Thread: Sensei?
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #32
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 641
Re: Sensei?

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post

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!


By the 1980s Aikido was pretty well established in the UK - In the 1950s there was just the one dojo "The Hut Dojo" - We would visit Judo dojos to promote Aikido, as was the case with meeting Ken Cottier in Liverpool.
I remember making the trip to Devises Judo Club to take part in the first "Aikido Seminar" in the UK - We were teaching tough Judoka who had to be taken all the way to show that Aikido was effective - If we had asked them to fall down I am sure they would have thrown us out of the door. many of the early students of Aikido were converts as I was from Judo.

It was a tough time for Abbe Sensei as you say - My father had a back injury and could not walk at all - I advised him that I would bring Abbe Sensei to try some Katsu on him - my father was not too happy at this suggestion - he relented - Abbe Sensei had him back on his feet in less than five minutes. My father saw Abbe Sensei in a different light to what was the general image of the Japanese. My father even came to see me at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963 with Abbe Sensei - Nakazono - Noro - Michigami - Hamano - Otani.

I did visit my friend Gijs Schouten a few years ago to teach at a large celebration of Aikido in Holland.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
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