Tuesday, 20 March 2012

__________UK - British Aikido History - From its 1955 Inception________

K Abbe Sensei introduced Aikido to the UK in 1955 - K Williams Sensei first UK student of Aikido. First UK Dojo " The Hut Dojo".

The first Budo Masters - Sensei's - Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - H Kobayashi.

AikiKai Shihans - Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman promoting and teaching Aikido UK - Europe - USA - Australia from 1957.

Left: Derek Eastman   1950s/60s                                                                                                           Right: Henry Ellis 1950s/60s

Photos below Left: Henry Ellis...Right: Derek Eastman with the Austin Mini car they travelled and promoted Aikido around the UK in the early 1960s

Ellis and Eastmans Diplomas are signed by legends: Osensei Morihei Ueshiba (349) - Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - Doshu M Ueshiba. Promoted to Aikikai Shihan by TK Chiba and the Doshu M Ueshiba.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman are the only two original British Aikido pioneers of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei to be promoted to Aikikai Shihan.

Right: 1959/60s Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman travelling - working - to promote the new martial art of Aikido across the UK. They would stay with students - sleep in the dojo - or more often sleep in the small mini car - not recommended.

The 1950s was a difficult time with war time food rationing continuing until 1957. One can imagine to be promoting anything Japanese in the UK at this time would be unacceptable as the memories of the war were still fresh in the minds of the British people. Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman actually worked with men who had been prisoners of war of the Japanese, the mention of Aikido would result in an hostile reaction from other members of staff.

Until the year 20000 little had been documented or written in any form of the true history and origins of Aikido in the UK.
Fortunately at this time there were three surviving original pioneers. ( Now two with the sad loss of Haydn Foster Sensei in 2011 )
The stories of those times were well known verbally as they had been handed down by the few remaining direct students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
It is now 2012, -  there are now just Ken Williams Sensei - Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman left of the original genuine students of Abbe Sensei from that early era of British Budo.

In the year 2000, certain disgusting and unpleasant events in UK Aikido would take place, It would take these events to motivate the true pioneers of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei to step forward to document and protect their proud history and lineage, they decided to share their memories and personal photos,videos, and much more to protect the legacy left in their care by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei for the future generations of UK students.

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman were two members of that original group, they began their long Aikido journey in their teens in the 1950s at the now famous Hut Dojo where they first met TK Chiba Sensei in 1966. In 2011 they met with Chiba Sensei at the Hut Dojo to say a farewell prayer for the late Haydn Foster Sensei.

On August 3rd 2012 they met again at the Hut Dojo with Chiba Sensei to receive their Aikikai Hombu promotion to Shihan.
This would be their final visit to the Hut Dojo - they felt there was nothing left of the dojo they once proudly called home, there was once an atmosphere that one felt could be taken by the handful - the spirit of the old Hut was now no more - It was no more than a memory of times of integrity and a true spirit of Budo.

This site tells that story. Of those early days, a time before the birth of the plastic samurai,a time before the strange ones would grade and award themselves titles without shame on a level,or in some cases above Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

It was a time

Before Ki Aikido,or Aikido with ribbon dancing, a time before Aikido to music. a time before teachers could throw with a telepathic nod of the head, or even more bizarrely, freeze students quicker than an Artic turd.
It was a time when Aikido was not an art,it was a Martial Art! - Come back Benny Hein, all is forgiven.

Chiba Sensei said to me only recently "There are very few martial arts dojos left, they have all become social clubs".

1955 - The "Hut Dojo" was the first and only dojo for Aikido in the UK - Now there is a dojo in every town and city.

In the early 1960s Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman travelled around the UK promoting the little known martial art of Aikido. They would travel and teach freely to Judo clubs and anyone else that would allow them to teach or demonstrate as Aikido began to spread across the UK.
They would take many varied part time jobs - undertakers assistants - roadsweepers - steelworkers - beach front photographers - working on railway repair gangs - building construction work. Sometimes sleeping in the Mini car, or in a cold damp dojo.There were times when a pretty girl would take sympathy on them and take them home for a meal and maybe the chance to sleep on the sofa. At times life could be tough, more often it was great fun,the memories are ever lasting.They were the first teachers to introduce Aikido to the education system.

My Membership and Grading books from the 1950s / 1960s.

Left: "Abbe Judo School" - Centre: "British Judo Council" - Right: "AikiKai of Great Britain".
Books are signed by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei - Masamichi Noro Sensei - Ken Williams Sensei.
At this time Masahilo Nakazono Sensei was the official AikiKai representative to Europe and North Africa with his signature in the "AikiKai of Great Britain" book.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei Memorial Event 2005 - Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman guests at the Japanese Embassy.
This Event would mark the end of an era of True Budo
50 years later in 2005. Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman were invited to the UK Japanese Embassy in Mayfair London, where they met the Japanese Ambassador and the Cultural Attache as an important part of organising the great "Kenshiro Abbe Sensei Jubilee Celebrations". This event was held at the "Crystal Palace Centre" London on the 14th of May 2005. This event was a Budo spectacular and fully sold out with 425 students on the mat.Many people said it was the greatest Budo Event ever held in the UK. There were also between 400 to 600 spectators during the event.

Right: Appreciation letter from Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba to Henry Ellis.Click to Enlarge.


________________________________MY RARE AIKIDO BOOKS____________________

FIRST AIKIDO TEACHERS to EUROPE & My RARE AIKIDO book Collection.- Jiu~Jitsu Combat Tricks 1905

Visit "Aikido Books" to see more book images - CLICK -Aikido Books

Minoru Mochizuki Sensei the first Aikido teacher to Europe 1951.Followed by.
Sensei's Tadashi Abe 1952 - Kenshiro Abbe 1955 - Masahilo Nakazono 1961- Masamichi Noro 1962 - TK Chiba 1966.

Collage: My Rare Aikido Book Collection - 1950s.Minoru Mochizuki Sensei - Tadashi Abe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei

Red Book - "Manuel Complet de Aikido" - Blue Book - "Yoseikan - Methode d'Aikido Jiu Jitsu" - Dark Blue book "My Past Way of Budo".

Red and Blue Books.
Minoru Mochizuki, April 7, 1907 – May 30, 2003:

Japanese martial artist who founded the dojo Yoseikan. He was a 10th dan in Aikido, 9th dan in jujutsu, 8th dan in iaido, 8th dan in judo, 8th dan in kobudo, 5th dan in kendo, 5th dan in karate, and a 5th dan in jojutsu.Mochizuki Sensei was the first Aikido teacher in the west in 1951 living in France until his death in 2003 aged 96 yrs.

Green Books numbered 1 & 2 and the books one and two " L'Aikido"
The books "L'Aikido" were given by Tadashi Abe Sensei to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei,who kindly gave them to me.

Tadashi Abe.(1926 - November 23, 1984:
Tadashi Abe.(1926 - November 23, 1984)was the first aikido master to live and teach in the west. He is considered by O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his students as the "Happy Aikidoka" because he was always smiling when he trained. He began training in Aikido in Osaka in 1942 and went on to train directly under the founder of the art Morihei Ueshiba at Iwama as an uchideshi during World War II.[1] In 1952, after graduating in law from Waseda University, he moved to France where he studied law at the Sorbonne and taught aikido as a 6th Dan representative of Aikikai Honbu. After seven years he returned to Japan.
TK Chiba Sensei said that Tadashi Abe had trained and qualified during the war as a one man suicide pilot for the `Kaiten` a torpedo submarine. His mission was cancelled as the war ended.To his natural death Abe Sensie felt he had been cheated out of his true destiny to die for the Emperor.- Henry Ellis

Mutsuro Nakazono (December 20, 1918 – 1994In 1992 I had the pleasure of visiting Nakazono Sensei at his home in Sante Fe New Mexico USA. Sensei gave me several signed copies of his books including:

"My Past Way of Budo" - "Kototama" - "Inochi" - "The Source of the Present Civilization".
Mutsuro Nakazono (December 20, 1918 – 1994: (first name also spelt "Mitsuro" or "Masahiro") was a Japanese acupuncturist, an Oriental medicine practitioner and a 7th dan Aikikai aikido master with a strong judo background, being a 6th dan Kodokan Judo.

Born in the Kagoshima prefecture, he relocated to France in 1961 where he remained until the early 1970s as a representative of the Aikikai. He then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, where he spent several years. He operated the Nakazono Clinic, a natural healing center in San Diego, California.[1]

Nakazono was an authority on kotodama and wrote privately published books on the subject.[1] His study of kotodama was a result of his studies with Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the martial art of aikido. Ueshiba is believed to have mastered kotodama to a certain degree, yet few of his disciples have been interested in learning this aspect of aikido from him with the exception of Nakazono.

Nakazono was also deeply involved in the spiritual aspect of healing such as Inochi. Coming from a long family tradition of healers he passed on both his Aikido and his spiritual approach to healing to his son Jiro Nakazono (now known as Jei Atacama) who practices spiritual healing in New York City.

In 2007 there was a series of memorial events in Rosfall, Switzerland and Neath, UK sponsored by his students in memory of their teacher.
Pranin, Stanley. "Encyclopedia of Aikido: NAKAZONO, MUTSURO". aikidojournal.com.

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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.