Tuesday, 9 January 2018

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

Tadashi Abe Sensei 1958

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. 

~ ~ ~ 

" It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live " - Marcus Aurelius

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

Tadashi Abe Sensei began his Aikido study with Osensei in 1942, he was the first official AikiKai representative to Europe.

Right: T Abe Sensei and K Abbe Sensei .

Tadashi Abe Sensei visited the UK in 1958 at the invitation of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, he would make several visits before the arrival of Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei in 1961 and Masamichi Noro Sensei in 1962.

If only Tadashi Abe could see senior Aikidoka  today - throwing with a nod of the head - no touch throws - breathing through their toes - Aikido Ribbon Dancing - Touching and Freezing students - Music in the Dojo - Ki Blasts -  Rest in Peace - Tadashi Abe Sensei.

Abe Sensei was a hard man in every way, he was small but powerful and dynamic. During the second world war he had trained and qualified as a one man suicide pilot of a ` Kaiten `  ( Return to the Sky ) submarine, which in reality was a glorified torpedo. TK Chiba Sensei personally told me that Abe Sensei was his hero and he told me how Abe Sensei was in preparation to go into action with the Kaiten when the war suddenly ended - Chiba Sensei said that Abe Sensei felt to the day he died that fate had cheated him of his destiny to die for his Emperor and Japan.

Pierre Chassang (1919 - 2013 - Died 29 April 2013)

Chassang Sensei was a French aikidoka holding 8th dan Takemusu Aiki Intercontinental and 6th dan .[1]
A member of the Free French Forces during World War II, Chassang saw military service in North Africa, Italy and his native France.[2]
Chassang was first taught aikido by Tadashi Abe in 1952, he was the first student and assistant to Tadashi Abe Sensei from 1952.

Chassang Sensei stated to me personally -  "There were no British students of Tadashi Abe training in France during the whole of the 1950s ".
When Abe Sensei returned to Japan in 1960, Chassang helped Masamichi Noro to create the Association Culturelle Européenne d'Aikido.[3] He subsequently studied with Mutsuro Nakazono and Nobuyoshi Tamura, with whom he had a long and close alliance.
Chassang was a founding member of the International Aikido Federation, which he served as General Treasurer for several years. He was President of European Aikido Federation from 1981-1987. With Philippe Voarino, he also founded the Takemusu Aiki Intercontinental association.[2]

I first met Chassang Sensei when he visited the UK with Tadashi Abe Sensei and Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei. Derek Eastman and I had the pleasure of meeting him just a few years ago on his last visit to the UK, where we had a nice pub lunch together. R.I.P. Chassang Sensei.

Henry Ellis Admin.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Scroll Down for information on Tadashi Abe Sensei - Books - Video - Photos.

Visit - Aikido Books - for `Positive Aikido` 

British Aikido History
1955 - 2012

The official British Aikido History site - Is dedicated to the true history of Aikido in the UK from its inception in 1955 by the legendary Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Right: Kenshiro Abbe Sensei with Ken Williams Sensei at the Hut Dojo.

The site is maintained by AikiKai Shihans Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman -  The last two surviving pioneers from that exciting era of the birth of Aikido in the UK at the famous "Hut Dojo"

Ellis & Eastman Sensei's are co-authors of the book `Positive Aikido` - they are proud to have their diplomas signed by legends - Osensei Morihei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - Masamichi Noro - TK Chiba - Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.

Right: Mitsusuke Harada Sensei

Right: Henry Ellis - Mitsusuke Harada - Derek Eastman join Harada Sensei at the TK Chiba Celebration in 2006. Harada Sensei was invited to the UK in 1963 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - He held his first classes at the Hut Dojo. Harada had no students to begin with - Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman studied Karate with Harada, he in turn studied Aikido with them - Harada began to incorporate Aikido moves later into his Shotokai Karate as can be seen in his teachings today.

Click here for the British Aikido History Blog > British Aikido History Site

Earliest known film/video of UK Aikido Demonstration - 1963.

USAF - UK Air Base - European Judo Championships.

Henry Ellis - Derek Eastman - Geoff Goodwin.

Click here ->  Earliest UK Aikido Demonstration Film.

The British Aikido Board Controversy Slide-Show

Mr Jack Poole claims to be the first UK student of Aikido with Tadashi Abe Sensei in 1952 - This is denied by Pierre Chassang Sensei who was the first student and personal aide to Abe Sensei. - see slide show.

Documented evidence of the conduct of the UK Governing Body for Aikido.

Detailing the BAB's attempted collusion with one Mr Jack Poole to change forever the true proud history and lineage of British Aikido, from its inception to the UK in 1955 by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Henry Ellis was actually Mr Poole's first teacher as one can clearly see from the large collection of photos and statements, this did not deter the BAB from proudly parading Mr Poole along-side his teacher as a `Pioneer of British Aikido` .

Imagine you are a direct student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and recognised by the Doshu and TK Chiba as a true pioneer of British Aikido - The UK Aikido governing body invite you to receive an award in recognition of this - As you wait to meet the Lord Mayor of Birmingham - you hear a shuffling sound - you look behind - standing there unannounced is one of your old students in line to receive the same award as a pioneer - unbelievable.You could not make this up - The BAB did.


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

Sunday, 27 September 2015

AIKIWEB Articles - K Abbe - M Nakazono - M Noro - TK Chiba


Four Articles - Featuring: - 1st Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 2nd Masahilo Nakazono - 3rd Masamichi Noro - 4th TK Chiba Sensei.

______________________________________________"THE BUDO MASTERS"_________________________________________
_____________________Kenshiro Abbe ~ ~ Masahilo Nakazono ~ ~ Masamichi Noro ~ ~ Kazuo Chiba _____________________

Henry Ellis 6th dan AikiKai Hombu - Co-author of "Positive Aikido". Relates stories of training with the early Budo Masters.
_______4 Articles - featuring 1st Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 2nd Masahilo Nakazono - 3rd Masamichi Noro - 4th TK Chiba_______

______________________________________CLICK the ARTICLE of YOUR CHOICE_____________________________

1st - Article: Kenshiro Abbe _____“Trying to Catch the Wind”_____
Click Here - AikiWeB Article - "It Had to be Felt".~ Kenshiro Abbe - "Trying to Catch the Wind".

2nd - Article: Masahilo Nakazono ______”A Man of Peace and Pieces”______
.Visit Aikiweb Click here >- Aikiweb - Nakazono Sensei Article

3rd - Article: Masamichi Noro ______The White Tornado__
Visit Aikiweb - Click Here - "The White Tornado"

4th - Article: Kazuo Chiba ______Two Handsome Young Men___Click here - "Two Handsome Young Men"

Henry Ellis a direct student of the legendary Budo master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957. "AikiWeb" has published 4 articles to add to their popular Ellis Amdur article collection of "It Had to be Felt" `IHTBF`.

British Aikido Board Blog - Click here ->BAB Blog - BAB Blog _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Henry Ellis speech - Anniversary Dinner - TK Chiba's 40 years in the UK.

Henry Ellis Sensei joined Chiba Sensei in the 1960s shortly after his arrival in the UK.


Friday, 25 September 2015

`Positive Aikido` a true Traditional Story

Techniques - History - Lineage - Anecdotes covering 55 years of Traditional Aikido.

Order from Amazon

Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman 6th dan AikiKai-diplomas signed by: Osensei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Masahilo Nakazono - TK Chiba - The Doshu Moriterue Ueshiba.

Front and back covers.
About the Authors:Henry Ellis & Derek Eastman both 6th dan AikiKai Hombu - Diplomas signed by Osensei Ueshiba - Kenshiro Abbe - Mikoto Nakazono - TK Chiba Shihan - Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. the last two pioneers of K Abbe Sensei from the inception of British Aikido..To purchase the book `Positive Aikido`. Order direct - please contact Dave Rogers Sensei USA - the books main author. Please email Dave Rogers Email For price and postage.
Book also available on Amazon UK £10-95 free p&p & Amazon USA. $18.

For an in-depth review of "Positive Aikido" click here>Positive Aikido

Visit the "Aikido Articles Blog"->Aikido Articles

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Tadashi Abe Sensei ~ 1926 ~ 1984

Visit My Aikido & Judo Video Site ~ Click -> Henry Ellis Aikido & Judo Videos A growing collection of early and modern Aikido and Judo videos..H Ellis - D Eastman - H Foster - K Chiba - M Nakazono - K Abbe - T Abe.

Visit the new Nakazono Aikido Blog Click here

" L'Aiki-Do " published in the 1950s by Tadashi Abe .
Photo right..T Abe & K Abbe Stage Nimes France. ..K Abe Sensei gave two copies to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei who later gave them to me..(Henry Ellis)...There are a couple of pages from the books added further down this page..It is interesting to see the various push-ups on the back of the wrists as taught by both T Abe and K Abbe..See the video demo by a member of `E.S.T.A` doing these push-ups..

French | 1958 | ISBN-10: n/a | PDF | 132 Pages | 17.7 MO

Tadashi Abe Sensei - France - 1952.


British Aikido Origins from 1955 - Narration & Movie Slide-Show by Henry Ellis ~ The Arrival of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Development of Budo in the UK.


Tadasi Abe Sensei
A student of OSensei Morihei Ueshiba in 1942..Minoru Mochizuki Sensei ( right ) visited France in 1952, he later invited Tadashi Abe to become the first resident Aikido teacher to France later that same year of 1952..Abe Sensei taught a no nonsense style of Aikido, he believed Aikido to be a martial art. In later years he would be very critical of Aikido..Abe Sensei on his last visit to the AikiKai Hombu in 1967, he stepped forward getting everyones attention, he spoke out aloud """ I apologise to the ladies present, this is not Aikido I see being taught here, this is Aikido for women !!... He felt it had lost its roots and had become effeminate; it was no longer the budo he studied under Morihei Ueshiba..
He then threw his diploma's on the mat and stormed out.."""...

A comment on Aikiweb
Forums from Professor Peter Goldsbury really amused me.

Quote] The 'final incident' involving Tadashi Abe took place in 1967, right? Which was two years before O Sensei passed away and Kisshomaru became the second Doshu. If he were to appear now, in 2010, Mr Abe would probably burn the place down. Of course, he would be dismissed as an unfortunate relic of the past. [Unquote.

Koichi Tohei Sensei and T Abe had been friends from the 1940s when they were students of OSensei. This friendship lasted until May 1974 when Tohei resigned from the AikiKai. Abe Sensei a devoted student felt that Tohei had betrayed OSensei, he is known to have made some serious threats to Tohei. That was the end of their friendship. 

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei 1918 ~ 1985.

K Abbe Sensei was a great personal friend of T Abe Sensei who had arrived in France in 1952. K Abbe arrived in the UK in 1955. They renewed their friendship. This friendship was a wonderful gift for the Budo students of both France and the UK. There were many exchange invitations. Aikido had only just been introduced to the UK 1n 1955. At this time there were very few students of Aikido in the UK. One can imagine our excitement at the visits from Tadashi Abe Sensei.

TK Chiba Shihan describes Tadashi Abe Sensei as " My Hero "...I told Sensei that we the early 1950s dan grades would agree with that seal of approval.. Chiba Sensei as with his ` hero` teaches Aikido as a martial art.The plastic Samurai accuse Chiba Sensei and Abe Sensei of being too hard, or even brutal..I have never seen that with either teacher...Then again my Aikido was never one with music and dopey ribbons in the dojo. Tadashi Abe Sensei was a sad loss to the true spirit of Aikido......Chiba Sensei said " Henry, these people call their dojo a martial arts dojo, in truth, it is no more than a social club "..Chiba Sensei then added " Aikido is now so watered down !",I replied " No Sensei, I don't agree, It was watered down, now it is vaporised "..
I had never seen Chiba Sensei laugh so loudly.....
Visit the sites below for ~ Aikiweb Forum ~ Rare Films ~ Articles.

A:... There is a very interesting thread on "AikiWeb" on this great Budo master " Tadashi Abe ". Click for thread..Tadashi Abe Sensei

B:... There is also a very interesting article thanks to ` Aikido Journal ` from the " Reminisences of Minoru Mochizuki Sensei" and his first meeting with Tadashi Abe...Click here.. Click here

C:... Interesting Bio of Y Yamada Sensei a cousin of Tadashi Abe Sensei. Click here.. Yamada Sensei cousin of Tadashi Abe Sensei

D:... 1952 Film ~ K Ueshiba ~ K Tohei ~ T Abe 1952 Film ~ K Ueshiba ~ K Tohei ~ T Abe

E:...Rare 1950s film. Tadashi Abe Rare 1950s Film

F:... 1952 Film ~ AikiKai..O-Sensei..Tadashi Abe third from right in line.. Click Here

G:... H Kobayashi remembers Tadashi Abe Sensei..Click Here

H:.. Aikido Journal ~ Andre Nocquet and Tadashi Abe Click -> Tadashi Abe 

The Kaiten suicide submarine........................T Abe trained as a suicide pilot ->

Emperor Hirohito -->

Tadashi Abe Sensei was an officer in the Japanese Imperial Army during the second world war. Nearing the desperate end to the war for Japan, Abe had trained as a one man suicide submarine / torpedo pilot for the ` Kaiten` a floating bomb 1.6tonnes of expolsives, he had completed his training, he was on standby to commit his life for his Emperor and country, as a true Samurai should, when suddenly the war ended for both Japan and Tadashi Abe.. TK Chiba Shihan told me that Abe Sensei felt he had been cheated out of his destiny, a feeling that stayed with him until his death in 1984.
CLICK PHOTOS to ENLARGE ~~ Tadashi Abe & Kenshiro Abbe ~ 1950s

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Photos of Tadashi Abe Sensei

From left to right: Sensei's M Noro ~ H Michigami ~ K Abbe ~ M Harada ~ M Nakazono ~ Sitting M Otani....Otani Sensei was upset that he had to sit down, he said " They made me sit down because they think I am old "
Although Tadashi Abe is not in this photo, the photo shows the high caliber of Budo teachers who were in the UK and Europe in the 1950s/1960s. Missing from the photo are people such as Hamano Sensei 9th dan Kodokan ~ H Kobayashi and others..

" There was a Time ! "

This was a time before the Plastic Samurai began promoting each other, before Aikidoka were offered a dan grade promotion to join another association...It was a time of respect and values..It was a time when you were graded by Budo legends and not by your own peers and students.....
False grades and stupid titles meant nothing, simply because no one ever thought about such nonsense...It was a time, when, if you had entered the dojo with a bunch of multi coloured ribbons, you would quickly have left the dojo wearing the ribbons in your hair and a zori hanging from your arris.... It was a time before the loony's graded kids to dan grade and only dan grades wore an Hakama.
It was a time before the loony's turned `Ki` from energy into a religion. This was a time when the old Budo teacher had to make contact to throw a student.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei said many times...
" No matter your pretense, you are what are and nothing more "...........

Tadashi Abe Sensei & Kenshiro Abe Sensei.

<-- data-blogger-escaped-book="" data-blogger-escaped-from="" data-blogger-escaped-strong="" data-blogger-escaped-the="">L'Aikido" Tadashi Abe introduced the push-ups on the back of the wrists as shown in the photos. To this day we still do this exercise.SEE PUSH_UPS VIDEO ->..Push-ups video

A meeting at Hombu of legends.
Click photo to enlarge: Sensei's...Fukakusa ~ Tamura ~ Asai ~ Waka Sensei ~ K Ueshiba ~ T Abe ~ K Chiba ~ Ichimura ~ Tada ~ Kobayashi..

Tadashi Abe Sensei enjoyed a good fight, his idea of a good fight was a fight where his opponent was a real challenge. Sensei would carry a knife, when trouble presented itself, which it often did, he would take out the knife and offer it to his opponent whilst he would remain empty handed. He always retained his knife.

Tadashi Abe had what to many appeared to be a smile on his face, to me it was a happy grimace, a face that could stop you in your tracks just by looking at you.
To the early dan grades he was a small but fearsome man.

Tadashi Abe Sensei was a small man with the courage of a giant..He was known to have fought several men at the same time..Jiro Nakazono Sensei told me of a time when his father Masahilo Nakazono and Tadashi Abe were invited to teach at the ``French Foreign Legion `` barracks in Marseilles. As they entered they were attacked from either side of the entrance door by two tough soldiers one on either side,they were armed with baseball bats, they dealt with their attackers.

Tadashi Abe Sensei is honored by a place on the ``British Aikido Tree ``..
The tree shows the true lineage of British Aikido from 1955..Starting at the top..OSensei M Ueshiba ~ K Abbe ~ K Williams ~ E Dollimore ~ D Williams ~ H Ellis ~ H Foster ~ L Ballard ~ P Dowden ~ D Eastman ~ T Jones ~ R Reynolds ~
M Nakazono ~ T Abe ~ M Noro ~ TK Chiba....

Seminar Photo taken in Italy of Kenshiro Abbe and Tadashi Abe. It is rare to see the sensei's receiving flowers..


Right: 1952..Left to Right..Sensei's ~ Abe ~ Michigami ~ Kawaishi ~ Awazu.

Left. 1952 Tadashi Abe Sensei second from right in Biarritz.

From the book by Tadashi Abe ` L'Aikido `.


The Plastic Samurai is a Close Friend of Aiki Bunny and they both love Aiki Ki Ribbons.

There are very few advantages to be had from getting old in the UK, except, at the age of 75 yrs one no longer has to pay that damned expensive TV license..For me that is important, yet, there are other benefits in getting old. In my case, it means that I lived and trained at a time long before the arrival of the " Plastic Samurai and his odd friend AikiBunny "...It was a time when the very best of Japanese Budo masters were freeing themselves from the bonds of the second world war. Travelling to Britain and Europe..For me to meet and study with such legends as named above is a privilege I would not exchange for anything..


Aikido - Then and Now - 1955 - 2014

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`