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The Service Department: Service, the Manufacturer’s View

Two years in the past I obtained a circular, via the British Aikido Board, inviting me to Mr Jack Poole’s celebratory seminar of “forty seven years in Aikido”. At that point this will have located Mr Poole because the first ever for Aikido inside the UK in 1952. This is a very serious declaration and offensive to the ones like myself and others who took component inside the birth of British Aikido, and its next advertising. So why the controversy? Mr Poole turned into an instantaneous newbie in my Dojo at Slough, Berks, in 1968. One does not need to be a nuclear scientist to calculate that 1968 from 2000 is 32 years (now not 47 years) However the British Aikido Board in its expertise refused to answer my next grievance, in opposition to Mr Pooles claim, and on the National Seminar 2000 awarded him a bronze samurai statue to have a good time his “40 plus years of Aikido”.

The article that follows info those activities and has been built up as the events opened up.

Yours in Budo

Sensi Henry Ellis

For the history of British Aikido, examine Sensei Ellis’s article “Positive Aikido” in “Fighting Arts International”.

The Final Analysis

On the 29th February 2000 Sensei Ellis despatched an authentic letter of complaint to the British Aikido Board, the letter turned into pietro lombardi cello  addressed to the British Aikido Board secretary Mrs S Timms, in the end Mrs Timms organized a meeting at “The Hut” with Sensei’s Foster, Ellis, Eastman, and Mrs Timms herself to speak about the subjects specified within the letter. It changed into agreed absolutely that no person had ever heard of Mr Poole previous to him being a novice in Sensei Ellis’s dojo in 1968.

At the British Aikido Board assembly held on the 23rd September 2000, the British Aikido Board government denied having acquired the “official grievance” whilst the problem turned into raised through Sensei Derek Eastman. If the British Aikido Board govt did not acquire the letter, why? It changed into because of this letter that the above meeting occurred, so I will ask the question once more, why changed into this essential reliable letter that immediately affects the history of British Aikido now not placed before the whole of the govt committee?

In brief the evidence against Mr Poole that became supplied to the British Aikido Board:

Sensei Ellis has now not one photo of Mr Poole as a novice in 1968 but numerous.

Both those photes truely display Mr Poole as a amateur and were taken in 1968

A video taken in 1968, virtually showing Mr Poole as a newbie.
Witnesses to those dates:

Chiba Sensei

Ellis Sensei

Eastman Sensei

Goodwin Sensei

Staverou Sensei

Students from that time.

When Mr Poole became asked by using a senior member of the British Aikido Board “Jack, when and where did you clearly begin your Aikido”, Mr Poole’s reply changed into “errgh, I can’t genuinely take into account when I commenced”.

On the energy of that quick assertion the British Aikido Board provided Mr Poole with a excellent samurai statue to have fun our new chief.

Once again I repeat that the handiest motive for the talk article being placed on our Internet website online isn’t malicious however honestly to shield the actual records of Aikido in the UK.

As of ultra-modern date, thirteenth October 2000, we’ve got now not but obtained any recommendation from a attorney as to any threatened movement. We intend to preserve the thing on our website and if Mrs Timms and Mr Poole desire to contest the reality then we patiently watch for your prison reaction to alternate difficult records into fiction.

Jack Poole

And his impending

“Celebration of 47 years of Aikido”

By Henry Ellis Sensei

The Controversy

Recently, I received a letter from the British Aikido Board, enclosed were the usual documents of a previous general assembly, amongst the papers turned into a A4 size photo of Mr. Poole, inviting every person to the above birthday celebration, including me. The content of the poster turned into of excellent challenge to many others and me who shared within the delivery of Aikido in Britain. If you have not read my story in “Fighting Arts International ” No 93, and Aikido Today Magazine No 36, they are to be observed on this internet page.

Why all this difficulty?

As I have stated above, the records of Aikido within the UK is very properly documented. Kenshiro Abbe Sensei brought Aikido in 1955, his first student become Ken Williams Sensei, (see Aikido Today Magazine #forty three). From that early institution of decided on students, the best ones to survive are Williams sensei, Haydn Foster sensei, and myself Henry (Harry) Ellis. Williams sensei became made the National instruct for Aikido in the UK, and I turned into the assistant National teach.

During the ones great early years, we traveled all around the British Isles, also to France and Belgium.

If we’re to believe Mr. Poole’s claim to 47 years of Aikido, then this would area him returned inside the technology of 1952/3, this is two years before the appearance of Kenshiro Abbe sensei to the UK. None of the early teachers had ever heard of Mr. Poole, that is till Mr. Poole got here to sign up for my “novices class” in 1967/8 at my dojo in Slough, Berkshire.

Take a look at the photos in both magazines, you’ll see a man with a bald head and long beard, that is unmistakably Mr. Poole. Is it not possible that as I was a 3rd dan at that time I could have observed that this “beginner” had a few 15 years previous schooling, and the truth that Mr Poole become with my beginners for a few 3 years, could he now not have told me.

I actually have a ebook inside the very last levels of training within the USA titled “Positive Aikido, forty five yrs of Traditional teachings “. Arthur Lockyear the most outstanding writer on Aikido is likewise accumulating statistics on the history of “Aikido inside the UK”. I also remember the fact that Sensei Williams is also getting ready something on the same traces.

Once a fellow Aikidoist has examine the records of our Aikido then perhaps you’ll understand why the few of us that are left from the early days are so protecting of its origins.

Prior to this declare of forty seven years, Mr. Poole has constantly chosen to definitely ignore me and my existence when attending the British Aikido Board meetings. Maybe he feels that if he ignores me he then can ignore his true history.

During the time Mr. Poole was in my newbie’s elegance, he become constantly a great scholar, and I can by no means recall any issues or issues. I have no worries both regarding Mr Poole’s impersonation of O’Sensei at the poster I acquired, nor do I envy the fact that he’s the simplest man or woman to my understanding to ever have a grade in” Budo”. However I do have grave worries for the authentic principals of Aikido, and simply as importantly its survival as a creditable Martial Art.

The planned celebration by means of M Poole is to take place in April. I have written to Mrs. Shirley Timms, the secretary to the British Aikido Board, to ask the British Aikido Board to authenticate Mr. Pooles claim. Mrs. Timms instructed me that this would make the effort. I recommended to her that now turned into the proper time, earlier than he commits himself to the “party”.

On Saturday the eleventh of March 2000, I traveled to Birmingham with Sensei Derek Eastman’s (The 4th survivor from the 1950’s) son, Mark. This become the primary time he had attended a General Meeting of the British Aikido Board, he could not trust how the lawsuits went.

On arrival at the assembly Mrs. Timms hurried ahead of all people else, I can handiest assume to endorse the Chairman Toni Davies that I became right here to speak on the Item 11 of the schedule, which become another business. This is the most effective time that you may convey every other problems to the attention of the board). After sitting in the meeting for almost three hours we finally reached Item eleven, every other commercial enterprise, and as speedy as I stood up the Chairman known as the assembly closed. I requested to be allowed to speak and Bill Smith Sensei one of the maximum respected guys in Aikido, called out “Let the man talk” and once more “Let the man speak”. This is an abuse of privilege that we’ve in no way visible earlier than inside the British Aikido Board. I changed into refused permission to talk and lift the matter of Mr Poole. I have been told that Mr Poole claims to have skilled in France and that he has a letter from O’Sensei. In the ones early days we too skilled in France, we nevertheless have contacts in France, so it might be feasible to check out this claim. With reference to the letter from O’Sensei, I haven’t any comment.

In its hurry to disregard item eleven from the time table, the board also ignored the final object at the agenda, which became the date of the subsequent meeting.

By shielding Mr. Poole from what could were a easy question of authenticity the British Aikido Board have actually frequent his claim to rewrite the records of British Aikido, and given him their full approval.

When I carry out a display of Aikido I constantly use more than one novices to try and encourage other humans to enroll in, I actually have a 8mm movie converted to video actually displaying Mr Poole in 1967/eight as a newbie.



The origins and history of Aikido in the UK began with its introduction with the aid of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in 1955 and his first student became Sensei Ken Williams. A small select institution of dan grades evolved round Sensei Williams on the Abbe School of Budo, Hillingdon Middx.

Apart from Sensei Williams there are only four survivors from those early days, Sensei’s Foster, Ellis, Reynolds & Eastman. When Sensei Foster and I had been training on the “HUT” within the Nineteen Fifties I am certain that neither people ever notion that we’d still be concerned in Aikido forty five years later. Sensei Williams continually had first-rate religion inside the future of Aikido, and would often say to me that Aikido might come to be the most famous martial art inside the UK, and all the early dan grades could at some point be complete time professional instructors. The advertising of Aikido in the ones early days changed into this sort of conflict that even though I felt simply as passionately about Aikido as Sensei Williams, I should admit I did no longer proportion his vision.

The early records of British Aikido is a colorful one with many anecdotes as we the early instructors attempted to sell Aikido. Now after 45yrs those authentic four are still coaching and selling Aikido.

After these kind of years I (Henry Ellis) nonetheless feel as passionately and dedicated as I did in those early days. I have constantly had a strong and advantageous method to Aikido and I realize that the alternative teachers and I are all very pleased with our history and our small element inside the improvement of what changed into as soon as simplest a imaginative and prescient of Sensei Williams. Today that imaginative and prescient is now a fact.

I believe that any actual student of Aikido will recognize that I care little for my very own promoting however most effective for the Protection and Promotion of the Martial Art of Aikido that I have dedicated most of my existence to.

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