Although Kenshiro Abbe started teaching in the 10 years after the war, Henry Ellis was not there at that time, I believe he was introduced to aikido at the Hut dojo around '57. Tadashi may well have been brought over to the UK to teach the students there, but it would have been later. I will speak to my teacher about the dates. In all my years of listening to his experiences of those days, he has not given an account of Tadashi Abe's influence. He does cite Noro and Nakazono, Tamera and Tada as being influential to the training at that time. I will ask him about Tadashi Abe when I see him next.
I count the war's end in 8/1945 and I think I recall Henry's saying he started at the Hut in 1955, which was the year I was born. I'm not sure about any details, but he does talk about training with both of them. And I know that was some incredible atmosphere.
Not sure why you say that that stuff was 'purer' than your your own experience?
Partly the times. Everyone was less guarded in those days, socially, and more directly real. Also, this was before everyone's little cousin was a black belt and the folks at the Hut had not come up with all kinds of baloney and bad examples in martial arts before they started training. They were fit young men who were introduced directly to the real stuff and they got nothing but the real stuff the whole time. By 1972, when I started martial arts, black belts were still scarce, but we had been exposed to Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet (a TV show here) and the David Carradine TV show, Kung Fu started up about the time I started karate. Also, I started with a guy who was not who he said he was before I started training with a direct student of Mas Oyama in kyokushin karate. I got my first idea about aikido from a George Leonard article in East/West Journal, called "Aikido and the Mind of the West".
So my early ideas did not come from Kennshiro Abbe or Mochizuki, either. And the kyokushin was good, hard karate, but there were elements in those days that it could have done without.
I did get a lot of good instruction, but it was heavily filtered by various people for various reasons and anyway, they could not recreate the mental attitude and the real presence of a dojo like the yoseikan. And when I finally got to live in the dojo with Mochizuki, I was too old for peak learning and he was too old for peak teaching. And while technically very strong, the practice at the dojo was past its greatest days.
Still, I really like what I see of Washizu Sensei's current teaching, so I have hope for the future of Mochizuki Sensei's peculiar art. But I do think that the old Hut training was a much deeper and purer budo than anything you're likely to find today outside certain places in Japan. And even there....in most places, it's not what it used to be.
Anyway, neither am I, but the IS/Aiki discussion and the efforts I've made since hearing of it have done more for me than anything since I left the yoseikan in 1995.
Best to all.