Tuesday, 9 January 2018

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

The Book ` Positive Aikido ` available on Amazon.

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Aikido - 1955 - 2016 - 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 - Read " Aikido Then and Now - 1955 - 2015.

Aikido - Then and Now - 1955 - 2016

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - 1915 - 1985

Judo 8th dan - Aikido 6th dan - Karate 6th dan - Kendo 6th dan - Kyudo 6th dan - JuKendo 6th dan 
All Japan Judo Champion - beating the great  Masahiko Kimura who described Abbe Sensei as `` trying to catch the wind ``

Henry Ellis Shihan 
Diploma's signed by Osensei Morihei Ueshiba (2) - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei - TK Chiba Sensei - Doshu M Uesehiba.

As a privileged student of the legendary Budo master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei  I am often asked the following question. 

 What is the difference between the Aikido of the 1950s and the Aikido of today ?"

1950s - There were only 5 Aikido dan grades in the whole of the UK - all graded by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - when Mutsuo Nakazono arrived at the invitation of Abbe Sensei and Osensei, the five dan grades all had to be re-graded to meet the then standard of Hombu Dojo.

The grading was tough the first time, it was hell to have to do it all again

1950s - This was a time when there were only 5 dan grades in the whole of the UK  for Aikido. They were all highly respected, simply because everyone knew that even the lowest grades had been honestly earned through blood sweat and tears.

Unlike today, where many dan grades are often given almost as a Christmas present by students to their own teachers, the self grading is followed by ordering the unqualified grading certificates online from the inept  UK governing body for Aikido `` The British Aikido Board ``  - one can simply visit the ` BAB ` website where for a modest fee, one can order the dan grade certificate of their choice. followed by a now too common a dismal claim  for credibility " 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 soft centered unadulterated BS .

In those early days students never handed out titles to their own teachers, such as Sensei - Shihan - Grand master - Soke - Hanshi - Doctor - Professor, or any other grand title  one 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 out locked in a small cupboard for their pathetic stupidity in my war time school days in the 1940s.

Right: ` The Hut Dojo ` the birthplace of British Aikido 1955.

My teacher - The legendary and 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 also referred to as 10th dan - why ?  It is sad that people grade themselves, it is even sadder that they also take it upon themselves to grade Abbe Sensei.

1960 - Photo below: Kenshiro Abbe teaching - Henry Ellis centre.

I read of one Aikido teacher who claimed in a newspaper article posted on his own website - 

" 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  " by now his students will have probably graded him to 8th dan " -  It is enough to make an old man cry.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei taught that uke should always attack on balance - todays it is more often a ukemi flying attack with uke being overly compliant and acrobatics and the attack is a combination of 30% attack and 70% ukemi  ( break falling ) which contributes to the mockery of Aikido, not unlike an image of Yogi Bear 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 gi's and 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 or as worthless 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 a 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`


Is Aikido a Martial Art ? - Blitz Australasia Magazine Nov 2006

The subject "Is Aikido a Martial Art?" an article which has received world wide appeal and interest.This was shown by the interest from `Blitz Martial Arts Magazine` which covers the vast Australasia region.`Aikido Today Magazine` also covered this article for the Americas.I have received some negative responses from the anonymous plastic samurai - on the other hand there has been a rewarding large response from genuine students who were not afraid to add their names.Today Aikido is ridiculed by members of the public and more so from other martial artists, this is deserved in most cases with some of the antics we see from `comedy aikidoists` with their pseudo religious teachings with music and ribbon dancing in the dojo.Ki students breathing through their toes - Ki people trying to knock apples off each others heads with the power of their Ki - you could not make this crap up - someone already did.

Henry Ellis


____________________________________________MMA PROSPECTS MAGAZINE________________________________________________

MMA PROSPECTS Interview with Rik Ellis - "Aikido within MMA"

Click here "Aikido within MMA" for the Rik Ellis article in "MMA Prospects"Aikido within MMA

Rik Ellis a dan grade in Aikido and a professional MMA / Cage fighter interviewed by the online magazine " MMA Prospects " - Rik discusses his Aikido background and his serious involvement in MMA.

Rik Ellis is also the author of the controversial article "Aikido in MMA".

Rik is the son of Henry Ellis 6th dan International BiranKai - AikiKai Hombu.

Rik Ellis




BRITISH AIKIDO BOARD EXPOSED...Click the link below to read "British Aikido Board Exposed".

The discredited British Aikido Board in recent years has been guilty of crass and appalling conduct. The true extent of which was not realised until an ex BAB Executive contacted Henry Ellis to advise him that the senior BAB Executives had been guilty of defamation of the good name of Henry Ellis and character by spewing lies and false rumours that Ellis had been charged with GBH ( grievous bodily harm ) this offence is second only to murder..The irony of this slander is that Henry Ellis did not even have a parking ticket against his name.

The ex BAB Executive has fully exposed the BAB for what they truly are in the link below,stating that he would willingly stand up in any court to back his statements.




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