Ken Cottier - When I first met Ken he was just another beginner in those early days - The reason I remembered him more than anyone else at that time, he was such a very funny guy - he could impersonate Kenshiro Abbe's voice to perfection - he could also make the sound of a underground train entering and leaving the station, complete with doors opening and shutting. funny what we remember about people
( RIP )
In the ESTA dan grades new and old are taught the old traditional style, Derek Eastman and I have not changed our ways, so the students naturally follow. The reason I left Judo to join the first Aikido group was because of the positive power of the Aikido I saw then, I took one look and knew that was what I wanted.
The 1950s was a very difficult time to offer anything that was Japanese - we were all living on war rations until 1957 - Both Derek and I worked with ex-Japanese and German prisoners of war - so the very mention of Judo or Aikido would often lead to unpleasant situations.
Do you know my good friend Gijs Schouten in Holland ?
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
Thank you ever so much for sharing that memory with me - it brought tears to my eyes laughing! I did see Ken do his impersonations of Chiba sensei, but it is the first time I have heard about his impersonations of Abbe sensei!
I was in England on several occasions in the 1980s. Aikido by that time seemed quite popular. But the 1950s must have been difficult - had forgotten about those rations, it seems that that lasted longer in England then in the Netherlands - anti-everything-Japanese was common in the Netherlands as well.
Must have been difficult for Abbe sensei himself as well!.
I have not had the pleasure meeting Gijs Schouten - know the name though.
Did you visit the Netherlands for teaching a seminar?
Thank you for your kind response!