My good friend Henry Ellis was indeed an early pioneer of U.K Aikido [along with a few others] .The history of U.K. Aikido is complex with much diversity of leaders and of different groups.
There are now at present 5 Aikikai recognised groups and a myriad of other groups . There are also Tomiki /Ki/ Yoshinkan groups as well.
My own pedigree /lineage started with the Renown Aikido Society. I subsequently joined the Aikikai of Gt Britain /B.A.F, the U.K.A. and I am currently a member of the British Birankai.With the possible exception of the Renown all these groups have been under the technical supervision of Chiba Sensei at some point. Chiba Sensei is our Technical Director. Chiba Sensei in the 70s was along with Saito Sensei a primary figure in relation to Weapons /Batto Ho work in the U.K.
As such I am fortunate to have a fairly good picture of the U.K. aikido scene.If any person has a specific question about the lineage of Aikido in the U.K. I may well be able to comment here.
May I also state I support Mr Ellis in his task of ensuring a correct history of U.K. aikido .
Very nice. Didn't realize you had such a depth of historical knowledge and experience on the scene over here from then.
I bet Sensei Williams has a good story to tell too. I hope to be able to get my old teacher to write or have written his experiences too.
There's much to be found and written about in the sense of British History for only snippets have been told albeit the stuctural progress has been well documented. As I started in 1980 and at that time there were plenty of Aikido places around then it shows there must have been many from around those early days and all with a story to tell.
The Yoshinkan nearby where I was training had been going for a number of years on an old airforce base so the teacher there must have had a lot of experience too. One I used to visit in Edgeware unfortunately is no longer with us but I'm sure many 'old timers' still are up and down the country and even abroad.
In fact if there are any budding reporter/writer types out there who would like to go on a mission of collecting stories from these folks it would make a good book. A la Stanley Pranin style, only focussing on the British side of things. Mmm, that would be interesting. Ha ha, you would probably have a whole chapter to yourself.