Trying to Catch the Wind " - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei
1955 - Early British Traditional Aikido - a time when the only dancing in Aikido was after Kenshiro Abbe Sensei rapped a students ankles with a shinai, flying uke drones were an unknown specie. `Noddy Aikido` throwing with a nod of the head was unheard of - Self grading was totally unacceptable and unknown, It would have brought shame on the sad shameless recipient and their dojo. Aikido dancing with ribbons would have been considered a mockery, who would ever have thought that some modern UK teachers would elevate their grades with the approval of the BAB above our legendary Japanese teachers, Kenshiro Abbe - M Nakazono - M Noro - TK Chiba. R.I.P.
"There we were Two Handsome Young Men "
Abbe Sensei visited O'sensei M Ueshiba at the AikiKai, - Abbe Sensei asked O'sensei to send to the UK the first full time AikiKai representative.
Two years later in 1966, TK Chiba Sensei arrived in the UK, his arrival would cause a massive upheaval in British Aikido.
Henry Ellis had studied Judo and Aikido at the once famous Hut Dojo from 1957.
In 1967 Henry Ellis left the Hut Dojo to become assistant to TK Chiba Sensei - 1967 to 1972.
This piece of UK Aikido history is detailed in the right hand column with a link to ` Aikiweb `
Columns page seven - click -" There we were - Two Handsome Young
Above Left: 1968 - Henry Ellis with TK Chiba Shihan.
Grades signed by - OSensei M Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Mutsuro Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - Doshu M Ueshiba.
If you are looking for dancing Aikido with perhaps a touch of the Tango, or maybe some flamboyant multicoloured ribbon dancing - or some fantasy Ki Aikido ? then keep your money in your purse, this no nonsense book `Positive Aikido` is not for you.
BRITISH AIKIDO HISTORY
The ` Hut Dojo ` 1957
Front centre: K Abbe Sensei - left of Abbe 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 Robin Otani - fourth from left Haydn Foster Senior - Robin Otani is now the President of the `British Judo Council` ( BJC ) founded by his father Mutsutaro Otani 7th dan and Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
" You have to know the past, to understand the present " - Carl Sagan
Click - 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 1963
Nakazono Sensei - first official teacher invited to the UK by K Abbe Sensei with the approval of OSensei Ueshiba - 1960.
Photo Left: Nakazono Sensei with Uke Henry Ellis at Grange Farm Summer Budo Course 1963 with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Back row standing in white top - Ken Williams Sensei - Right of photo in black Lenny Ballard (L) Eric Dollimore (R)
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 ".
Right: M Nakazono Sensei with Henry Ellis at Sensei's home in Sante Fe New Mexico USA 1992.
Sensei Williams initially selected a small hard core group of seven dedicated hard training students, these students survive the rigorous training to one day be graded to dan grade by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and later re-graded by Masahilo Nakazono Sensei at the request of Abbe 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.