British Aikido Board

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by macker, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. macker

    macker Valued Member

    With the birth in 1955 of Aikido in Britain at the now famous “Hut Dojo “ Hillingdon Middlesex. The dojo was known at that time as the “Abbe School of Judo”, soon to be renamed the “Abbe School of Budo”. There were no organisations for Aikido at that time, just this one dojo. The rapid interest and expansion of Aikido across the UK would eventually encourage Kenshiro Abbe Sensei to develop another organisation alongside the British Judo Council ( BJC ). It was named the “ British Aikido Council “ ( BAC )

    MartialArts Commission
    British Aikido Council ( BAC ). In the beginning all Aikido came under the umbrella of this one organisation. In later years, as Aikido spread and became fragmented throughout the UK , several small independent organisations began to flourish around the country. In 1977 the UK govt’s `Sports Council` authorised the newly formed “ Martial Arts Commission “( MAC ) to oversee all of the many various disciplines of the martial arts, including Aikido.

    The “ British Aikido Board “ was formed later that same year.
    The Sports Council made what has since been considered by many to be a monumental mistake, by allowing each of the individual Martial Arts to form their own independent governing bodies, all with full Sports Council recognition. Representatives of these various bodies were required to attend Sports Council meetings in London, held approx four times per year. Derek Eastman of the ESTA and the BAB secretary would represent the various BAB member associations at these meetings.

    There were the obvious problems at this time associated with many of the lesser or newer disciplines of the martial arts, those who understandably, also wanted their own governing body status. Several of the already formed governing bodies did not agree with this, Insisting that they were prepared to take other martial arts under their umbrellas, no doubt as a means of increasing their own membership and authority. Derek Eastman and the secretary did not receive expenses from the BAB funds to attend these meetings.

    There was initially a great deal of interest for the development of a governing body for Aikido, many organisations became a part of the BAB.One large organisation for example being Britain’s first Aikido pioneer Ken Williams Sensei’s ` Ki Federation of Gt Britain `. In later years several organisations became disenchanted with the changing face of the BAB, such as the Ki Federation of Gt Britain, which is one of the largest Aikido organisation in the UK. The Ki Federation resigned. The initial enthusiasm to join the BAB has faded for many of the British Aikidoka.
    Although there is no actual available data, It is generally accepted that there are more Aikido organisations and independent dojo’s outside of the BAB than there are within it.

    Too Many Governing Bodies ?
    In a conversation I had with a senior member of Sports England ( Sports Council ) at the Kenshiro Abbe Memorial Event. I was informed that there is a growing consensus of opinion within Sports England that there are too many problems with having so many governing bodies, It is now thought that ``one`` governing body such as in the original framework of the old Martial Arts Commission ( MAC ) would function far more efficiently than the present system. There has been some very serious problems with the governing body for Karate. The BAB were called before the Sports Council for their support of attempting to corrupt the true history and lineage of British Aikido. The BAB have since reluctantly apologised.

    In the beginning the British Aikido Board held quarterly general meetings which were spread around the country, holding the meetings at the dojo of each and every association in turn. This was considered a fair way of sharing the various travel problems experienced by many of the association representatives.
    Each association would lay on a very nice buffet of cakes, sandwiches and biscuits, and of course tea and coffee. The costs of the buffet came out of the host club funds. These social buffets encouraged members to mix and socialize. That does not happen anymore.

    The BAB meetings have been held in Birmingham for several years. At the first of these Birmingham meetings there would always be a nice buffet laid on, appreciated mostly by those that had travelled long journey’s .
    This treat did not last long, it was soon reduced to a cup of tea and a biscuit. With no time to socialize, which gave little time or opportunity for the representatives to get to know each other.

    BAB Members Money
    Those early developing days of the BAB were enthusiastic days, with associate members willingly participating in all aspects of its development for the future benefit of the BAB membership. There were no expenses to be had, no one ever asked for expenses either. Members did whatever they did for the well being of the BAB. When the crass and inept chairman Toni Davies was rejected, with the following election of a new chairman, the original ideals changed.
    Now, when one becomes an executive member, it is an opportunity to get ones trotters in the financial trough. The BAB has now built up a substantial fund of members money, much of that money from the sacrifices of those early days.
    The BAB now gloatingly hands out the members money to the executive members in the guise of an `` honorarium `` Which I believe to be in the region now of approx £1,000 each. Multiply that by the number of executives and it comes to a tidy sum of the “ members money “. Once it was “ What can I do for the British Aikido Board !! “ now it is appears to be more “ What can the British Aikido Board do for me !! “.

    BAB National Courses
    The BAB National Courses in recent years have been an expensive disaster, with an average embarrassing attendance of 80 to 90 students being considered a good supportive attendance. 80 / 90!! out of a membership of approx 10, 000 members . With the teachers now receiving a fee and expenses. The course first aid member receives more than anyone with a cash sum of £200. For that money you could have the services of the St Johns with an ambulance in attendance.
    The early BAB national courses required large venues such as Crystal Palace and the Birmingham Sports Centre. WHY ? because the members felt that they were part of a good organisation. Today the BAB hire much smaller venues such as Bisham Abbey, WHY ? this creates the false impression of a good attendance.
    The question must be asked, the BAB has grown in membership numbers, yet it receives less support than ever from its members. In recent years the “ Executive Clique “ has alienated the membership.
    The National courses in the early years were well supported with attendances of between two and three hundred students attending. The teachers were never paid.
    Today the majority of BAB members are no longer proud to be a part of this discredited organisation. I get a great deal of feedback where the average member states “ I am a member of the BAB for the insurance “….. There are many better Martial Arts Insurers out there, such as Martins ( acronym ) Full details on the British Aikido website. …..

    Apart from the BAB being knee deep in bureaucracy, the question has to be asked “ What does the BAB do to actually promote Aikido ? .The simple answer is nothing.
    At a general meeting it was once suggested by a member that the production and circulation of a BAB Aikido information brochure to be sent to sports and community centres around the UK as a way of promoting Aikido, many members agreed. The BAB executive nearly had a collective coronary at the thought of spending the members money on something worthwhile. That idea was kicked out before it could be entered into the meeting minutes.

    The Ultimate Challenge
    I find it quite amusing that the BAB have now employed the promotions company KKP to face the ultimate challenge to advise and attempt to improve the image of the BAB. Has it never occurred to this clique ? That it should be asking those questions of the very people who know Aikido best, consult the membership !!.

    A Suitable BAB Patron
    The BAB are also looking for a suitable `Patron ` I am sure that Lord Peter Mandelson would appreciate a call.

    Henry Ellis
    Co-author of Positive Aikido
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2010
  2. macker

    macker Valued Member

    A conclusion

    British Aikido Board “ Exposed ! “
    Shocking Revelations from Ex BAB Executive - At long last – we have the truth !

    “The Revelations and Apology should be read by every single member of the BAB and Sport England”
    Ex-BAB Executive with a conscience, now tells the truth !!! August 2009

    A brief synopsis.
    The controversy between the BAB / Henry Ellis / Jack Poole has been a long running affair despite on the 6th – July - 2004 Sport England instructing the BAB to publicly apologise to Henry Ellis. If the BAB had initially acted as a responsible governing body and held a public three way meeting between all three parties, as suggested by Henry Ellis, but abruptly denied by the BAB chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter, who offered instead a meeting “ in camera “ ( secret ) where they, the BAB, would simply act as observers / mediators, this offer was totally unacceptable. Henry Ellis considered the then BAB far more culpable than Mr Poole himself. Without the full support and protection of the BAB Mr Poole would not be in the embarrassing situation he finds himself today. Unbelievably, Mr Poole has continued to enjoy the full support of the BAB executive team, whilst Henry Ellis and Derek Eastman who are two of the last British Aikido pioneers, found themselves with little option other than to resign from the BAB, they were once proud MAC and founder BAB members.
    Photo left Mr Toni Davies ex-BAB chairman Photo right Mr Jack Poole
    BAB Act 6 ( Code of Conduct ) subsection a. No Member shall by act or omission bring the board, or Aikido in to disrepute……..
    “””” BAB morals.. If a BAB member makes false or misleading claims of his or her grade / lineage, that person will receive the full support of the BAB complete with an achievement award… If however, any member dares to question those false claims, he or she will be abused resulting in a need to leave the BAB. “”””

    Revelations from the Ex – BAB Communications Officer.
    “ I would stand in a court of law on this point happily ! “
    For legal reasons the name of the BAB Ex Exec is being withheld at this time – Sport England are fully informed.

    From the (ex) BAB Communication exec Officer extract four.
    Dear Mr Ellis,
    I must finally tell you something, tell you the truth about who the dreadful rumours and vile-misinformation's about your good name came from. They came from Mrs Shirley Timms the BAB Secretary. There can be no doubt about this and I would stand in a court of law on this point happily. I believed I have heard her recounting with some glee that you were such an awful person that you were held on a GBH charge. Upon a further phone call from Ms Timms I was then informed that it was in fact not you, but your son, and, that I must have misheard what she said. She then prepared a letter of apology, and I was told to sign this and post it to you. That original letter was not written by me, it only contained my signature……. Signed Ex – BAB Executive.
    <- Photo Left Ms S Timms BAB secretary

    Job description of BAB secretary… “Taking minutes at Executive and General Meetings, checking their accuracy with the
    Chairman, before copying and circulating them to Officers and Member Associations”

    One can now correctly assume that Ms Timms blurred the lines of her professional duty as the BAB secretary along with her responsibilities to the BAB membership, by compromising her duties / friendship and close association with the Poole’s.

    “”” The ex – BAB Executive writes ( below ) “ The BAB executive did not consider the Poole affair of any importance, but Henry Ellis was perceived as a trouble maker “””” ///// In a nutshell, It is OK with the BAB to create a false lineage and grades and attempt to change British Budo History, yet if a member raises a complaint, he / she, is considered a ` trouble maker ` “”” .

    Henry Ellis recently received an email letter dated Aug 09 containing a sincere apology from the ex - “ BAB – Communications Officer ” and former member of the Executive team. The apology was accepted by Henry Ellis in good faith . Sport England are in possession of this article and all the facts, including the name of the BAB Ex Exec Officer. All emails supplied to me have complete tracking headers .

    First - the Apology ( accepted )
    received fromThe (ex) BAB Communication Officer 6/9/09
    Dear Henry,
    I write this email to once and for all state that I am truly sorry for all of the distress caused to you by my email correspondence which contained information I now know to be complete lies and fabrications.
    The basis for the lies came from various members of the then BAB Exec team. These meeting were held in both Solihull and Slough at the home of the BAB Secretary, Shirley Timm’s. None of the information discussed at these meeting was minuted in any detail with regard to you. It became apparent very quickly they were trying to recover themselves from a huge mistake they had made with regard to awarding Jack Poole an award for time in Aikido when he clearly had not been in Aikido this long. People turned against you in these meetings and started to bad mouth your good name and character with utter rubbish and fabrication. Shirley Timm’s was the basis and the main instigator in these lies with Tony Davis also adding false anecdotes and recounting tales which now quite clearly never occured. Sadly, I listened to these and believed them. I know now they are completely false.
    With Regard,
    The (ex) BAB Communication Officer

    The Executive Clique behind Closed Doors – Silence is Golden !
    Shocking !! At last, we are starting to see the full picture formulating of a group of people elected to the executive of the “ British Aikido Board “ at that time. The BAB are the recognised governing body for British Aikido, the exec hold meetings in the home of Ms Timms, plotting the defamation of the good name and character of Henry Ellis, and others, in a contemptible effort to protect themselves from being exposed for the inept group they truly are, whilst protecting themselves, they had no other option than to protect Mr Jack Poole. To the deliberately mis-
    informed membership, this would appear to be the BAB gathering around Mr Poole in full support. Of course the membership were of little concern to the then executive team, as we see from the email below sent by the chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter to the BAB communications officer.
    Photo Mr V Sumpter
    Email to the Communications Officer from the BAB chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter.
    “ I think it was the opposite, actually. The BAB minutes of the meeting say nothing about the Poole Ellis affair - as they too go on to the web site. The decision was that we would say nothing and do nothing to help keep the subject up and running. Silence is golden we think. Vincent.”

    Email from Mr Sumpter.
    Subject Re: BAB – approverd 8th dan ??
    I’m totally with you on this one. The BAB does not give out or approve grades – that is purely an Association matter. The business of the “ Shihan “ title is another matter. I would be the first to say that only the aikikai in Japan can “ officially” award that title. But I doubt that – in translation – “ master “ we can stop anybody using the title in the UK. .That is, I don’t think there is copyright on the title..


    “” Mr Sumpter is wrong, the BAB along with the previous chairman Toni Davies, approved everything that Mr Poole told the BAB, grades – history – lineage – Not only did they approve and fully condone Mr Poole’s fraudulent conduct, they gave him an award as a seal of their appreciation and
    public approval. “”

    What one can clearly see from Mr Sumpter’s email above, is an example of the minutes of the meetings being manipulated to protect the BAB executives. Many BAB members actually believed Mr Poole’s claims, simply because of the staunch support of the BAB exec. This is clearly an abuse of the members trust and faith in this crass organisation.
    According to the ex – communications officer, these defamatory conversations concerning Henry Ellis, took place, before / during / and after various meetings, many of these cosy meetings were held at the home of Ms Timms. These defamatory conversations were never minuted for the benefit of the membership, the chairman would later sign off the selected minutes as a true record of that particular meeting, as we can now clearly see, that is not so. I am sure that Sport England would frown upon this kind of mis-management…Henry Elllis

    Here is an email from Grev Cooke BAB Coaching Admin Officer to the communications officer
    Photo of Grev Cooke
    From Grev Cooke
    Shirley phoned tonight because She and Vince wish to put some statement about the Poole Ellis situation.

    All I've said is the statement needs to irrefutable. There is also talk for requesting advice from a barrister. I've said that you will be the best person ask on any possible action we can take. Will be discussed on Saturday.

    From Grev Cooke

    Its like a deepening pit. I'm sure any official reply will generate another thread that will be twisted and berated by Ellis. How many replies has he posted. What a life, bitterer and bitterer.
    ATB Grev

    We can now see why the BAB never did place a statement on the BAB website, or take any legal action against Henry Ellis. The only statement that would be `irrefutable ` would have to be the truth ! hence no statement. They were now too busy running for cover. Mr Cooke accuses Henry Ellis of being bitter. It is not bitterness, but rather despair with people such as the likes of Mr Cooke, Ms Timms and Toni Davis running the then inept executive team of the BAB.- Henry Ellis

    Here is another email from Mr Sumpter to the Communications officer. 23 – Aug - 2004
    Thank you for your support .Just one thing, If anyone asks you what Mr Ellis is on about regarding an apology from you, please just say that it is a matter between you, the chairman and Mr Ellis.The need to know basis must prevail in case Mr Ellis really does go to his solicitor.


    Email from the (ex) BAB Communication Officer to Henry Ellis - extract four.

    “ Shirley Timms always made much fun that your copies of letters were unsigned by her and on normal paper photocopied etc. It seemed to give her purpose in life! “.

    “” Ms Timms the official secretary to the UK Aikido governing body amuses herself by deleting her signature from any and all BAB related papers posted to Henry Ellis when he was still a member and head of the ESTA association, also a founder member of the BAB. Rather sad and unprofessional conduct “” Henry Ellis


    It is sickening to see below in the following email from the ex – BAB Communications Officer, the good name of Ken Williams Sensei is used by the BAB exec. Williams Sensei was the UK’s and K Abbe’s first Aikido student in 1955. Williams Sensei is the most respected of all UK Aikidoka, he is being discussed during the carefully doctored minutes at these furtive meetings at the home of Ms Timms. Is this the kind of twisted legacy that we want to be left behind for future generations of Aikidoka ??….. Henry Ellis

    “ Which again, I know to be a complete pack of lies !”
    From the (ex) BAB Communication Exec Officer extract one.
    Dear Henry
    I certainly at that time had no knowledge of the law but it would have been along similar lines of you (which you were not, let make that clear again) going around being the big bad guy sorting out other Aikido clubs upon instruction from Ken Williams, i.e.. you were likened to being the Aikido trouble-shooter and basically went to sort out all the wannabe's and charlatans. You broke people in those clubs and taught them a lesson. I'm afraid that to me, GBH and beating people up aren't that dissimilar, I had no idea GBH was second to murder and no one accused you of that. It was simply me thinking that ok, you beat someone up, got into trouble for it, got
    off with it, but you also considered yourself the self appointed aikido judge with other clubs so, that to me, was worse than getting caught beating someone up, you used to do it all the time anyway! based on what I was told that is. Which again, I know to be a complete pack of lies. Cont; You were perceived by them ( BAB ) as a huge trouble maker, they did not think it was a huge issue with the whole Jack Poole thing. Again, this is before Vincent's time. I'll state this again for the record, nothing of what I have said or quoted in here is anything other than the truth and you NEVER were involved in any GBH charges.
    How disgusting that the very people who are elected to the executive of the BAB, the only approved governing body for Aikido within the UK, should act in such an unprofessional cavalier manner. The BAB did not think the Poole affair was a `big thing` but a person who questions the BAB and Mr Poole is perceived as a ` huge trouble maker ` These people have managed to keep this appalling behaviour from the very membership they represent by failing to maintain honest meeting minutes. These people are not the executives of a governing body, they are a crass clique.
    We have emails from Dominic Foster, a man of action ! who proposes taking legal action and seeking the advice of barristers. Some may remember Dominic’s vague interest in the history of UK Aikido when he attended the “ Kenshiro Abbe 50th Celebration “ 2005 , this event was represented by Mr P Don of Sport England – The Japanese Embassy UK – Mr R Otani The President of the BJC, but not the BAB. Dominic states to a respected and honoured guest “ The true celebration is not today, it is in two years time ! “ one has to beg the question, if he really believed that to be the case ? what was he doing there on such a fantastic day ? 1000 people either viewing or on the mat, a mat full to total capacity with 425 students.
    Another email from Grev Cooke showing his contempt for John Harding a long serving BAB senior member who had simply asked Mr Cooke a valid question. “””” I ignore Johns emails !!!! “”””” see Mr Cooke’s email below.
    From Grev Cooke BAB Coaching Officer
    “ In this email I sent to all Tutors and Exec members , yourself obviously included? This email didn’t go to John Harding. When I’ve Emailed John before I try to be guarded in what I say. I know my emails will go to Harry Ellis!
    I once asked John who I was actually speaking to ie him or Harry. Normally I ignore Johns Emails but in this case,
    this was my reply shown. “ ( followed by a brief reply to John Harding )

    ( Yes ! John Harding did send Henry Ellis one email detailing his frustration with the BAB coaching system, an email which was a part of an email sent to all of his email contacts, he was concerned about something with the BAB coaching.

    If the BAB were honest and open ? why would Mr Cooke “ try to be guarded “ in anything that is honest and open BAB policy ? What gives Mr Cooke the right to decide which member he will, or will not write to ? Once again we see by Mr Cooke’s example, the BAB exec members acting with total contempt for the membership who they are there to serve. and receiving a nice little members contributed honorarium for their time. I am sure that John Harding will now fully understand why he was treated in the disrespectful way he was by Mr Cooke and the BAB )

    Amongst the many email copies I received, there was a reminder ( extract below ) of a misguided but rather touching email from Gary Masters, writing on behalf of the ` Ken Shin Kai, where he makes the following crass statement, which I am sure at this time must be most comforting and reassuring for both the BAB exec, Mr Poole - lets not forget Ms Timms.

    The `Ken shin kai `Aikido Organisation supports the claims of Jack Poole and the decisions of the British Aikido Board UK !

    From Gary Masters
    To All that have unwillingly been dragged into this petty dispute by the previous mailshot,
    The Ken Shin Kai Aikido Organisation UK supports the claims of Jack Poole and the decisions made by the British Aikido Board UK. Mr Ellis has damaged his own reputation and integrity by continually persecuting a fellow Aikidoka and questioning his lineage and history in the Art Of Aikido, to the point of obsession. As it contradicts a history being written by Mr Ellis himself. There are many Aikidoka in the UK and it is taken that they speak in truth and fairly about their lineage and history and grades held in Aikido. To question another Aikidoka on such matters is not in following with the true spirit of Aikido and achieves nothing for the positive development of the Martial Art of Aikido. Mr Ellis has not only questioned Mr Poole's integrity but he has decided to publicly persecute Mr Poole by publishing articles on multiple web sites and making statements at many Aikido Dojos which themselves cannot be confirmed as fact. He has never once taken the time or had the courage to speak on a mutual and friendly basis with Mr Poole regarding this matter. Live and let live, we say, and Mr Ellis should use his time better in the development of Aikido than in the persecution of fellow Aikidoka.

    Ken Shin Kai - Yoshinkan Aikido Organisation UK

    “” The above message from Gary Masters of the Ken Shin Kai organisation, is exactly the reason that I have been determined to get the true history of British
    Aikido factually recorded. People like Mr Masters and other loyal but just as sadly misguided students of Mr Poole will churn out the above nonsense to support
    Mr Poole despite his proven fraudulent biography. We owe it to the young students today and of the future to preserve the truth. signed Henry Ellis

    The information / emails and insight into the workings of the BAB are provided by the Ex – BAB Exec Communications officer.
    This documented article was prepared and published by Henry Ellis of the - `Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido`.
    The above information clarifies the fact that the BAB were fully aware of their error in their contemptuous support for Mr Jack
    Poole. Rather than face the BAB membership and admit their crass conduct, the exec decided to stand by their serious
    error of judgement along with Mr Poole. The only way to justify this stand would be the defamation of the good name of Henry
    Ellis. Over the years of this controversy there has been many rumours spread about Henry Ellis that are totally unfounded.
    Mr Ellis does not even have points on his driving licence never mind a criminal conviction.

    Henry Ellis 6th dan International Birankai
    Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido.
  3. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Well done Henry.

    I feel nothing but contempt and disgust for the British Aikido Board. It's about time they folded.

    Henry, do you remember what Vince Sumpter said of me through the BAB website ? I'd dearly like to meet him again to have him eat those words.

    Finally, again please accept my hearty congratulations on your promotion to 6th dan.

    Kindest regards


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