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Tony Wagstaffe
03-09-2011, 06:24 PM
I recently purchased a copy of the book Positive Aikido…. A book about the early days of aikido in the UK in the 1950's and onwards…….. Having read it and relating to it, I can to some extent well understand the difficulties and challenges that would have brought. I started aikido in 1975 when it was still relatively unknown in the UK.

The aikidoka of today have a great debt to these pioneers. It should be bought as a valuable reminder to the true realities that so many aikidoka of today take for granted…..

A book really well worth reading and a definite no no to all those who prefer to dance, do yoga and generally do not understand the true worth of this devastatingly effective martial art. Having now read the book I am better able to see why Sensei Ellis frowns on so much that is offered as Aikido today...I really enjoyed it's no nonsense approach to Aikido as a Martial Art..

I hope to meet Sensei Ellis and Sensei Eastman and have the book signed one day very soon, and also buy them the pint(s) of their favourite beer that I should have bought them both 34 years ago for a great and rewarding session of aikido at the Winchester Judo & Martial Arts club !! Which I am sure Ellis & Eastman Sensei's don't remember as well as I do!!

crbateman
03-09-2011, 11:06 PM
I hope to meet Sensei Ellis and Sensei Eastman and have the book signed one day very soon,
Then you will no doubt be pleased to learn that they are working on another book right now...

Gorgeous George
03-10-2011, 07:32 AM
Isn't the meaning of the kanji 'bu', essentially 'to protect from harm'?
And weren't the samurai - at least nominally - cultured gentlemen, whose understanding of martial arts was derived from the necessity to protect others/society?

So, to understand the purpose of a 'devestating martial art', was absolutely essential: it's no use being able to kill - or do anything, for that matter - unless you understand why.
With power comes responsibility, etc.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 08:15 AM
Then you will no doubt be pleased to learn that they are working on another book right now...

Then I will purchasing that one to........

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 09:18 AM
Isn't the meaning of the kanji 'bu', essentially 'to protect from harm'?
And weren't the samurai - at least nominally - cultured gentlemen, whose understanding of martial arts was derived from the necessity to protect others/society?

So, to understand the purpose of a 'devestating martial art', was absolutely essential: it's no use being able to kill - or do anything, for that matter - unless you understand why.
With power comes responsibility, etc.

I believe it also means "military" ...?

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 09:41 AM
Yes bu means military
Bujutsu = "military science"
Budo = "military way"
Also has connotations as to stopping the halberd....?

Hellis
03-10-2011, 10:35 AM
I recently purchased a copy of the book Positive Aikido…. A book about the early days of aikido in the UK in the 1950's and onwards…….. Having read it and relating to it, I can to some extent well understand the difficulties and challenges that would have brought. I started aikido in 1975 when it was still relatively unknown in the UK.

The aikidoka of today have a great debt to these pioneers. It should be bought as a valuable reminder to the true realities that so many aikidoka of today take for granted…..

A book really well worth reading and a definite no no to all those who prefer to dance, do yoga and generally do not understand the true worth of this devastatingly effective martial art. Having now read the book I am better able to see why Sensei Ellis frowns on so much that is offered as Aikido today...I really enjoyed it's no nonsense approach to Aikido as a Martial Art..

I hope to meet Sensei Ellis and Sensei Eastman and have the book signed one day very soon, and also buy them the pint(s) of their favourite beer that I should have bought them both 34 years ago for a great and rewarding session of aikido at the Winchester Judo & Martial Arts club !! Which I am sure Ellis & Eastman Sensei's don't remember as well as I do!!

Tony

I am pleased that you enjoyed the book " Positive Aikido" . Of course the warning on the inside cover does not apply to you :straightf ...
I do remember teaching at Winchester all those years ago, I just do not remember the students :sorry:
Derek and I would always be pleased to have a pint of beer with you, as you are paying....and of course we will sign the book..

I am not happy with Amazon UK charging more than Amazon US. To all the people who have emailed me, I am in the process of having copies of the book shipped over to me, and I will sell them from my home address...

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
www.british-aikido.com

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 10:54 AM
Tony

I am pleased that you enjoyed the book " Positive Aikido" . Of course the warning on the inside cover does not apply to you :straightf ...
I do remember teaching at Winchester all those years ago, I just do not remember the students :sorry:
Derek and I would always be pleased to have a pint of beer with you, as you are paying....and of course we will sign the book..

I am not happy with Amazon UK charging more than Amazon US. To all the people who have emailed me, I am in the process of having copies of the book shipped over to me, and I will sell them from my home address...

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
www.british-aikido.com

I just had a look at your website Henry and it does say that your next book is in the pipeline, I will be looking forward to read that one to.....
Would you be so kind to reserve one for me? I wouldn't like to miss out if it's as good as the 1st !!

http://www.british-aikido.com/i/positive-aikido-hidden-knowledge-cover-big.JPG

http://www.british-aikido.com/news.htm

PS I remember Derek Sensei's kotegaeshi well !!!!! Very powerful, clean and nice to experience....

Gorgeous George
03-10-2011, 11:07 AM
Yes bu means military
Bujutsu = "military science"
Budo = "military way"
Also has connotations as to stopping the halberd....?

Military: in one sense, yes - but it doesn't define what it actually means...'the meaning of bu, both literally and in its historical context, encompasses a much broader set of concepts' (The Principles of Aikido; Mitsugi Saotome; p.191).

As I said: the kanji shows a spear being stopped - 'the original intent of bu was to stop war, to protect people from weapons' (ibid).

'Budo was intended to preserve the orderliness of society, not to promote the use of indiscriminate violence or brute force.' (ibid)

'...generally do not understand the true worth of this devastatingly effective martial art'

Flintstone
03-10-2011, 11:10 AM
Isn't the meaning of the kanji 'bu', essentially 'to protect from harm'?
Myth.

武 (8) ブ ; ム BIS

BIS combines 止 (Type 3 Phonetic) (stand straight by) + 戈 spear/halberd → armed (and armored) warrior attending on a superior → martial; military → ferocious.
Fact.

Hellis
03-10-2011, 11:13 AM
Then you will no doubt be pleased to learn that they are working on another book right now...

Tony

I will put your name on the order list.

Clark Bateman is recognised as an avid collector of books on Aikido, and if I recall ? - the first person to order the book " Positive Aikido" on its release......Thanks again Clark .....

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
www.british-aikido.com

Gorgeous George
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
Myth.

Fact.

How does that contradict what I said?

C. David Henderson
03-10-2011, 11:18 AM
Myth.

Fact.

Thanks.

Flintstone
03-10-2011, 11:19 AM
How does that contradict what I said?
In no way. I was just clearing a misconception of us poor westerners.

Gorgeous George
03-10-2011, 11:21 AM
In no way. I was just clearing a misconception of us poor westerners.

Ah.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 11:34 AM
Tony

I will put your name on the order list.

Clark Bateman is recognised as an avid collector of books on Aikido, and if I recall ? - the first person to order the book " Positive Aikido" on its release......Thanks again Clark .....

Henry Ellis
British Aikido History
www.british-aikido.com

:)

Tony Wagstaffe
03-10-2011, 11:35 AM
Ah.

:rolleyes:

Gorgeous George
03-10-2011, 12:42 PM
:rolleyes:

:drool:

crbateman
03-10-2011, 08:39 PM
Clark Bateman is recognised as an avid collector of books on Aikido, and if I recall ? - the first person to order the book " Positive Aikido" on its release......Thanks again Clark .....
Not at all, Sensei... It's the kind of thing that gets my immediate attention... I hope to get the same opportunity with the new one. ;)

jamie yugawa
03-10-2011, 10:39 PM
Ellis sensei,
Please put me on the list as well!!! I am fascinated by Aikido history in general, but with your wealth of experience and interesting history this should be a should be a great read!

Flintstone
03-11-2011, 04:11 AM
:drool:
:crazy:

Hellis
03-11-2011, 05:24 AM
Not at all, Sensei... It's the kind of thing that gets my immediate attention... I hope to get the same opportunity with the new one. ;)

Clark

I hope to get the same opportunity with the new one.

I give you my word, you certainly will ;)

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Hellis
03-11-2011, 05:32 AM
Ellis sensei,
Please put me on the list as well!!! I am fascinated by Aikido history in general, but with your wealth of experience and interesting history this should be a should be a great read!

Jamie

I have not forgotten our earlier pms..the same will apply with the new book...My student and long time friend Dave Rogers is an ex newspaper editor and journalist. when I am in NM we sit with a beer and chat for hours in those beautiful evenings, Dave with note pad and pen in hand, so I think he now knows more about my history than I do :) Although there will be history, there will be so much more...

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Jon Marshall
03-14-2011, 08:35 AM
Hi All,

I enjoyed the book too, especially the historical aspects.

Allow me to put the cat among the pigeons, or the softie among the rough necks... Sensei Ken Williams is mentioned (very respectfully) in a few of the anecdotes, as Abe Sensei's most senior student.

After Abe Sensei left the UK, Sensei Williams spent a period without a teacher then went off to train with Tohei. He later set up the Ki Federation of GB which his wife now runs, with Sensei Williams still teaching (late 70's now). He teaches the whole ki and mind-body coordination stuff, emphasing softness and relaxation. He does not emphasise martial applicability, but teaches that if you have the ki, then the martial stuff is there.

I don't really have a question as such, but I do find it curious that I have never heard/seen this defection to the soft side of Kenshiro Abe's top student mentioned by the old-schoolers. I'd certainly be curious to hear a response.

Regards,
(and respect for the hard and the soft approaches)
Jon.

P.S. I'm off-line for a week or so, so won't be able to respond immediately.

Hellis
03-17-2011, 05:49 PM
Hi All,

I enjoyed the book too, especially the historical aspects.

Allow me to put the cat among the pigeons, or the softie among the rough necks... Sensei Ken Williams is mentioned (very respectfully) in a few of the anecdotes, as Abe Sensei's most senior student.

After Abe Sensei left the UK, Sensei Williams spent a period without a teacher then went off to train with Tohei. He later set up the Ki Federation of GB which his wife now runs, with Sensei Williams still teaching (late 70's now). He teaches the whole ki and mind-body coordination stuff, emphasing softness and relaxation. He does not emphasise martial applicability, but teaches that if you have the ki, then the martial stuff is there.

I don't really have a question as such, but I do find it curious that I have never heard/seen this defection to the soft side of Kenshiro Abe's top student mentioned by the old-schoolers. I'd certainly be curious to hear a response.

Regards,
(and respect for the hard and the soft approaches)
Jon.

P.S. I'm off-line for a week or so, so won't be able to respond immediately.

Jon

I am pleased that you enjoyed the book `` Positive Aikido ``.
I hope you will be encouraged to order book 2 " Positive Aikido - Hidden Knowledge " ??

Ken Williams Sensei is now 80 years of age and still teaching.

He was, as you say, the first student of Aikido with K Abbe Sensei.
I was discussing Sensei Williams with the last pioneers Derek Eastman and Haydn Foster Sensei just a few months before Foster Sensei died.
We were all agreed that Williams Sensei was a rather special man at a very special time, we were also agreed that none of us would have been as able, as he became, to take Aikido from a total nothing to a nationally accepted martial art.
The object of " Positive Aikido " was to historically record the facts.
I was Williams Sensei's personal assistant, believe me Williams Sensei was a hard man, he had to be, we fought for real many times as we tested each other all the way....no ribbons, just snot and blood.

Jiro Nakazono said to me recently, as a schoolboy in Paris France, his father the great Masahilo Nakazono would go to teach in Britain, he would wait for his father to return to relate the wonderful stories of the brave Budo warriors of Britain. ( his words not mine )

From 1955 until 1967 I was with Williams Sensei until he moved from the `Hut` to Wales and at a later date he began his journey into ` Ki Aikido `... In 1967 I also left the `Hut` and Williams Sensei and joined Chiba Sensei.. I could never have gone the Ki road, not for me..
Unlike so many coming into Ki Aikido - Sensei Williams had, and still has, a very strong BASIC background in strong traditional Aikido...Sensei Williams was by far the best of Abbe Sensei's Aikido students and the man most suited for the position of natioanal coach.

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Jon Marshall
03-18-2011, 11:32 AM
Hi Henry,

Thanks for your response. I don't doubt for a moment that Sensei Williams was a "hard man". I've seen his fired up, and have heard tales of the old days (nothing like as far back as your old days!)

I've left his organisation now, so can speak freely (Sensei Williams is not a fan of the internet). There are some very good people in the Ki Fed, but I agree with you about basics and think that most (myself included) have paid a high price for lacking even a little of the harder foundation that you guys received. My joke used to be that the ones most likely to use (ki) aikido effectively in a rough and tumble were those who could already fight before they started aikido. I suppose that if you're teaching it more as a way of life than a martial art then it might not matter, but that's another (off topic) subject.

For myself, I had a crisis of faith around the whole ki thing and a frustration with the insularity of the Ki Fed, so I went exploring. However, I did think it worth a mention that Abbe Sensei's top student became a ki man (hence the slightly teasy tone of my post, to which you did not bite at all.)

Anyway, I think it's fair to say that Sensei Williams's contribution to British aikido has been pretty massive, and it's nice to hear someone saying so.

I'll keep an eye out for the new book,
Jon

Hellis
03-18-2011, 06:30 PM
Jon

It is hard for people to understand how difficult it was in those early days to promote Aikido to a very unreceptive public.. The toughest of all were the Judo groups, yet, we could not have moved ahead as we did without their support, a support that we had to earn.
Some of the early teachers changed their direction, I couldn't ( wouldn't ) or maybe I just didn't want to..
I speak to Sensei Williams occasionally, I accept that he is not too fond of the internet, he has though shown an interest in the events we have held " Kenshiro Abbe 50th " and the " Masahilo Nakazono Event " ....He was also upset at the recent death of Haydn Foster Sensei... There is still a bond between Abbe Snsei's old students.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Chris Li
03-18-2011, 06:44 PM
How does that contradict what I said?

To elaborate, the translation of "bu" as "stopping the spear" is based on an erractic notation in a Chinese text (Shunju Sashi-den). The character on the bottom which means "stop" in current usage is from the character for foot, and with the character for halberd the kanji "bu" originally meant "to advance with a spear (halberd)", which is a pretty good description of "war", if you ask me.

Best,

Chris

Gorgeous George
03-18-2011, 08:54 PM
To elaborate, the translation of "bu" as "stopping the spear" is based on an erractic notation in a Chinese text (Shunju Sashi-den). The character on the bottom which means "stop" in current usage is from the character for foot, and with the character for halberd the kanji "bu" originally meant "to advance with a spear (halberd)", which is a pretty good description of "war", if you ask me.

Best,

Chris

Interesting...
I'm certainly not in a position to dispute that - knowing little about the etymology of kanji...however, the sources I took my definition from were Japanese, and life-long students of budo, so i'm loathe to cast aside their definition.

Chris Li
03-18-2011, 09:16 PM
Interesting...
I'm certainly not in a position to dispute that - knowing little about the etymology of kanji...however, the sources I took my definition from were Japanese, and life-long students of budo, so i'm loathe to cast aside their definition.

Yes, I know Saotome pretty well, and he's a student of budo but not a translator. Also, often Japanese are speaking metaphorically rather than literally when that "definition" is brought up.

Best,

Chris