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`   

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