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Old 01-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #27
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: Golden Center Aikido for your pleasure

Henry Ellis wrote: View Post

I must have previously missed this thread. You are correct that Ken Williams Sensei was the first student of Aikido in the UK with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. The British Aikido community owe a great deal to the efforts of Williams Sensei in those early days.

Tohei Sensei never visited the Hut Dojo.

I have no axe to grind with Mr Muspratt, I have never seen any claims by him that I would dispute.
I would though dispute Grahams claim that Mr Muspratt was training at the Hut Dojo in " the beginning "..( 1955 ).I personally have no memory of Mr Muspratt training at the Hut Dojo, I don't doubt that he may well have visited in the 60s.. I do remember Foster Sensei visiting the small dojo in Watford of Mr Muspratt..

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei invited several teachers from France to visit the UK, Tadashi Abe 1958? ~ Mikoto Nakazono 1960 ? M Noro 1963.

I looked at the said photo, I did not recognise anyone other than Tohei Sensei. The dojo looks rather nice and modern, where as the Hut Dojo looked more like ``Stalag 17 ``

I am sorry to say Graham, having watched your video, I can assure that Mr Muspratt would not have learned any of that from the Hut Dojo and the instructors there.

Henry Ellis
Hi Henry,

Having spent many hours in the pub (post practice tradition) with Sensei Williams, I have heard many tales of 'the early days' and Abbe Sensei in particular, who to this day is still spoken of with great affection and respect by him. Also, all the visiting Japanese Sensei were appreciated for the skill they brought over and shared with the early pioneers of the art in the UK.

I'm also aware of 'some' of the politics that lead the the Aikido scene being quite messy in the UK once Abbe Sensei returned to Japan. Probably inevitable, as nothing stays the same and anything that grows with numbers of individuals, is bound to have tensions inherent in whatever system they follow.

As far as I understand things, although Ken Williams had a great deal of input into the promotion and spreading of (as you did yourself) the art of Aikido in the UK. However, there came a point where he set up his own Federation, after leaving Tohei Sensei, and has little to do with the wider world of British Aikido ever since (well over 30 odd years).

Having read some of the material you have posted on your very informative site, particularly regarding the BAB, Im not surprised that he is happy to be a loner, away from all that nonsense.

Anyway, I feel very fortunate to have recieved the teaching I have. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of the early teachers that got Aikido off the ground over here.



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