Wednesday, 7 December 2022

" British Aikido History " the Book.

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit "                                              Noel Coward
Click Book Image to visit the Amazon Books page.

Click image to enlarge or click image in R/H column to go straight to the Amazon book page for [Look Inside] which offers a free preview. 
This is the only book detailing and documenting the true history of British Aikido from its inception in 1955, this fascinating book is co-authored by direct students of  Kenshiro Abbe and Ken Williams Sensei.  
The book " British Aikido History -This book acknowledges and credits the many British Aikidoka and Japanese Budoka that Ellis and Eastman met along their  journey to promote the then little known martial art of Aikido.
From a time when the Hut Dojo was the only Aikido dojo in the UK - incredibly there is now an Aikido dojo in almost every  village town and city in the UK.

This is the story told by two of the last of the original pioneers still involved in the protection - preservation and  promotion of the true history for future generations. There are many old photos from the 1950s/60s. There are many acknowledgments to those that have helped to protect and preserve our origins from the era of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1955.

The book is 311 pages of stories - interviews -anecdotes - history - and much more - Please visit the free preview to see what this book has to offer. Over the years I have been asked many times `what was it like to study directly under Kenshiro Abbe Sensei?`, this book will give the reader a taste of that era, a time when Aikido was a martial art and the people who trained were martial artists in the truest sense of the term. Sadly, so many of the Japanese and British early pioneers of Aikido are no longer with us, we remember them as we pay our respects to them, may they rest in peace. 
The book was published by Amazon on the 7th of March 2021 - Cost B/W £6-35p or colour version £27-00.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

The British Aikido History Site - 1955 - 2021

Excellent researched and documented video

The founding of Jujutsu - Judo - Aikido in the UK

CLICK Here  - Rare Photos Tribute Slide-Show to TK Chiba Sensei - 1940 - 2015

The British Aikido History Site 1955 - 2022

A true story of  Traditional `Positive Aikido`.

Left: My teacher Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1915 - 1985. 
Abbe Sensei  introduced Aikido to the UK in 1955, Abbe Sensei taught Traditional Aikido = Positive Aikido = Effective Aikido. 
This is a True story:  
It was late evening as Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich Street,  Kings Cross dojo, alone,  he was  just ahead of us ( his students )  Kings Cross was a rough area of London, suddenly, several young thugs approached Sensei, the leader demanded  " hand over your wallet ! " -  without a word, Sensei removed his wallet from his inner coat pocket,  he then deliberately casually dropped the wallet between his feet, the thug shouted  " Oi, kick it over here " - Abbe Sensei didn't move,  as he calmly surveyed the thugs and quietly said  " I am prepared to die for my wallet, are you ! ? " - the thugs looked at each other as if in a mutual understanding that this wasn't just any old guy, just as thugs and cowards do, they retreated, stepping back and calling out some defiant abusive profanities as they went away empty handed.
How different to much of  what modern Aikido has become:  [" Aikido is love, You want my wallet ?  give me a cuddle and you can have it ". ]  

Henry Ellis co-author of  `Positive Aikido`

" It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit   " - Noel Coward

Tanto presentation to Henry Ellis at the ` Masahilo Nakazono Memorial Event ` 2007
To celebrate Henry Ellis Shihans 50th year of teaching and promoting Traditional Aikido ( now 60 years )

Scroll Down for ` British Aikido Historic Milestones`

Admin: Henry Ellis Aikikai Shihan and Derek Eastman Aikikai Shihan, 

Direct students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei from the 1950s / 60s, 

Whilst we intend to offer our visitors a rare look back to the early days of UK Aikido 
 Its origins - legacy - factual history. It is worthwhile noting that there is also a great deal of BS out there  - whilst there are many instances of such BS - the mother of all of them is the notorious " British Aikido Board Collusion with Mr Jack Poole " this disgraceful episode is factually and fully documented below in the 

Click - " Martial Arts Encyclopedia Archives "   [ accessed over  125,000 times ]

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

Shihonage - Henry Ellis & Dave Warne

Unique Achievements in Early Days of UK Aikido

Henry Ellis - personal assistant to TK Chiba Sensei 1967 to 1972 organised the Bracknell 1968 Summer School - Teachers  H Tada Sensei - N Tamura Sensei - T Ichamura Sensei - TK Chiba Sensei.

1 - Henry Ellis Shihan is the only Aikido student in the UK to have two diplomas signed by Osensei Morhiei Ueshiba and his Shihan promotion signed by Osensei Ueshiba's grandson Moritereu Ueshiba
  Additional grades by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei.- TK Chiba Shihan.
2 - H Ellis assistant to Ken Williams Sensei (1957 - 1967 )
 Taking part in the `` 1st UK Aikido seminar 1959 `` at the Devises Judo Club organised by the late respected Graham Burt Sensei.

3 - H Ellis took part in the very first ``UK TV`` promotion of Aikido in Cardiff `circa 1960 ` by Harlech TV.

4 - H Ellis, the first Aikido teacher to introduce Aikido to the UK Further Education System 1960 -

5 - H Ellis has promoted Aikido with TK Chiba Shihan on ``BBC World Radio and Granada TV`` - 1969.

6 - H Ellis took part in the great Budo demonstration at the ``1963 BJC National Championships at `The Royal Albert Hall`` London `` with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
7 - H Ellis assistant to M Nakazono Sensei at the `` BBC `Lyme Grove Bath's Studios `. - and the famous ` York Hall`. London.

8 - H Ellis also promoted Aikido on New Mexico USA state radio and took part in a play ` A Book of Five Rings ` at the ` The New Mexico State Theater ` as the villain Sasaki Kojuro " presented by Dave Rogers Sensei.
Henry Ellis is also the co-author of the acclaimed book " Positive Aikido ".

Photos - Left: 1958 - Ken Williams Sensei with assistant Henry Ellis at the " Hut Dojo"

Grade diploma's  signed by - OSensei M Ueshiba (2) - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei - Masamichi Noro Sensei - TK Chiba Sensei - Doshu M Ueshiba.

Aikido - 1955 - 2022 - For those that studied with Sensei's  Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - Masahilo Nakazono - TK Chiba Sensei in those early days will remember their Aikido being true Budo, something that very few will ever see or feel again .

1955  -  BRITISH  AIKIDO  HISTORY  - 2022

"  No matter your pretense, you are what you are, and nothing more " - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei

Visit -  Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.  1915 - 1985

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.

Article - The Arrival of TK Chiba to the UK 1966
"There we were Two Handsome Young Men "

In Memory of a Great Teacher - TK Chiba Shihan 1940 - 2015

It is with great sadness that I report the peaceful passing of TK Chiba Shihan at his home in San Dieago USA, on the 5th - June - 2015

Visit the Kazuo Chiba Sensei Memorial Site -> "Kazuo Chiba Sensei"

It was in 1964 when Kenshiro Abbe Sensei returned to Japan for the ` Japan Olympics `
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.


Site Admin - Henry Ellis  6th dan AikiKai Shihan & Derek Eastman 6th dan 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 `

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.


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.

Scroll down for " Aikido Then and Now "

1955 - 2016

" You have to know the past, to understand the present " - Carl Sagan

Photo Below: 

Click - 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 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.

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

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

"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.

Names on Board - A = Aikido - J = Judo.
D Eastman (A) - HD Foster jnr (J) - R Twitchen (J) - D Williams (A) - K Williams (A) -E Dollimore (A) - P Garbutt (J) - H Foster snr  (A) -  H Ellis (A) - P Dowden (A) - L.Ballard (A) - H McFarlane (A) - J Caldwell (A) - T Jones (A) - R Brandon (j) - R Reynolds (A) - A Allan (A) C Farr (J).

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. Students name tags would hang on a hook on the colour of their grade - when they reached dan grade they would be sign written on the top of the board.

 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 claims 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 as a part of 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 7th dan Judo.


                                                                            Visit - Don Bayney Japanese Swords

Aikido ~ Then and Now ~ 1955 ~ 2016

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 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, unlike today, when often grades are given as a Christmas present by your fellow  students, grading certificates can be ordered online from the inept British Aikido Boards website for a modest fee, thus the now common claim " British Aikido Board Approved " 
Unfortunately for  those that know no difference, this claim would appear to add the appearance of some form of credibility and legitimacy,  yet, for those that know the truth, they know it is nothing but crusty unadulterated BS .

In those early days students never handed out titles to their own teachers, such as Shihan - Grand master - Soke - Hanshi - Doctor - Professor, or any other grand title  you can think of..

Just imagine being back at school and the kids collectively 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 and time in a small cupboard for their stupidity in my war time school days.

My teacher - The legendary humble Budo master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 8th dan - only ever used the title of `Sensei ` - yet, since his death in 1985,  I often see him referred to as Shihan - Professor  - and even Doctor - Abbe Sensei is now referred to as 10th dan - why ?  

One Aikido teacher claimed in a newspaper article posted on the internet 

Sensei Blogsworth  was so surprised and proud when his senior students promoted him to 7th dan - he is now one of the highest graded professional  Aikido teachers in the world ".

As I type this, I am thinking to myself  that by now his students will have probably graded him to 8th dan.  Its enough to make an old man cry.

1960 - 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 flying attack with uke being overly compliant and acrobatic and the attack is a combination of 50% attack and 50% ukemi  ( break falling ) which contributes the mockery of Aikido.

Abbe Sensei's teaching - If  one attacks 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 and ridiculed, sadly, many students show as much resistance as an unattached piece of string.

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 or directed to the nearest ` Morris Dancing ` club.
There was never ever Aikido to music in the dojo, I will admit there was often a hum from sweaty feet.

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 the light 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.

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 feeling and 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.


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 and now 9th 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 as creditable as ordering a doctorate online.

Aikido training In those early days with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and a little encouragement of a Shinai, the training  was very physical, building fitness, fighting spirit, and physical and mental strength and a positive attitude towards your training and daily life, 

I was an dan grade in Aikido before many of of the so-called modern Aikidoka were born - yet, they state  " There is no kicking or punching in Aikido " - they should say ` there is no kicking and punching in their tree hugging Aikido `.
With Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, after the warm up session, there was always a 30 min 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, the push-ups were on the back of the wrists with fingers pointing inwards followed by fingers pointing  outwards.

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 the BAC national coach.

In later years we would see the creation of the so-called governing body for Aikido, the ` British Aikido Board` [BAB] 

This was a group that started with good heart and honest intentions, only to become  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. an organisation that would support the corruption of the true proud history and lineage of British Aikido from 1955, a support that failed miserably, which brought the British Aikido Board in to disrepute  slow decline.

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 Aikidoka, the established organisations such as the JAC and the BAA, which are creditable organisations who are all associated with their Japan HQ - these organisations have resigned from the BAB.

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

Admin - Henry Ellis

Co-author of Positive Aikido`

Click - 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`  

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

  The BAB Controversy in Brief.

In the year 2000 - the senior British Aikido Board executives conspired and colluded to change the factual documented history of British Aikido, as two of the pioneers of that history, Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman have made every effort to protect the proud lineage and legacy of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1955.
The aim of this blog is simply to hope and trust that no other Aikidoka will be treated as disrespectfully as these original pioneers of Aikido were treated by the 2000 BAB executives, whose conduct was beyond shameful as it was corrupt, the BAB were ordered by the executives of `Sport England`  to issue Ellis with a written apology. 

The then chairman, one Toni Davis, stated " We the British Aikido Board are not the custodians of British Aikido History, we therefore have no interest in same". 
Please note;
It should be noted that Ellis and Eastman who were founder members of the BAB, have no dispute or issues with the present day BAB executive board. We sincerely would like to see the BAB become the organisation that we all worked tirelessly to create in its infancy from membership of the MAC to the later creation of the BAB. The MAC meetings were represented on behalf of the BAB by Ms Shirley Timms and Derek Eastman.
Blog Admin;  Henry Ellis.

Scroll down past the books and video information for the blog content as titled.

NEW VIDEO - A Video for all Budoka

The Founding of JuJitsu - Judo - Aikido in the United Kingdom   

  CLICK   The above YouTube video heading the live link will take you to the video of the history of the arrival of the martial arts to the UK from the late 18th century - The video is narrated by Abdul Rashid with many photos and much factual in-depth research. This video is based on the now popular and highly credited book of the same name. The UK visiting Japanese masters from pre - WW1 and post WW2 were - Yukio Tani - Kaneo Tani - Seizo Yamamoto - Taro Miyake - Sadakazu Oyenishi - Akhitaro Ono - Gunji Koizumi - Matsutaro Otani - Kenshiro Abbe - Mutsuro Nakazono - Kazuo Chiba.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

"Its discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit"  - Noel Coward 

Martial Arts Books by Abdul Rashid & Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman

Click on Image to Enlarge

The books authors respectfully acknowledge the many `genuine` Budoka involved in the UK origins of Aikido and other inclusive  Martial Arts.
L to R: `British Aikido Board Controversy` - `Kenshiro Abbe Bio` - The Founding of JuJutsu - Judo - Aikido in the UK` - `Positive Aikido` - ` My Interviews with Henry Ellis ` - `British Aikido History`

The six books above are all factually honest books, documenting and protecting the legacy of UK Traditional Martial Arts from its UK origins. All the books are available on. Link> " Amazon Books ".

Thursday, 7 April 2022

 NEW " The British Aikido Board Controversy " The Book.

The preparation and publishing of the above titled book will soon be completed. The book will fully expose the behind the scenes intrigue, conduct and deceit of the many individuals involved, including the BAB secretary Ms Timms - then chairmen Toni Davis - chairman Vince Sumpter - Jack Poole and so many other totally shameless individuals . The BAB must never again be allowed to treat its members with such disregard and disrespect. Every detail of this book is documented facts and  beyond legal dispute.
It should be noted that not one of the original pioneers of Kenshiro Abbe's era are members of this discredited organisation. 

Friday, 11 March 2022

 "It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit "                                                             Noel Coward

The Content published on this site is 100% factual - legally filed and documented

The 1950/60s early Traditional British Aikido was an incredible time, all the early Japanese teachers were direst students of OSensei Morihei Ueshiba - the training was hard and the grades hard to achieve they were never given, they were awarded with pride, no one ever graded themselves, first there were the 1st Generation of just 5 dan grades - later there would be the 2nd generation making a total of eight dan grades, these were the only Aikido dan grades in the whole of the UK. It was unimaginable in those days that one day people would grade themselves to 7th &8th dans and then have the gall to grade others, and even more bewildering are those that grade themselves to Shihan.  

It is almost seventy years since those incredible times when Aikido was born at the " Hut Dojo" , thanks to the support of author Abdul Rashid, Derek Eastman and I have been able to document the true history for those that are genuinely interested  more importantly future generations of Aikidoka. The books are all available on Amazon books  

Henry Ellis.   

Click  " Is Aikido a Martial Art ? "

This book consists of a interview I conducted with Henry Ellis, a pioneer of Aikido in the UK since the 1950s. With over sixty years  of experience in Aikido he shares his views on the above topic, warm-ups with Karate style kicks and punches, daily runs,full contact training, read about what he went through under the direction of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei at the famous "Hut Dojo". You will have a different perception of Aikido after reading this book.
Author: Abdul Rashid. 
2022 Release - Amazon - £7-99p.
Cover photo Henry Ellis and son Rik.

Friday, 6 August 2021

British Aikido History - Acknowledgements

The new book `` British Aikido History ``  tells the true history of the birth of Aikido in the UK.  The book pays credit to many people who in their various  ways contributed to the earliest promotion of Aikido, and just as importantly, pays gratitude to those that supported and protected the amazing legacy of what was an incredible era.

Acknowledgments to the following UK Sensei's .

Ken Williams - Dave Williams - Eric Dollimore - Haydn Foster - Lennie Ballard - Peter Dowden - John Caldwell - Andy Allen - Hamish McFarlane - Ron James - Ron Russel - George Stavro - Les White - Jon Stokoe  - BJC Judoka - Clive McDonald - Gwynn Jones - David Humm . - Fred Wainwright - Ken Cottier - Ralph Reynolds - Reg Bleakman - Tom Weir - William Coyle - Joe Curran - Tomio Otani - Robin Otani, [ USA - Jei Nakazono - Leise Klein ] - and so many more worthy of a mention in the book.

Many of the above are sadly no longer with us - we remember them, may they rest in peace.

The Kenshiro Abbe Era ~ Book Collection.

Visit ``Books on Martial Arts ``

Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman are now sadly amongst the last of a very small  group of surviving direct pioneer students of the legendary Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe.[1915 -1985]

Anecdotes, stories, historic events are vividly brought to life from the incredible 1950s/60s. 

With the encouragement of Martial Arts researcher - author - Abdul Rashid - Ellis and Eastman  were inspired to put their personal `documented true factual history recorded in to book form to memorialize  all Judoka and Aikidoka involved in the early days, they should  never to be lost or forgotten. 

The books credit many other Judoka and Aikidoka that were involved from the Abbe Era, honourable people who played a role in the early

days when Aikido was a Martial Art, there were so many others that are remembered who  later helped to promote and protect the legacy of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. 

The following titles are available from Amazon Martial Arts Books

" The Founding of Ju-Jutsu - Judo -Aikido in the UK " ------  " British Aikido History "

" Kenshiro Abbe the Forgotten Budoka" ----  " Positive Aikido ".    

Thursday, 20 May 2021

 New Amazon Book now Available.

KENSHIRO ABBE SENSEI  1915 - 1985 - The Forgotten Budok

Click Image

Published by Amazon 20th - May - 2021
Compiled by the Martial Arts researcher Abdul Rashid.

A new book published by Amazon Books -.  This book is  an in-depth look at the life and times of this legendry man of Budo, from his childhood to his time as a captain and Brigade Commander in the Imperial Japanese Army during WW2 - his time at the Busen - Butokukwai - His competition successes in front of the Japanese Emperor, his defeat of the great Judoka Kimura also his time in the UK and Europe. This will complete our `library` of British Martial Arts history as associated to the influence of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 8th dan Judo - 6th dan Kendo - 6th dan Aikido - 6th dan Ju-Kendo. 

The following Amazon Book  titles may be of interest to the student and teachers who value the true origins of British Martial Arts.  " The Founding of Ju-Jitsu - Judo - Aikido in the United Kingdom "  --- " British Aikido History " --- " Kenshiro Abbe Sensei the Forgotten Budoka " --- " Positive Aikido "  by Dave Rogers ---  " The Life - Giving Sword " the life of K Chiba by Leise Klein.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Left: Front and Back Cover

The book ` Positive Aikido ` - began life as a dojo information booklet a project by Dave Rogers Sensei of N M - USA,
Rogers Sensei a news media editor and 3rd dan USA representative of the ` Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido `. Rogers Sensei began collecting all the background knowledge - history and lineage of both Henry Ellis Shihan and Derek Eastman Shihan, who were both direct students of the legendary Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from the 1950s and the birth of UK Aikido with K Williams Sensei at the famous `Hut Dojo`.  Over a period of 15 years Rogers Sensei had collected so much information he asked Ellis and Eastman Sensei's for permission to turn all those pages in to a book - and ` Positive Aikido ` was born.

Visit ` Aikido Books `for ` Positive Aikido ` and a great selection of other books - Aikido Books -
See the collection of books from 1905 and books by Minoru Mochizuki from 1956 - books by Tadashi Abe Sensei - ` My Past Way of Budo ` by Masahilo Nakazono Sensei, including his books on Kototama and Inochi.

Ellis and Eastman's diploma's are signed by Aikido legends - Morihei Ueshiba - Moriteru Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Mutsuro Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba.

The book is a down to earth approach to Aikido as a Traditional Martial Art.
Take note of the  warning in the books introduction pages, advising student to keep their money in their purse if they are looking for fantasy Aikido, or floating around the universe. or other such bizarre modern Aikido Kidology this book is not for you.

Ellis and Eastman studied with many Aikido legends, such as Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - M Nakazono - J Nakazono - M Noro - H Tada - N Tamura - T Ishimura - H Kobayashi - T Otani - M Harada - TK Chiba.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei taught Aikido as Budo and so did Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman.
The book is available on Amazon UK £10-95 - Amazon US $ 15-45.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Scroll Down for `British Aikido History Milestones`

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

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

British Aikido History
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

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 !