Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis
Dear Mr Wyatt
I had intended to respond to your email copied at the foot of this message. As you are asking the same questions here on Aikiweb, I trust you have no objections to my answering both here.
You also refer to the late and respected Ken Cottier Shihan who I knew well. I actually taught Cottier Shihan his first Aikido lesson when he was a Judoka with the late Ken Wainwright at the old Kelventor Dojo. ( circa 1960 )
Dear Mr Wyatt
Thank you for your email. Let me first assure you that the `` British Aikido Tree``. or as you prefer ~ ``The Hut Aikido Tree `` are both one and the same, they are honest and fully encompassing. The intention of the lineage tree is to show future generations the names and photos of the first of the early Aikido pioneers, the ones who were actually there following the inception of Aikido to the UK by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955.
Yes, I do know of John Cornish Sensei, you state that he was studying Aikido in Japan from 1958. I respectfully point out that whilst Cornish Sensei was in Japan he was not here in the UK propagating the seeds of Aikido, as were the people named in the “ British Aikido Tree “. I am at a loss to understand your comment “ There must have been earlier pioneers ??? “ , why must there have been earlier pioneers or even dojo pioneers ?. If you are so sure there were, perhaps you can enlighten me ? In the beginning there were no dedicated Aikido dojos, as was the case with the Hut Dojo, all were Judo Dojos, some ( not all ) would allow a small Aikido section to use their mats, as Aikido grew, some Judoka such as myself dedicated their future to Aikido.
Seasons greetings to you and yours.
Email from Mr James Wyatt - 22nd / December / 2009
I read your article on the aikiweb and it is good to see you cleared up the previous controversy.
May I humbly suggest your British Aikido Tree is more encompassing as there must have been other earlier pioneers or perhaps refer to it as the Hut Aikido Tree? I study under John Cornish, whom you probably know, and he was at the Hombu dojo from 1958-1964 (receiving daily training as a soto deshi) and was graded by O'Sensei and was a contemporary of Chiba Sensei and Tamura Sensei. Like Kenshiro Abbe Sensei he was originally trained in judo (from 1952 onwards at the Budokwai and then whilst in Japan also attended the Kodokan under Mifune Sensei and Tomiki Sensei). I also believe there were several other dojo pioneers? It would be good for all concerned if someone from the time could write a complete history.
All the best and merry Christmas