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Old 12-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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"British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Posted 2009-12-16 14:36:27 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://www.british-aikido.com/aikido...l%20circle.htm

This article entitled "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis provides an account of T.K. Chiba shihan's visit back to the U.K. in 2009 to meet again with the three "pioneers" of the Hut Dojo in Hillingdon, London from back in the 1960's.

From the article: In 2008, TK Chiba Shihan, technical director of the International Birankai, requested a meeting with Sensei's ~ Haydn Foster ~ Henry Ellis ~ Derek Eastman, for a re-union at the "Hut Dojo". A meeting with the 'old pioneers'. Chiba Shihan cordially invited them all to join as associate members of the 'British Birankai'."

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Old 12-21-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

It would be good to know who all the early pioneers were during the 1950s and 1960s.
Can anyone add some more names?
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Go to www.ellisaikido.org, and under "Internet Articles" click on "Origins of the Martial Arts in the U.K."
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
James Wyatt
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Thank you for the link and have read this most interesting article before.

However, was wondering whom the first British pioneers were eg Haydn Foster, Henry Ellis, Ken Cottier, John Cornish etc.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Dear Mr Wyatt

I had intended to respond to your email copied at the foot of this message. As you are asking the same questions here on Aikiweb, I trust you have no objections to my answering both here.
You also refer to the late and respected Ken Cottier Shihan who I knew well. I actually taught Cottier Shihan his first Aikido lesson when he was a Judoka with the late Ken Wainwright at the old Kelventor Dojo. ( circa 1960 )

Dear Mr Wyatt
Thank you for your email. Let me first assure you that the `` British Aikido Tree``. or as you prefer ~ ``The Hut Aikido Tree `` are both one and the same, they are honest and fully encompassing. The intention of the lineage tree is to show future generations the names and photos of the first of the early Aikido pioneers, the ones who were actually there following the inception of Aikido to the UK by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955.
Yes, I do know of John Cornish Sensei, you state that he was studying Aikido in Japan from 1958. I respectfully point out that whilst Cornish Sensei was in Japan he was not here in the UK propagating the seeds of Aikido, as were the people named in the “ British Aikido Tree “. I am at a loss to understand your comment “ There must have been earlier pioneers ??? “ , why must there have been earlier pioneers or even dojo pioneers ?. If you are so sure there were, perhaps you can enlighten me ? In the beginning there were no dedicated Aikido dojos, as was the case with the Hut Dojo, all were Judo Dojos, some ( not all ) would allow a small Aikido section to use their mats, as Aikido grew, some Judoka such as myself dedicated their future to Aikido.

Seasons greetings to you and yours.

Henry Ellis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Email from Mr James Wyatt - 22nd / December / 2009

Dear Sir

I read your article on the aikiweb and it is good to see you cleared up the previous controversy.

May I humbly suggest your British Aikido Tree is more encompassing as there must have been other earlier pioneers or perhaps refer to it as the Hut Aikido Tree? I study under John Cornish, whom you probably know, and he was at the Hombu dojo from 1958-1964 (receiving daily training as a soto deshi) and was graded by O'Sensei and was a contemporary of Chiba Sensei and Tamura Sensei. Like Kenshiro Abbe Sensei he was originally trained in judo (from 1952 onwards at the Budokwai and then whilst in Japan also attended the Kodokan under Mifune Sensei and Tomiki Sensei). I also believe there were several other dojo pioneers? It would be good for all concerned if someone from the time could write a complete history.

All the best and merry Christmas
James Wyatt
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:28 AM   #6
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Dear Mr Ellis

Thank you for the response and I apologize for any misunderstanding that there might have been earlier pioneers than your goodselves at the Hut. I was wondering if there had been other early British pioneers whom have helped spread the word from the late 1950s through the 1960s and beyond.

All the best

James Wyatt
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:14 AM   #7
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Dear Mr Wyatt
Thank you for your response, there is no need to apologise, I am only too pleased to help the many people who contact me on this subject. Fortunately, there are still a few survivors from that time, we are all still good friends, we keep in regular contact. Of course, yes, there were what could perhaps be referred to as the second generation of Aikido pioneers such as Ralph Reynolds Sensei from Birmingham who did so much to promote Aikido in the Midlands. There wasTom Weir Sensei doing the same in Scotland.
I am also pleased to have a close group of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei’s personal students, two of which worked in the BJC Denmark Street, London office alongside Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in those very early days. We exchange information on a regular basis. There is a growing concern at the number of “ Friends of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei “ …A little more amusing are the growing band of “ Abbe Sensei stayed at my teachers home, Abbe Sensei enjoyed his mothers cooking so much that he stayed for a month “… The BJC I believe had a membership of some 38,000 at that time, but hey !! mums cooking comes first 
Thank you for your personal message and valued comments.
Kind regards
Henry Ellis
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:21 PM   #8
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
James Wyatt wrote: View Post
It would be good to know who all the early pioneers were during the 1950s and 1960s.
Can anyone add some more names?
These men might qualify.
Pat Butler , Trevor Jones, Billy Coyle. Tom Pickering . Stuart Appleby.Ron Myers.Lee Crow.John Hamilton.
In the 70s:George Girvan .Matt Holland, Arthur Lockyear.Dee Chen , .Peter Brady. Mick Holloway Bill Smith Terry Ezra.Paul Smith;John Emmerson.Keith Hayward.Eric Beake;Bob Lincoln.Tony Cassells . Chris Mooney. Alan Rowley,Ian McClarence.Alan Ruddock.
I can think of more given a bit of time.May I also state I have been traing in aikido since earl 70s and know /knew all the aforementioned?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:04 AM   #9
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
These men might qualify.
Pat Butler , Trevor Jones, Billy Coyle. Tom Pickering . Stuart Appleby.Ron Myers.Lee Crow.John Hamilton.
In the 70s:George Girvan .Matt Holland, Arthur Lockyear.Dee Chen , .Peter Brady. Mick Holloway Bill Smith Terry Ezra.Paul Smith;John Emmerson.Keith Hayward.Eric Beake;Bob Lincoln.Tony Cassells . Chris Mooney. Alan Rowley,Ian McClarence.Alan Ruddock.
I can think of more given a bit of time.May I also state I have been traing in aikido since earl 70s and know /knew all the aforementioned?
Hi Joe

Don't forget Michael Narey who was also at the 50 years of Aikido bash in Crystal Palace.

I'm sure he'll have been involved with you wild young things in the 60's.

Regards

D
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:51 AM   #10
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

I'd agree with almost all of those mentioned but would include Peter Brady, Gordon Jones and myself who all began in around 1968 (Gordon in '64 I think) and were pretty active during 70's, 80's etc.

Actually darren Mike didn't start unitil late 70's (or possibly early 80's) as a student of Keith Hayward.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:25 AM   #11
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
I'd agree with almost all of those mentioned but would include Peter Brady, Gordon Jones and myself who all began in around 1968 (Gordon in '64 I think) and were pretty active during 70's, 80's etc.

Actually darren Mike didn't start unitil late 70's (or possibly early 80's) as a student of Keith Hayward.
Yes, I second Philip's mail.

I believe Michael took my place as IAF General Secretary for a time (when he was still 1st kyu), but this cannot have been before 1980. I remember Michael Holloway, 'the Greeks', Margaret Hughes, Bob Lincoln, at Chiba Sensei's dojo in Chiswick. This would have been in the very late 1960s or early 70s. Minoru Kanetsuka was 3rd dan.

I also remember Aidan Smyth at the Budokwai, and another, older, student whose name I cannot recall. He wore glasses and drove a car with a distinctive number plate. I think it was 9F.

I have good memories of training with Gordon Jones and Peter Brady (and a few others) in the West Midlands from 1975. Eric Beake and the other Eric (also a taxi-driver and known as Eric the Taxi-Driver), Dee, Philip, Stuart Broughton, John Ferris, and Hephzibah Davies Evans also come to mind from the Tenpukan Dojo in Earls Court, where I used to train with Birger Sorensen from Norway. Does anyone remember Pita Smith, a lady who was a good friend and supporter of Chiba Sensei when he first came to the UK?

Of course this is well after the very early days, involving Nakazono Mutsuru and Kobayashi Hirokazu, which I think Mr Ellis has in mind.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-24-2010 at 07:28 AM.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
I'd agree with almost all of those mentioned but would include Peter Brady, Gordon Jones and myself who all began in around 1968 (Gordon in '64 I think) and were pretty active during 70's, 80's etc.

Actually darren Mike didn't start unitil late 70's (or possibly early 80's) as a student of Keith Hayward.
Hi Phil

NAF was formed in 1980 so it will have been before that - he does remember you as a schoolboy so clearly a very long time ago ;-)

I've just asked - His 'formal' aikido started maybe early, mid 70's before that he was into judo / jujitsu with some aiki exposure...like a lot of the old guard.

Don't think Keith was his first aikido teacher either.

Not trying to make any false claims but he is my instructor and has made a contribution so I feel he's worthy of a mention in this thread

Best regards

D
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:19 AM   #13
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Hi Darren,

maybe Peter G. and I are mistaken.

Anyway please give Mike my regards.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Hi All,
Between the guys who have responded to this blog the list is fairly accurate.I can also recall Jean Morgan.Mario Mucha .John Cornish.I also remember P.Goldsbury.How are you Peter?Peter Brown of the U.K.A. has a long pedigree as well.Andreas and George {the Greeks] were also in London. Henry Ellis.Derek Eastman .Haydn Foster all spring to mind.
Hope I havent offended anybody by missing out a name?
Cheers, Joe .
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
Hi Joe

Don't forget Michael Narey who was also at the 50 years of Aikido bash in Crystal Palace.

I'm sure he'll have been involved with you wild young things in the 60's.

Regards

D
Hi , Darren , Yes indeed I can remember meeting Narey Sensei at the Kenshiro Abbe event.How is old Kenny Rogers doing?My little joke.Are you still in the Bristol dojo?Please pas on my best refrds to Mike. A.T.B.Joe
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #16
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

It would be great to see the British Aikido tree with more banches as the tree of Aikido grew in Britain from its inception in 1955. Although the original pioneers were from the ` Hut Dojo ` there were so many others that later played an important role. There are some people that I remember but forget their names ( age )
Perhaps we could expand the tree on here from the beginning.
On my British Aikido website at http://www.british-aikido.com in the `photo gallery ` there is a photo of what we called the `old dartbord ` with all the early dan grades on, this board is still in the possesion of Haydn Foster Sensei. Some of the names are Judo dan grades.
The tree as I remember.

The Hut. London... The first five: Sensei's
K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis
Next: P Dowden - L Ballard - J Caldwell - D Eastman.
Midlands. Birmingham.. R Reynolds - W Smith MBE
Coventry. K Webster.
Wiltshire. Devises. G Burt.
Wales. C Pike - Gwynne Jones.
Liverpool. Fred Wainwright - Ken Cottier
Scotland. Tom Weir.

Henry Ellis
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #17
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

The British Aikido Tree.
It is accepted that Aikido was introduced to the United Kingdom by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955.
Abbe Sensei's first student being Ken Williams Sensei with a small group of students at the ` Hut Dojo `.
We have an ` Aikido Tree `of the first of Abbe Sensei's dan grades from that time. I think it would be great to see
the 55 year old tree showing many more branches. As Aikido progressed so quickly there were many others that were later to play a very important role in the further promotion of British Aikido as listed below.
In the Hut Dojo there was, what we called ` the old dartboard ` which had all the names of the early dan grades both Judo and Aikido at that time at the Hut, there is a photo of this board in the photo gallery on my British Aikido website at http://www.british-aikido.com
I would like to see the British Aikido Tree expanded to accommodate many others that played their part in the early years. We have lost some of these early teachers, lets not forget them.
The following as I remember..
The Hut Dojo. The first five Aikido dan grades graded by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
The tree is planted.
First five: Sensei's -- K Williams - D Williams - E Dollimore - H Foster - H Ellis.
Second five: Sensei's - P Dowden - L Ballard - J Caldwell - D Eastman - H McFarland
The tree grows.
Scotland.. Sensei Tom Weir.
Liverpool. Sensei Fred Wainwright - K Cottier.
Midlands Birmingham. Sensei's R Reynolds -- W Smith MBE.
Coventry. Sensei, Ken Webster
Wiltshire, Devises.. Sensei Graham Burt who later introduced Aikido to Canada
Nottingham..Sensei G Cotterell
Wales.. Sensei's Colin Pike -- Gwynne Jones.
London. The start of Tomiki Aikido with Sensei John Cornish.

Henry Ellis
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #18
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
I'd agree with almost all of those mentioned but would include Peter Brady, Gordon Jones and myself who all began in around 1968 (Gordon in '64 I think) and were pretty active during 70's, 80's etc.

Actually darren Mike didn't start unitil late 70's (or possibly early 80's) as a student of Keith Hayward.
Hi, Philip,
You state you agree with almost all the named parties in the blogs.Perhaps for clarity we might want to check out who could be on the list [just for posterity]. I am sure if we all got our heads together we would come up with more names than listed here. By the way congrats on your recent promotion.All the Best , Joe.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:55 PM   #19
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Yes, I second Philip's mail.

I believe Michael took my place as IAF General Secretary for a time (when he was still 1st kyu), but this cannot have been before 1980. I remember Michael Holloway, 'the Greeks', Margaret Hughes, Bob Lincoln, at Chiba Sensei's dojo in Chiswick. This would have been in the very late 1960s or early 70s. Minoru Kanetsuka was 3rd dan.

I also remember Aidan Smyth at the Budokwai, and another, older, student whose name I cannot recall. He wore glasses and drove a car with a distinctive number plate. I think it was 9F.

I have good memories of training with Gordon Jones and Peter Brady (and a few others) in the West Midlands from 1975. Eric Beake and the other Eric (also a taxi-driver and known as Eric the Taxi-Driver), Dee, Philip, Stuart Broughton, John Ferris, and Hephzibah Davies Evans also come to mind from the Tenpukan Dojo in Earls Court, where I used to train with Birger Sorensen from Norway. Does anyone remember Pita Smith, a lady who was a good friend and supporter of Chiba Sensei when he first came to the UK?

Of course this is well after the very early days, involving Nakazono Mutsuru and Kobayashi Hirokazu, which I think Mr Ellis has in mind.

Best wishes,

PAG
Mary Lou Watters [now in Quebec] , Murray &Sheila Walker,Andreas Teofanis, George Stavros , Margaret Suissman, Allan Burke, were in London as well.
In Liverpool Graham Morris [now in Oz] was knocking around.Bob Spence , Tom Moss were probably on the scene as well.
As I am now 71 and the memory cells are fading by the minute I just remember the old guys.
I have always thought the 60s /70s were the Golden Years of British Aikido.So many great Instructors visited the U.K.
Tamura, Sekiya, Saito, Yamaguchi, Yamada, Shibata, Kanai
Kitaura, Fujita, Fujimoto Senseis to name but a few.Happy Days!!! Cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:13 PM   #20
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Hello Philip,

I do not think we are mistaken. Michael and I were good friends in the rather turbulent period from 1978 onwards. In fact when I left the UK in March, to come here, I stored a large number of books in Michael's garage. (I think this was in Oakengates, but I'm not sure.) This was when he and Pat were still together.

But I know that he did not remain long in the BAF afterwards and so I'm sure 1980 is the right date for the start of his organization, under Tamura Shihan's direction.

We met once more, well after 1980, when Mike came to visit me at my parent's home in Nottinghamshire. We had lunch in a restaurant near by.

Anyway, Darren, please give him my best wishes when you next meeting--and I wonder what happened to the books.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
Hi Darren,

maybe Peter G. and I are mistaken.

Anyway please give Mike my regards.

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Old 02-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #21
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

It would be a nice thing to see on the aikiwiki and could grow from there organically, assuming the controversy is out of the pool [sic]

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:20 PM   #22
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi All,
Between the guys who have responded to this blog the list is fairly accurate.I can also recall Jean Morgan.Mario Mucha .John Cornish.I also remember P.Goldsbury.How are you Peter?Peter Brown of the U.K.A. has a long pedigree as well.Andreas and George {the Greeks] were also in London. Henry Ellis.Derek Eastman .Haydn Foster all spring to mind.
Hope I havent offended anybody by missing out a name?
Cheers, Joe .
Hello Joe,

Thank you for the mail. I am fine and I hope all is well with you.

I have vague memories of Jean Morgan. In fact I believe I went to visit her in hospital at some point, with Terry Ezra. I trained briefly at John Cornish's dojo. It was the Budokwai in London, just off Fulham Road. I know Henry Ellis, Derek Eastman and Haydn Foster by name, but I started aikido too late to have had the pleasure opf meeting them personally.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 02-25-2010, 12:53 AM   #23
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Sorry for the double post at 16 & 17 , my post did not show, so I tried again and appeared to fail again. Now this morning I see I have two similar posts. :-(
Hi Peter, I do wonder if we met when I was with Chiba Sensei at both Fulham and Earlscourt..? I remember Kanetsuka Sensei when he first arrived there.
Hi Joe, good to see you getting the hang of your `new computer `
Regards

Henry Ellis
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:17 AM   #24
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Sorry for the double post at 16 & 17 , my post did not show, so I tried again and appeared to fail again. Now this morning I see I have two similar posts. :-(
Hi Peter, I do wonder if we met when I was with Chiba Sensei at both Fulham and Earlscourt..? I remember Kanetsuka Sensei when he first arrived there.
Hi Joe, good to see you getting the hang of your `new computer `
Regards

Henry Ellis
Hi Henry,
Its not getting to know the new computer[Apple Mac for the techie minded] its getting used to writing joined up lettering.Your article certainly has stimulated thoughts.With so many guys being mentioned in despatches the list will be like the cast of Ben Hur.
Maybe we should all have got a tattoo of the date of starting Aikido [like eggs in a shop]?That way you wouldnt have to 'prove '
your pedigree.For myself I was a member of the Renown before it disbanded, and visited the Hut .I remember having a 'Friendly encounter ' with Hamish Mc farland.
Its good to read about the old guys.Some still owe me a beer.
Another couple of gents worthy of a mention are the Beecham brothers and Glenn Smith.If your out therein the ether Glenn hope you are well.Henry , it was good to have our little chat the other day.
Your old pal, Joe.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:31 AM   #25
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Re: "British Aikido - Full Circle" by Henry Ellis

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Joe,

Thank you for the mail. I am fine and I hope all is well with you.

I have vague memories of Jean Morgan. In fact I believe I went to visit her in hospital at some point, with Terry Ezra. I trained briefly at John Cornish's dojo. It was the Budokwai in London, just off Fulham Road. I know Henry Ellis, Derek Eastman and Haydn Foster by name, but I started aikido too late to have had the pleasure opf meeting them personally.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the quick response.Nice to know you are well.
Reading all the names being mentioned is quite a sentimental journey for me.Maybe we should all hire a venue and do the Aikido equivalent of a 60's Pop revival?British Aikido has done more splits than a Chinese contortionist over the last 40 years.Wonder how Aikido would have been if we had all stuck together?Still, no harm in musing .Recently had a joint course with the U.K.A/Komyokan/ B.A.F.Went quite well.Good time had by all and the social side was fine.
Read your OSensei article.Well researched.I bet your fingers were aching after typing out the manuscript on the old laptop.
Cheers, Joe.
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