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The Origins of Aikido in the UK

It is a well known fact that Aikido in the UK originated in a large shed or hut in the back garden of a small pub called "THE HUT".  The pub is located on the West Drayton Road, Hillingdon, Middx.  The dojo, taking its name from the pub, was initially a judo dojo.  Known internationally as the "ABBE SCHOOL OF BUDO", every Japanese master to visit the UK would visit the HUT.
The legendry master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei who gave his name to the dojo was a regular visitor to give instruction in judo, karate, kendo and aikido.  Abbe Sensei was a 8th dan in judo, 6th in karate, 5th in kendo and aikido.
He was a the first of many names to follow.  Masutaro Otani 7th dan judo was another regular vistor.  His son Tomio Otani national coach for kendo.  Shohei Hamano Sensei 9th dan judo, head of the Kodakan.  Another regular visitor was Mutsusuke Harada 5th dan shotokan karate.

The first of the great Aikido masters were Tadashi Abbe Sensei 6th dan and Mutsuharu Nakazono 7th dan aikido.  Masamichi Noro 6th dan aikido, Hiroshi Tada Sensei 7th dan aikido.   Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei 7th dan aikido and Kazuo Chiba Sensei 6th dan.

The first UK students to be taught the new martial art of Aikido in order of rank are -

  • K.Williams, National Coach
  • D.Williams
  • H.Foster (The Godfather)
  • Henry (Harry) Ellis, Assistant National Coach
  • Eric Dollimore
  • John Caldwell
  • Lennie Ballard
  • Peter Dowden

Today there are only three of the original eight still involved and teaching aikido.  They are K.Williams Sensei, Haydn Foster Sensei and Henry Ellis Sensei.

For those people that are interested in the origins of Aikido in the UK should read "Recollections of the early days of AIKIDO in Great Britian" from AIKIDO TODAY"#36 Oct/Nov 1994 ,and "Positive Aikido" in Terry O'Neills "Fighting Arts International" magazine No93." These can also be read on this Web Site.