Wednesday, 11 January 2017



" 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 ARTICLES





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

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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.


1955


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`


http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/