Friday, 1 October 2021

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

 CLICK   The above YouTube video heading and 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.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021


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 those involved in the early days, 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 Budoka 

Amazon page 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.

Monday, 22 March 2021

"British Aikido History" the Book.

Click image to enlarge or click image in R/H column to go straight to the Amazon book page for [Look Inside] a free preview. The book " British Aikido History " this is the story of the last of the original pioneers still involved in the promotion of the true history for future generations. There are many old photos from the 1950s/60s. There are 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 will remember 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.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

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

The Book ` Positive Aikido `  available on Amazon.

Aikido Stories

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou

Aikido - 1955 - 2015 - 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 

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


Aikido Journal

The Long and Winding Road 

Aikido Journal reprinted this story with the approval of the magazines April 2006 issue of `Martial Arts Illustrated` and the magazine’s Aikido correspondent Keith Morgan.

" Sorry this is not a dedication to Lennon / McCartney, but continuing the theme of early pioneers of the martial arts in the UK. It gives me great pleasure this month to talk to Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman, pioneer of Aikido, International teachers and authors ". - Keith Morgan.

Photo left:  Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman with the Austin Mini as they travelled and taught Aikido in the early days.
Photo right: Henry and Rik Ellis revisit the Hut Pub and the `Hut Dojo` 2012.

Click here -> Long and Winding Road


Aikido - Then and Now - 1955 - 2015

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 all 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, not like today, often given as a Christmas present by your own students, or ordered online from the inept British Aikido Boards website for a modest fee.

Students never handed out titles to their own teachers, such as Shihan - Grandmaster - Soke - Hanshi - Doctor - Professor and any others you can think of.  - Just imagine being at school and the kids 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 in my school days.

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 attack with uke being overly compliant and acrobatic. 

If you attack 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, sadly, many students show as much resistance as an unattached piece of string.

Importantly, it was a time when students did not grade their own teachers as so many do today.

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.  

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 a 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 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 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 like ordering a doctorate online.

Aikido training In those early days by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and with alittle encouragement of a Shinai, the traing was very physical, building fitness, fighting spirit, and physical and mental strength, after the warm up, there was always a 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 of push-ups on the back of the wrists. 

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.

In later years we would see the creation of the so-called governing body for Aikido, the ` British Aikido Board` [BAB] - a body that started with good heart and honest intentions, only to become a 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.

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

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`   

Friday, 7 August 2015

Sorry no Ki Aikido Stories Here <]:-( - Don't be dissapointed - Ki Humour in the right Column.

Welcome - Thank you for visiting ` Aikido Stories`.

Ki is part of our Traditional Aikido directly taught to us by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from the 1950s.
Ki was taught as a inclusive part of the application of each and every technique.
Abbe Sensei never spoke of Ai or Ki or Do, he spoke of `Aikido` as a whole, so, why the need to keep referring to Ki. I have no problem with Ki Aikido perse, I do have a problem with some of the fantasy claims.

Why do some Aikidoka think that Ki is something unique only to them ? something that only appears to work on their own gullible students ?

It is like eating chips - every time you pick up a chip and saying ``chip ``.

Ki is not magic, neither is it mystical. and it certainly was never a dance routine.

If you are looking for all things related to Ki Aikido ? you will not find it here, I respectfully advise you to visit the ` `aiKIweb` forum where you will get all the Ki you can handle, the forum is dominated by the scientific orgasm's and wonders of Ki Aikido. Many of the Ki people have colonised `aiKIweb` and gone into their own orbit as if it were their very own planet.

If you are a beginner and listened in wonder at some of the fantasies of Ki Aikido, for example, the teacher who could knock his students over with a Ki Blast from 15/20 feet away, if this kind of bullshit was for real ?, do you really think that person would be teaching in some old scouts hut in the midlands, or where-ever they appear, they would be on stage in Las Vegas or on TV making a fortune.

If you want to read stories of the early days of practical Aikido with many great Budo teachers, where students trained hard and physical in a martial art simply referred to as ` TRADITIONAL AIKIDO `, then you will find plenty of stories below.

Henry Ellis admin.
Co-author `Positive Aikido`.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Biography of Derek Eastman Shihan

The true story of a young student at the famous `Hut Dojo` in the 1950s. 

Interview by David Wilson.

A true story of what Aikido with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei was really like in those early days.

Derek Eastman began his Aikido journey as a sixteen year old student at the
`Hut Dojo` - Sensei recalls his first visit with a friend to the Hut Dojo - as they entered the dojo there
were four men with bokkens and shinai's attacking another man who was blindfolded, Derek's friend turned to him and said " stuff this i'm orf " - he left, Derek stayed, and is still involved in Aikido over 50 years later. It was only later that Derek discovered the guy that was blindfolded was Henry Ellis. In less than one year he would become assistant to Ellis Sensei.

Click here for the Derek Eastman Bio - Derek Eastman Bio

Friday, 14 June 2013

                                                                  The Budo Masters

                                                                                                                             By Henry Ellis

Starting Judo in 1956 and Aikido in 1957.
I have personally met and studied at length during the past 57 years with many Japanese Budo teachers. The following story tells a little of my experiences over the years.
Sensei's - Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - Matsutaro Otani - Tommio Otani - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - Haku Michigami - TK Chiba - Nobuyoshi Tamura - T Ishimura - H Tada - K Williams - William `Bill` Woods - Jiro Nakazono - Dang Phong.

Click here to read ->   The Budo Masters 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A True Story of Deludo and the Deluded.

                                                    Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1915 - 1985 

                                                  A Man With too Many Friends.

                                                                                                       By Henry Ellis

There are now so many claims by idiots with a desperate need of some form of credibility, they all claim to have been friends of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
 The genuine direct students of Abbe Sensei will never claim to have been Sensei's friend, they will though, claim with pride to have been a privileged student of this great Legendary Budoka.

There are many comical claims that Sensei loved their mothers cooking so much he would stay at their homes for weeks or months teaching them all the Budo arts.

At its peak the BJC - BAC - BKC had an estimated international membership of some 35,000 members, these idiots claim that Abbe Sensei would take weeks or even months away from his busy international schedule and his demanding duties as head of the BJC to be lured by the irresistible odour of some mothers steak pie with gravy peas and chips.

Click here  -> Kenshiro Abbe - A Man With too Many Friends.

Monday, 10 June 2013


AIKIDO  in  MMA  by Rik Ellis

Its a mystery !

" Why is Ki Aikido only effective on fellow students  of Ki Aikido ?  "                                                                                                                                                                  

Rik Ellis, the son of Henry Ellis Shihan. Rik is a long time student of Aikido, he found he needed to set new limits to test himself.

Rik found MMA / Cage fighting to be the ultimate challenge.
Rik has won every fight in the first round - he is now the UK1 2012 Light Heavy weight champion.
Like his father he is saddened to see the way Aikido the martial art he still respects, is sadly so diluted to suit the needs and purpose of the deluded, that it has gone beyond watering down to become vaporised.
Admittedly, there is still some good Aikido, but sadly there is far more `Pony Aikido`. The genuine Aikidoka know who they are - and the rest know exactly who they are.

To read the article Click Here -> Aikido in MMA

True Aikido Stor Masahilo Nakazono Sensei

 `A Man of Peace and Pieces `

                                                                                                                          By Henry Ellis

Henry Ellis tells the story of Nakazono Sensei the first Japanese Aikido master to be invited by Kenshiro Abbe to teach in the UK in 1960.
This story was originally printed in the Aikiweb columns in " It had to be Felt " number 19.
Aikiweb invites direct students of the early teachers tell of their personal experiences training with some of the Legends of Aikido.
Photo: Henry Ellis with his teacher Masahilo Nakazono 1992 - in Sante Fe New Mexico USA.

Click Here ->   `A Man of Peace and Pieces ``A Man of Peace and Pieces`

True Aikido Story


                                                      Masamichi Noro Sensei - 1935 - 2013

                                                                     " The White Tornado "

                                                                                                                         By Henry Ellis

Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman tell of their first meeting and training with Noro Sensei in the early 1960s. From the Aikiweb Columns " It Had to Be felt " number 20 .
Early direct students tell of their personal experiences with some of the legends of British Aikido. -
Photo right: Hut Dojo 1962 - Centre, M Noro - L to R: H Foster - H Ellis - K Williams

Click here ->   `The White Tornado`

True Aikido Stories


                                                          Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 1915 - 1975

                                 " Trying to Catch the Wind "

This story by Henry Ellis is told in the Aikiweb ``Columns number 15``.
It is a part of the group of stories in " It Had to Be Felt " - where direct students are invited to tell of their experiences with some of the legends of Budo.

Henry Ellis, one of the first of five black-belts for Aikido in the in the UK in the 1950s,  recalls his teacher Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, a man that taught Aikido as a Martial Art, without a no touch throw or multi coloured ribbons in sight. Breathing through ones toes was a fantasy yet to be experienced.

Click here ->  `Trying to Catch the Wind `

True Aikido Story.

         TK Chiba Shihan                         

                                               There we were "Two Handsome Young Men " 1966

This story was related in the "AikiWeb" Columns - `It Had to be Felt` number 24. where direct students tell how it felt to study with the legends of Aikido.

TK Chiba Sensei arrived in the UK in 1966 - Henry Ellis tells of that first amazing and brutal meeting of minds and attitude. In 1967 Henry Ellis would leave the `Hut Dojo` to join with Chiba Sensei where he assisted Sensei until 1972. Read the " AikiWeb " article which is a true story of just how it was in those early days, 

Click here ->  `Two Handsome Young Men`

A True Judo Story


Matsutaro Otani Sensei worked for many years as a sword-smith at the `Wilkinson Sword factory in London - Making British Army Officers swords. The photo shows Sensei making the actual sword that Kirk Douglas used in the film ` Spartacus ` - Kirk came to the factory and was presented with the sword by Otani Sensei.

By W. Stopps

W `Bill` Stopps Sensei was the first personal assistant to Matsutaro Otani Sensei from 1947.
This true story had never been published until Bill gave me the opportunity to read his memoirs. I enjoyed the story so much, I asked Bill if I could publish it on my website - he agreed.
He tells of a time before one could buy a Judo gi, he actually made one out of sail cloth.

To read this story - Click here. ->  Tribute to Matsutaro Otani Sensei

                                          Is Aikido a Martial Art ?

                                                                    "The Rise of the Plastic Samurai"

Henry Ellis Shihan a direct student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957 - and a pioneer of British Aikido - Henry Ellis was one of the first ever group of five dan grades in the UK.

Aikido has changed a great deal over the years, and not for the better I dare suggest.
We now have Aikido with ribbons - no touch throws from a distance - music in the dojo - breathing through ones toes - Ki Blasts - Ki freezing of students - woolie hats -  Sensei knocking apples off his students heads with his Ki.

To read the article - Click here -> Is Aikido a Martial Art.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Origins of the Coloured Belts in Martial Arts ?

Martial Arts Gradings and the Value and Respect of the Coloured Belt.

By Henry Ellis

There are many varied ideas of the origins of the grading by coloured belts. It is a system that we the `Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido follow from the 1950s with the legendary Budoka Kenshiro Abbe Sensei until this modern day.
All one needed was one belt, starting with white, this could be dyed yellow - then orange - then green - then blue - then brown - Of course times are not so tough now, and students buy their individual coloured belts.

Click here for ->  Origins of the Coloured Belt System.

                               The Great British Aikido Controversy

                                 The Betrayal of British Budo

<-  British Aikido Board statement by the then chairman Mr Toni Davies. - Mr Jack Poole ->

" We the British Aikido Board - Are not the custodians of British Aikido History - We therefore have no interest in the same "

The British Aikido Controversy was initiated when `The British Aikido Board` ( the governing body for UK Aikido ) promoted a Mr Jack Poole to its members as the original pioneer of British Aikido - Mr Poole claimed to have started his Aikido in 1952 - Three years before Aikido was introduced to the UK by  Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955. Mr Poole had actually started his Aikido as a complete beginner with Henry Ellis Sensei in 1968.
Bottom Right: Present BAB Chairman Mr V Sumpter.
Left: BAB Secretary Ms Shirley Timms .

Mr Poole always referred to himself as a ` Man of Budo` -- he actually claimed to have dan grades in Aikido - Karate - Kendo - Judo.
After being exposed - Mr Poole's website now reads " Sensei Poole has studied several martial arts to black belt standard "  <]:-)

Click here to read  The British Aikido Controversy.

The whole sordid story has been archived by " The Martial Arts Encyclopedia "  - Click -> Jack Poole and the British Aikido Board.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Kenshiro Abbe 50th Jubilee Event - 2005 - Crystal Palace London

Henry Ellis a direct student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957. Ellis was one of the organisers of this great Budo event to celebrate the memory of a great Budo Master.
This event is regarded by many senior martial artists as the greatest ever event of its kind in the UK.

   Click here - Kenshiro Abbe Jubilee Event

Friday, 7 June 2013


The Betrayal of British Budo

It Only Takes the Good Aikidoka to Stand Quietly By - For the Fraudulent Plastic Samurai to Succeed.
by Henry Ellis 
Below - Top left: Mr Jack Poole - Top right: Mr Toni Davies
Bottom left: Mr Vincent Sumpter - Bottom right: Ms Shirley Timms
The ` Slide - Show ` below is a factually documented story of the betrayal of British Budo by the  discredited `British Aikido Board`  the governing body for Aikido in the UK.

All photos and factual statements - documentation - which are presented in this documentary are all available on file. Including the BAB defamation and libel of the good name of Henry Ellis, also the attempted blackmail threats by email from the Jack Poole supporters group, which also includes the malicious website created by the same cowardly  group who are desperately protecting their grades issued by Mr Poole..

The British Aikido Board - Mr Poole and his supporters - have to this day, failed to offer one single item of proof to substantiate any of the bizarre claims of Mr Poole's biography.

We have statements from many students of the time in question, and more importantly from the following highly respected Budoka listed below.

TK Chiba Shihan - R Otani President ` British Judo Council` - H Otani BJC - Pierre Chasange aide to Tadashi Abe Sensei - Bill Stopps Sensei, aide to Matsutaro Otani Sensei -   Senior Metropolitan Police Detective - A Davies Hanshi, President of the Bushido Za Zen Society. - W ( Bill ) Woods Sensei, personal aide to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. - Haydn Foster Sensei. - Derek Eastman Sensei - George Stavro Sensei. - Including a signed document along with BAB email exchanges from an `Ex- BAB Executive`.

The British Aikido Board - Jack Poole - Henry Ellis - Slide Show.

The British Aikido Board Event Presentation Programme
Reads ( pause at 7m 14sec )
" This year is a particular special event because we will be honouring 5 ( FIVE ) instructors who have served over 40  ( FORTY )  continuous years teaching Aikido in the UK. "
They are:  H Ellis ~ H Foster ~ R Reynolds ~ W Smith - D Eastman.
NOW look at the presentation group photo and the named 5 ( FIVE ) has mysteriously become 6  ( SIX ) 


British Aikido Origins
The Video the British Aikido Board Does not Want its Members to See.
Narrated Slide Show by Henry Ellis Shihan