Wednesday, 12 October 2011

UK Aikido History - Lineage from 1955

Ken Williams Sensei the first UK student of Aikido.

[K Williams Sensei is now the Principal of the Ki Federation GB ]

Williams Sensei first met Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955. Abbe Sensei arrived in the UK at the invitation of the London Judo Society `LJS`; Abbe Sensei first demonstrated various Budo arts at the LJS Championships,Royal Albert Hall London in 1955.
One of those Budo arts was the previously unknown `martial art` of Aikido.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei's contract with the LJS was a difficult one; Abbe Sensei was dissapointed that the LJS were only interested in competitive Judo, Abbe Sensei wanted to teach his philosophy of KyuShinDo which had made him the all Japan champion.
Kenshiro Abbe and the LJS mutually ended their agreement; this left Abbe Sensei free to join with Matsutaro Otani Sensei of the MOSJ which had been established in the UK for many years. There were many students that would follow Abbe Sensei, including Ken Williams Sensei who would become the first UK student of Aikido; Williams Sensei became the National Coach of the British Aikido Council BAC.

The Hut Grading Board
This board had all the names of the early dan grades of Aikido at the Hut Dojo from 1955 to 1965. There are claimes to have been graded by Abbe Sensei in Aikido; If the name is not on this board then you can be assured that claim is a porkie.

The British Budo Councils.
In 1958 Abbe Sensei and Otani Sensei formed the British Judo Council BJC - British Aikido Council BAC - British Kendo Council BKC..International Budo Council IBC.

Group Photo 1957.Kenshiro Abbe Sensei with the early dan grades.
Centre Front: K Abbe - K Williams - Back row 2nd from right H Ellis - 2nd from Left: Robin Otani - 4th from Right: H Foster.
The Hut Dojo was initially just a Judo Dojo. This photo shows both the Judo and Aikido sections when Abbe Sensei was making one of his regular visits.

Right: Abbe Sensei teaching at the Hut Dojo: he would often visit and step on the mat and teach in his suit.Henry Ellis centre.
Left: Henry Ellis demonstrating in front of Abbe Sensei.

The UK has a proud Aikido history and lineage from 1955
With its inception by the legendary Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - The Hut Dojo was the first and only Aikido Dojo in the UK; from which the roots of British Aikido evolved to a dojo in every town and city today.The Hut honours the memory of those past and present - K Abbe - T Abe - M Harada - M Nakazono - M Noro - H Kobayashi - M Otani - T Otani - S Hamano 9th dan - H Michigami - TK Chiba.

The Hut Dojo was initially a Judo Club; with the influence of Abbe Sensei it would be named "The Abbe School of Budo"; to all the old students it would remain affectionately known as "THE HUT".
The true inception of British Aikido started at the now famous Hut Dojo in Hillingdon a suburb of London. The only Aikido in the whole of the UK was in this single humble dojo.
The first five dan grades were Sensei's;K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis.

Tadashi Abbe Sensei. The first Aikido teacher invited by Abbe Sensei to the UK in the 1950s where he joined Abbe Sensei at the Royal Albert Hall in 1956. T Abe Sensei was the first Aikido teacher to France and would visit the UK. Abe Sensei was a very hard teacher who on his return to Japan visited the AikiKai and threw his Diploma's on the mat stating that the Aikido he was now seeing was "Aikido for women!"; he never returned to the AikiKai again.

Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei 7th dan.
Photo:Grange Farm Summer School 1963 - Nakazono Sensei - Henry Ellis.

Nakazono Sensei was a regular visitor to the UK and would become perhaps the most respected of all the Japanese masters.The dan grades that had been graded by Abbe Sensei were informed that Sensei had asked Nakazono Sensei to re-grade the dan grades to meet with the present day standards of the AikiKai.
Nakazono Sensei stated that everyone had passed the test except one second dan who was demoted to first dan; Nakazono said to him "Necessary sell your gi while prices are high", I think the comment was an attempt at humour,the young second dan was not amused and soon after left Aikido for good.

Masamichi Noro Sensei.
Noro Sensei with three catching at the Hut Dojo 1963; Haydn Foster - Henry Ellis - Ken Williams with Noro Sensei centre.

Earliest UK Aikido Film 1963 ~ Henry Ellis ~ Derek Eastman ~ Jeff Goodwin.

1963 - This old converted 8mm film taken at the American USAF Base - West Drayton UK - The USAF European Judo Championships - The presiding 4 star General enjoyed the Aikido demonstration so much he asked for it to be repeated. From this demonstration we had many American students join the Hut Dojo.

Earliest known UK Aikido Demonstration Film 1963.

1968 Geoff Goodwin Sensei.
Goodwin Sensei was graded by TK Chiba Sensei who respected Jeffs natural street fighting ability which Chiba Sensei would use to test them both.

A Letter to Henry Ellis from the Doshu.

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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.