Tuesday, 16 April 2013


British Aikido History

The True Origins and the Legends - and the BS

As time gathers pace, there are now just two direct students surviving and involved  from the original group of UK Aikido pioneers. All from the famous `Hut Dojo` the cradle of UK Aikido from its inception in 1955 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and his first student a high ranking Judoka named Ken Williams Sensei who would later be promoted to National Coach of the "British Aikido Council" ( BAC).

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman are the last of the original group, they are the only two original pioneers to be promoted to Aikikai Shihan by TK Chiba Shihan and the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. They are proud to have their grading diplomas signed by - Osensei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - The Doshu M Ueshiba.

Along with other direct students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei of both Judo and Aikido, we have all worked tirelessly to offer the students of today, and of the future - the truth.

Aikiweb article by Henry Ellis of his first meeting - and time - with TK Chiba Sensei in 1966. " Two Handsome Young Men " - Click Aikiweb Article

The truth in British Aikido is like dog feces - one has to be very careful where they tread, there are organisations actually colluding with members to re-invent themselves. We never cease to be amazed at the constant flow of BS claims by many to have been a special friend of Abbe Sensei or to have trained at the Hut Dojo - when we see these sad desperate claims for some form of recognition - we expose them for what they are = BS

I recall the first ever Aikido seminar held in the UK, it was 1957, Williams Sensei asked me to go along for the weekend to the `Devises Judo Club` in Wiltshire - We travelled down on Sensei's big old `Ariel Square Four` motorbike and side car, I was in the side car which had all the luxuries of a coffin and about as frightening - I have never been in one since.

I have never met another man that could have achieved what Williams Sensei did in those very early days, he created Aikido from nothing in 1955 - he then built an organisation which only fragmented eleven years later with the arrival of TK Chiba Sensei in 1966.

I could not believe the disrespectful claim on a martial arts website concerning Sensei Williams, a man who without doubt had the greatest influence and progress on the development of Aikido throughout the UK - Ken Williams Sensei was the first UK student of Kenshiro Abbe, and the first UK dan grade for Aikido.

Quote from a martial arts website.

" Ken Williams used to be in Wales. If the "legends" are true Chiba Sensei blindly pointed his finger to Wales on a map of the UK and said "you go there". So he did. basically he was exiled to Wales for trying to muscle in on someone else's dojo. So the story goes any way ". 

This never happened, I was personal assistant to Williams Sensei from 1957 until 1966 and I was assistant to TK Chiba from 1967 to 1972.
This is not North Korea or Russia where you can banish someone to another part of the country.

Stories such as this have absolutely no foundation, so, how the hell do these people make them up ?

In 1967 Williams Sensei did make a pre-planned move to his family roots in Wales where he established his Ki Federation GB.

Many years later Williams Sensei moved to Somerset - planned once again of his own free will.

Henry Ellis - admin

Visit the ` Aikido Stories ` Blog  UK Aikido History Stories

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.