Sunday, 27 September 2015

The "Kenshiro Abbe Sensei Memorial Event 1955 - 2005 "

The event was totally sold out with a 425 capacity of students. The event was organised by genuine direct students and indirect students of Abbe Sensei. There were no BS students such as the MayoShinDo people in sight. There are now so many martial artists that claim some kind of connection to Abbe Sensei as a means of gaining some form of credibility. You can now view the full event video below.

                            Kenshiro Abbe Memorial 1955 - 2005


                    Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Founder of KyuShinDo

I have been contacted many times by students trying to verify their often misguided, and more often ludicrous claims of lineage, be it direct or indirect to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. It is important to remember when Abbe Sensei arrived in the UK in 1955 he was `tied` by contract to the London Judo Society `LJS` for approx one year.
Sensei amicably ended this contract to join Mutsutaro Otani Sensei - together in 1958 they formed the British Judo Council `BJC`.
Abbe Sensei lived at the home of Otani Sensei at 10 Stuart Road Acton London during his time in the UK.
Abbe Sensei was in great demand for Judo seminars - in addition to building a 35,000 strong international membership of the BJC - BAC - BKC - IBC.

Kenshiro Abbe loved my mums pie n chips.So, when some clown tells you that Abbe Sensei lived at his, or his teachers home for months enjoying his mothers pie and chips - teaching him all the Budo arts - perhaps, now one can see that these claims are a pile of unadulterated BS.Can you imagine Abbe Sensei staying at someones home giving personal tuition because he prefers  mums pie n chips  - rather than take care of his 35,000 members. If these people were not so sad they may even be considered amusing.

To many people with little or no understanding of the term `KyuShinDo` it sounds very nice and `Japanesy`.KSD is a theory of centripetal Judo application - many have used and abused the term in association with their own Judo - Karate - Aikido, and to some it has become a martial art ?? I have even seen people claiming to have grades in KyuShinDo - How the hell do you get a dan grade in a theory ? To many the use of the word KyuShinDo tries to falsely imply a link to Abbe Sensei.
Visit the KyuShinDo Blog
KyuShinDo Blog

Just one example:A guy recently left messages on my YouTube Kenshiro Abbe videos,he became abusive as he demanded to know why I had never mentioned his teacher, who he claimed was a true pioneer of British Aikido.
I explained the reason I never mentioned the guy was simple - I had never heard of him!.
He countered with " My teacher was a special student and friend of Kenshiro Abbe for twenty years.
I suggested he inform his teacher that Abbe Sensei was only in the UK for nine years.
They walk amongst us and breed.

Henry Ellis

Co-author of `Positive Aikido`.

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

A very interesting Japanese article on Kenshiro Abbe Sensei translated by Mr Syd Hoare Click here > Kenshiro Abbe Article

Mutsutaro Otani Sensei 1896 - 1977

M Otani Sensei 7th dan Judo - Sensei worked for many years as a swordsmith for the `Wilkinson Sword Company` London. I recieved the photo on the right from a member of the Wilkinson family. Sensei is actually making the sword used by Kirk Douglas in the film Spartacus. Kirk Douglas visited the Wilkinson factory where Otani Sensei presented the sword to the actor.

Kenshiro Abbe sensei
From the memoires of Bill Stopps Sensei aide to Otani Sensei from 1947.

O ne further example of this remarkable man’s approach to life was during the first time Kenshiro Abbe came to this country and devastated the best of our dan grades in the country. People who remember him taking on black belts at the Royal Albert Hall display in 1963 still speak of it with reverence. However, on returning to our dojo Mr Otani announced that his own Judo was now old fashioned and obsolete and we must now learn Mr Abbe’s method and in this he included himself.
T o me it was shattering, here was a man who could calmly throw away a lifetimse work and start again at the beginning without turning a hair. At this moment my esteem for my instructor crystallized and I knew whatever happened in the future, that incident would cancel anything. Mr Otani began to study these new techniques but fortunately Mr Abbe spotted what was happening and pointed out that the style and method of Mr Otani was now so rare that he must keep teaching it to preserve such a unique skill and knowledge.

Judo expands and so does the problems
T ime passed and other clubs began to spring up, new members joined and suddenly the Jubilee Club seemed to be torn with bickering and argument. One Sunday morning we were about to practice when Mr Otani called us together and demanded to know what the grievances were about. After one or two minor complaints one of the new members boldly suggested the reason for the trouble was that one of the committee members was coloured (this member was missing that morning) Many of the old members including myself were dumfounded and it was then that I saw another side of Mr Otani’s character

He said angrily “ You forget I am also a yellow colour , Judo is for all, let nobody here forget that,”! This was one of the very few occasions I saw my teacher furious. Shortly afterwards that complaining person and his faction left and a harmonious period again resumed

Saturday, 26 September 2015

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


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



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`.

Henry Ellis - 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

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - A Victim of Too Many Myths

Scroll Down Right Column for More Myths

Left: Click photo to enlarge: - The Kenshiro Abbe Memorial Event May 14th 2005. Fully booked with 425 students and 700 spectators. There was not one `friend` of Abbe Sensei in sight - Not one single god-child - Not one Kyushindo expert - Just privileged direct students and their students.

This site was intended as a memorial site to our teacher Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
It is sad that we have to spend so much time and effort protecting the good name of Abbe Sensei from the growing number of unscrupulous plastic samurai,people who shamelessly use Abbe Sensei's name in an attempt to add some credibility to their sad lives.

In a recent Judo article in an Australian Martial Arts magazine,there were several crass claims, the most bizarre being; "After the war my teachers mother brought Abbe Sensei to England to teach her son Judo - Aikido - Kendo. Abbe Sensei lived at Moorehouse Sensei's home for several years". (This one registers high on the BSometer)

Here is a another "My teacher was taught by Abbe Sensei in 1950 in Germany"

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei came directly to the UK from Japan in 1955 under contract to the London Judo Society `LJS`.

Although it is not possible to keep up with the increasing crap from these people, we will highlight the myths when ever possible. Take a look down the right hand column to read some of the more popular myths.

Henry Ellis


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`