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Old 01-15-2011, 10:23 AM   #29
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 641
Re: Golden Center Aikido for your pleasure

Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
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.


Hi Mark

The training at the Hut Dojo was always very hard, the highlight was the recovery session with Sensei Wlilliams in the Hut Pub for a couple of pints of beer after training.

I appreciate that Sensei Williams later joined with Tohei Sensei, I believe he will always be remembered for what he achieved between 1955 - 1967. I do accept that he went on to do much more.
That is why I have worked so hard against the odds to protect the history of the early days of British Aikdo...
I can fully understand why Sensei stepped back as he did from the likes of the BAB...They could have done so much for Aikido, they have failed miserably.
Please give my sincere regards to Sensei Williams.

Henry Ellis
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