The Great British Aikido Controversy

The Aikido Controversy is now a part of British Aikido History. It was a long and difficult fight to protect the true history of British Aikido from the false claims of Mr Jack Poole and The British Aikido Board. Sport England totally exonerated Henry Ellis. The BAB were instructed to give Henry Ellis a full public apology after admitting that Mr Poole had received an award to APPEASE him. The BAB also admitted that Mr Poole could only substanciate his history from 1968.

The Controversy
(Why such a controversy)

Two years ago I received a circular,

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 via the British Aikido Board, inviting me to Mr Jack Poole’s celebratory seminar of “47 years in Aikido”. At that time this would have placed Mr Poole as the first ever for Aikido in the UK in 1952. This is a very serious statement and offensive to those like myself and others who took part in the birth of British Aikido, and its subsequent promotion. So why the controversy? Mr Poole was an immediate beginner in my Dojo at Slough, Berks, in 1968. One does not have to be a nuclear scientist to calculate that 1968 from 2000 is 32 years (not 47 years) However the British Aikido Board in its wisdom refused to answer my subsequent complaint, against Mr Pooles claim, and at the National Seminar 2000 awarded him a bronze samurai statue to celebrate his “40 plus years of Aikido”.

The article that follows details these events and has been built up as the events unfolded.

Yours in Budo
Sensi Henry Ellis

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

The Final Analysis

On the 29th February 2000 Sensei Ellis sent an official letter of complaint to the British Aikido Board, the letter was addressed to the British Aikido Board secretary Mrs S Timms, subsequently Mrs Timms arranged a meeting at “The Hut” with Sensei’s Foster, Ellis, Eastman, and Mrs Timms herself to discuss the matters detailed in the letter. It was agreed without doubt that no one had ever heard of Mr Poole prior to him being a beginner in Sensei Ellis’s dojo in 1968.

At the British Aikido Board meeting held on the 23rd September 2000, the British Aikido Board executive denied having received the “official complaint” when the matter was raised by Sensei Derek Eastman. If the British Aikido Board executive did not receive the letter, why? It was as a result of this letter that the above meeting took place, so I will ask the question again, why was this important official letter that directly affects the history of British Aikido not placed before the whole of the executive committee.. roof cleaning in dorset

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