Recollections of the Early Days of Aikido in Great Britain

By Sensei Henry Ellis - Ellis Aikido School

In 1957, I was studying Judo and Karate at the Abbe School of Budo at the "Hut" in Hillingdon, Middlesex, a suburb of London. My teacher was Ken Williams Sensei, and we were all students of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei (8th dan in Judo, 6th dan in Aikido, and 5th dan in Karate and Kendo). At that time, very few people in the United Kingdom had heard of Aikido.

Around 1957, Abbe Sensei told Mr Williams that he had recieved a letter from O-Sensei saying that instuctors outside of Japan had permission to teach Aikido to anyone who wished to learn it. Mr Williams was Abbe Sensei's first Aikido student. Eventually, Abbe Sensei made Mr Williams National Coach for Aikido, and I became Mr Williams assistant - which I remained for approximately 15 years.

Abbe Sensei's Aikido was the prewar style of Aiki-Jutsu, which was very physical. Both Abbe Sensei and Williams Sensei were excellent teachers, who worked very hard to train us while promoting Aikido to an initially unreceptive public. Abbe Sensei and Williams brought eight of us up to 1st dan. At the time, we were the only dan grades in Great Britain, and we were all in one dojo. Sunday morning practice was for dan grades only. Williams Sensei would lock the doors to the dojo, and the real serious practice would start. Williams Sensei would allow the younger dan grades to try and prove themselves against him, but they had no success.

Williams Sensei started to visit other dojos and to introduce Aikido. He was a highly respected Judo teacher, and this helped him to arrange visits to Judo clubs. Occasionally, a Judo instructor would allow a few students to practice Aikido in a corner of the mat.

Continue reading

What You Need to Know About Acai Berry

There is a global invasion of acai berry products, both online and offline. Formerly tagged as a wonder fruit for its anti-aging benefits, manufacturers and distributors now claim that acai berries also play a big role in weight loss. The biggest consumers of acai berry products now include fitness instructors, athletes, and people with medical problems involving obesity.

Why Is Weight Loss Necessary?
We eat a significant more amount of junk food and trans fat compared to three decades ago. Do you see your mothers 24-inch waistline? That took an effortless fruit and oatmeal diet to pull off. One of the reasons why losing weight is often a challenge is because it’s hard to resist the temptation for burgers and sodas, especially when the establishments sit just around the corner. So when the media complains about the need for people to lose weight, it’s actually less of a sales pitch and more of a question about image building. A huge chunk of it has to do with health.

Continue reading

The Truth About Green Tea

To understand the truth behind the medical claims for green tea and the antioxidant properties of EGCG, it is first necessary to have a close look at what green tea is, and why these claims are being made.

green-teaGreen tea is a form of tea made from the leaves of the Carmellia Sinensis, a shrub that is native to China and has spread to other areas of Asia including Japan and the Middle East. Drinking it is believed to impart many health benefits, including the prevention of obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 400 years.

Tea is known to have been consumed in China for around 5,000 years, and used, not only in Chinese medicine, but also in that of Japan, Thailand and India for a number of ailments including regulating blood sugar, treating wounds and digestive problems. The drinking of green tea to benefit the heart and other vital organs is described in the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written in 1191 by Eisai, a Japanese Zen priest.

This two-part book talks about the various medicinal benefits of green tea, such as preventing fatigue, curing beriberi, quenching thirst, clearing the thoughts, maintaining health of the urinary tract and improving digestive problems. It also explains how to grow tea and how to prepare and use the leaves. The methods of treatment of various ailments and medical conditions are described in the second part of the book.

Continue reading


  • Movies


Starring: Jet Li, Shido Nakamura, Betty Sun

A moving and inspiring story of redemption and personal triumph in the face of great odds, Jet Li's Fearless is the based-on-facts story of Chinese folk hero Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li). The son of a martial-arts master whose greatest strength was his restraint, Huo grows into an unbeatable fighter whose pride and thoughtlessness lead to a chain of tragic losses.

Continue reading

A place for martial artists to share knowledge and ideas.

A CORE Physical Arts Ltd property