The British Aikido Board National Nepotism Seminar
British Aikido has a proud history, yet iit s not recognised or protected by the governing body, Henry Ellis a direct student of Kenshiro Abbe attempts to protect the true history with honesty and proven facts.
For many years The British Aikido Board ( BAB ) have shown no interest whatsoever in the true history of British Aikido, to be fair to the BAB, they have shown a great deal of interest and support for the false history of British Aikido for which they have now publicly apologised, the apology by the chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter can be viewed on www.geocities.com/britishaikido.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei
When Kenshiro Abbe Sensei first stepped on British soil in 1955 he brought with him the knowledge of many Budo arts, Aikido being one of them. Abbe Sensei also brought his Aikido based philosophy of Kyu-Shin-Do. This was the inception of British Aikido. Yet no where in the BAB literature will you find any reference to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei or the origins of Aikido within the UK. In the year 2000 the BAB were happy to help promote Mr Pooles proven fraudulent claims to 47 yrs of Aikido, The BAB have now taken this claim by Mr Poole from the BAB Associations information website. I personally received my invitation from the BAB to attend Mr Poole’s event, that was the start of the long running British Aikido Board Controversy, yet sadly, the BAB have never ever promoted the true history of British Aikido or its founder Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
British Aikido Board Statement Damned Forever
Sadly with the arrival of the new BAB chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter nothing changed, he made the statement below despite the factual information available to him and his executive, lets not forget that Mr Sumpter had the only four surviving students of Abbe Sensei for Aikido within the BAB.
On the 17th April 2002 The BAB Chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter wrote to Henry Ellis with reference to the history of British Aikido. He then made the following crass statement in his support for the BAB stance on Mr Jack Poole.
The Kenshiro Abbe 50th Celebration Seminar
At the Sport England / BAB / Ellis mediation meeting 6th July 2004 where the BAB were reprimanded by Sport England and instructed to give Henry Ellis a full public apology.
At the end of the meeting ( The minutes for this meeting can be viewed on www.geocities.com/britishaikido ), Henry Ellis appraised Ms Sadie Mason of Sport England of the proposed plans for the Kenshiro Abbe event, Ms Mason suggested that we should involve the BAB in our plans as part of the reconciliation of British Aikido, Henry Ellis agreed.
Henry Ellis offered Ms Masons suggestion to the Abbe Event Committee, the suggestion was unanimously accepted 100%. The BAB executive were then approached and invited to send a representative ( any member ) of the BAB to attend our meetings and report back on our progress, this offer was rejected out of hand.
Not deterred, we then invited the BAB chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter to attend The Kenshiro Abbe 50th Celebration as a VIP guest, to pay the respects of the BAB membership of which he represents . There were many BAB members attending, proving that this event was not about personal differences – styles or what organisation you belong to, I was pleased to see students from Mr Poole’s organisation who were also made very welcome. This event was about one thing and one thing only “ Kenshiro Abbe Sensie “ with demonstrations of the early aikido and its proud standards, with Sensei Eastman showing various techniques to show the influences that the different early teachers brought to the UK in those early days.
Students trained with other students of other styles and association with a friendliness not often seen in modern Aikido circles. this event went a long way to promote all that is good in Aikido. I believe that the spirit of Abbe Sensei would be very proud of this special day to his memory.
Another crass statement from Mr Vincent Sumpter 27th March 2004, In an unwarranted attack on the genuine aikidoka who supported the British Aikido Controversy debate in its defence of the true history of British Aikido and the Aikido history of Abbe Sensei and his disciples.
“The Boards conscience is clear. like all the practitioners of Aikido who contribute to this “controversy “ Mr Humm appears to have forgotten the meaning of the word “Aikido “ – Harmony of Sprit to find a Way “ The “Controversy “ website feeds hatred, ill – feeling, bitterness and discord. For my part, as an aikidoka who is passionate about the art and the etiquette that goes with it, I will therefore not add to the feeding frenzy this website generates. I can’t stop what is going on but I can turn the other cheek.“
With reference to the above statement by Mr Sumpter I should remind the reader to visit www.geocities.com/britishaikido to read both the Sport England minutes and Mr Sumpters apology to Mr Ellis which can only be considered an apology to all that supported the “Controversy “ in the name of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei including the named Mr David Humm.
In response to our invitation Mr Sumpter replied stating that he graciously accepted our invitation. Just before the event he changed his mind without explanation, suggesting that we allow Mr Ralph Reynolds to represent the BAB.
Mr Reynolds had a far more important role to play as one of the main teachers at this event where he was delighted to take part as an original student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
This was such an important event with many good students who were members of the BAB, yet, the British Aikido Board were not represented at this event to pay tribute to such a great master and the founder of our Aikido.
If Mr Sumpter had attended he would have seen a Martial Arts Spectacular never before seen in the United Kingdom, where students from many organisations met and renewed old friendships, there were many more that made new friendships.
In almost 50 years of Aikido I have never before experienced the special atmosphere that electrified the great hall at Crystal Palace from the moment the Taiko Drummers started to play on this day of celebration in the name of Abbe Sensei. I never ever thought in my life time that I would ever see an event to eclipse the great event at The Royal Albert Hall in 1963 with Abbe Sensei. I knew on Saturday the 14th of May that I was now witnessing the greatest Aikido event in my 48 years of Aikido. I am not an emotional man but I will admit that as I looked over the balcony of the concourse onto the tatami area with the sound of the Taiko Drummers and the hundreds of students and guests gathering below I was unable to stop the trickle of a few emotional tears as I realised I was witnessing something very special.
MR SUMPTER, you missed something very special, whilst you sat 40 miles away at home contemptuously ignoring the tribute to the father of British Aikido, others travelled from all parts of the UK – USA – France – Holland – Germany – Czechoslovakia. etc.
Whilst you sat at home it was a wonderful moment when Sensei Bill Woods who was the personal aide to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and without doubt the most influential force in the history British Martial Arts, made a supreme effort despite his serious illness to pay his respects to the memory of Abbe Sensei.
Also whilst you sat at home, Sensei Bill Stopps the personal Aide to Matsutharu Otani Sensei who despite his age and ill health also attended and thanked me wholeheartedly for inviting him as a special guest, and for the wonderful day he had experienced.
Whilst you sat at home just 40 miles away, Sensei Robin Otani and his two sons, the descendents of Matsutharu Otani Sensei travelled all the way from Devon to attend.
Sensei Joe Curran travelled all the way from Newcastle and Sensei Mike Nery travelled from Bristol. Sensei Dave Rogers travelled 7000 miles from New Mexico USA as did Sensei Al Montemar and Mr Chad Hatcher who flew over from Texas USA to pay their respects. Whilst you sat at home there were many others that travelled long journeys to attend.
Unlike you Mr Sumpter these people wanted to attend.
You missed some of the finest displays of the Budo arts that any martial artist is ever likely to witness at any one event, a truly lasting experience for all those that made the effort to attend.
I was always under the impression that it was the sworn duty of any chairman to always do what was best for his organisation and its members.
Try Try Try Again
After the disastrous “British Aikido Board Nepotism Seminar 2004“ with only 99 students attending out of a membership of approx 15000, the BAB have decided not to hold it's 2005 National Seminar .
They are of course fully aware of the fantastic success of the Kenshiro Abbe Celebrations. With 720 participants – honoured guests – spectators.
The BAB having failed in its four year support for Mr Jack Poole to change the history of British Aikido. They now appear to have a renewed interest in the true history of British Aikido and its founder Kenshiro Abbe.
British Aikido Board Statement Damned Forever
The BAB Chairman Toni Davis stated in the year 2000
“We the British Aikido Board are not the custodians of British Aikido History and
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Ellis Co-author of Positive Aikido. direct student of the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensie.