Good Aikido Books

Discussion in 'Aikido Resources' started by EmptyHandGuy, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Yes he came back and said sorry for your accidents.

    One time he punched Geo (george girvan) in the face and threw him geo leaped back up..same thing then again.

    Finally Chiba shihan said to me "Why doesn't he defend his head."

    "Why didn't you tell him! ?" was the obvious reply..which I kept to myself.:rolleyes:

    As he said often he did not have time so he made his students learn.


    I also remember a camera appearing and OF COURSE you lept in next to Chiba shihan. You moved your hand to adjust your kit and I think he thought you were attempting to put your arm around his shoulder and he slammed on a Nikkyo. I think the people in the next town must have heard the scream.:):)

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member

    Well it hurt :evil:
    Aaaaaaah happy days:evil:
  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I attempted to open a thread with ideas for a book..but it seams to have gotten lost.
    If a MOD finds it could they open it for me.

    I cant't for the hell of me remember how to open a new thread and I THINK it has gone into a journal.

    regards koyo
  4. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Just briefly for now, as I am a tad busy at the mo koyo. FWIW, here are some pointers on what I think would be of interest in the history of Scotland/UK Aikido, along with the core concepts and history of Aikido from the Japanese perspective. These comments below are based somewhat on my own personal interests and what I have read from other posts you have made on other threads.

    1. Presentation on the roots of Aikido - Daito-Ryu AikiJitsu, the koryo arts - in particular Kashima Shinto Ryu because of its influence of Aikiken. Sometimes, I believe the inputs to Aikido to be more relevant, usefull and of interest than a lot of what Aikdo has become today. How did the principles of Aikido evolve from Ueshiba's involvmnet wit these other arts? e.g. wide to narrow hanmi posture.
    2. In covering the very early years; pre Chiba-Shihan (Abbe, Nakazono, Noro?) in the UK - very little is publicly known. Also the very early years in Sunderland with Chiba Shihan - why did he go there initially? Training Aikido life must have been very difficult in the early 60s in the UK in general - simply because Aikido would have been completly alien then to all but a few die-hard Judoka and Kareteka. It would have been very difficult to find out about Martial Arts training then. Travelling around the UK then must have been very difficult compared to now. Added into that is the severity and intensity of the training regime etc.
    3. I reckon that it is worth bringing in a social context to this work. Why? - because the times and place form part of the fabric of the storytelling - which Scottish people are good at. What was Scotland like in the late 50s, early 60s? What was it like travelling to London, Sunderland back then? My recollections of life in Edinburgh in the early to mid 60s was of a lot of poverty and generally poor living conditions e.g. I remember the odd horse and cart trotting around Princes Street back then - unheard of now. Many people I knew still shared a communal toilet - life was very hard then, in the pre Beatles era.
    4. In the 60s, a certain degree of modernity started to creep into life with Television, slightly better living conditions, along with the Beatles and the hippies etc. Life in Scotland was very industrial with full employment, great football from Scottish teams, great music - Alex Harvey band, Marmalade, the Humblebums and others long gone, all of whom conrtibuted to Scottish society back then i.e. there was something of a mood of optimism for a while.
    5. In one of your posts, passed mention to Chiba Shihan crossing an Orange march in Glasgow.... What incredible juxtaposed imagery - you could almost put it in a movie! To anyone reading this not familiar with the Orange marches of Northern Ireland and Scotland, everyone should go and see an Orange march, just once in their life, just to experience part of the intensity of life in Glasgow. Once experienced then you know for sure, what tribalism truelly is all about! Passages like this one carve a unique symbolism into training with Chiba Shihan in Glasgow - it can bring a lot more body and texture to the storytelling. A friend of mine from Sudan (which is truelly a factional war-torn country) lived in Glasgow for 2 years and told me he had never ever experienced anything quite like the Orange march before.
    6. Glasgow in the 60s was a hotbed of violent gang culture - it still is, but there were landmarks in the 60s e.g. Frankie Vaughan visiting Easterhouse to engage the gang members to disarm. Training in Aikido in Glasgow of the 60s in the vicinity of the San Toi, Tongs etc, would not have been my idea of 1960s 'peace and love'.

    Thats about if for now. Also, my personal slant on a documentary writing style would be to avoid sentamentalism about the 'good old days' - tell it warts and all, along with some humour. Also see what prospective publishers think/are interested in These are merely my raw ideas, nothing more.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  5. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    While I had twenty two years of those "gang" clubs and could write a book on those years I had intended more to concentrate on the manner and attitude of studying as it differs in many ways to that of today and to speak of principles that are in danger of being lost.

    Of course i shall respond to any qyestions. Regarding the gang culture..I was lucky in that I played guitar could draw and could (and did fight) so MOST of the guys thought I was quite cool. Although I did have some memorable and horrendous experiences.

    For a juxtaposed image...
    I was introduced to Kisshomaru ueshiba and gave him a tartan tie as a small gift.
    He was wearing a really expensive kimono and proceeded to put on the tie there and then.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  6. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Basically what I am suggesting is that the context (direct and wider) is also of some significance and interest, along with the primary experiences, to give the storytelling a small extra measure of body and texture. What is put in as body and texture, is the writer's choice.

    The aspects that you talk of: the manner and attitude of Aikido training back then (way before internet, youtube etc), its principles; are what forms the core story.

    I anticipate with patience and interest, what will be interesting material on this site and in book form when it comes along.

    It sounds like the tartan tie went down well with Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

    Where did Aikido start in Glasgow? I first went to the Hamilton Hill dojo in 1980, which was quite a difference from Dunfermline College of PE in the posh suburb of Cramond in Edinburgh.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  7. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I started aikido in the Ren Bu Kan in Cowcaddens before taking it to the Hamiltonhill dojo. By that date I would have moved to Glasgow University.I had already left the aikikai when Chiba shihan left Glasgow 1975. I remeber two of my students George Girvan and Mat Holland were still there but I felt like they would not last long together. I think it was around that time that Geo moved out of Glasgow to Cumbernauld.

    THe Ren Bu Kan was ran by some real hard men,debt collectors and other iffy projects. Since I knew a little shotokan one of the instructors asked me to show him and I heard later he ran private classes for buisnesmen who didn't know any better.

    Below taking ukemi for Chiba shihan at Hamiltonhill Check out the expresions on the faces of the students.:eek:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  8. embra

    embra Valued Member

    So some of the original Glasgow MA folk maybe werent the most pleasant of people? Was the Ren Bu Kan a judo club that you then introduced Shotokan into? How did Aikido start there?
  9. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Karate was introduced to the Ren Bu Kan by Tommy Morris who went on to open the Kobe Osaka club.

    I "introduced" aikido there after seeing a demonstration by Kenshiro Abe and attending some of the courses given at the Abe school of Judo taken by Ken Williams with visits from Noro and Nakazono shihans.

    Kenshiro Abe WAS THE FIRST TO INTRODUCE AIKIDO TO THE UK. You will hear others claiming that their "leader" was the first (politics) But you can take my word for it. Abe shihan was the first and it was he who personaly asked O SEnsei to send an instructor..Chiba shihan who arrived 1965.
  10. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    REgarding Chiba shihan..While I found him to be the most martialy dynamic of the shihan I encountered he was/is a perfect gentleman with ONLY the progression of his students in mind.

    below a different "image" of Chiba shihan ..when I new him he was in his early twenties here in a foreign country with the task of creating an aikido organisation. A momentous task.

    Attached Files:

  11. sakumeikan

    sakumeikan Valued Member

    Hi Embra,
    As an Ex Glasgow keelie [born in The Gorbals ] I can tell you that the period your describing was really good.I remember all the gangs , the poverty and the laughs.There was rarely incidents like today where old people get beaten up etc.The villains were tough but had a code of honour- Square Go's /no Handers order of the day when people resoted to fisticuffs.
    Life was hard, my own refuge was the dojo in Bridgeton.[Brigton] .After many years I met Chiba Sensei , what an experience!He was invited to come to the a Mr Logan , who lived in Whitley Bay .Chiba Sensei was sent by O Sensei at the request of Kenshiro Abbe 8th Dan, to set up an Aikido national group.[Aikikai of Gt.Britain].He trained Sunderland and did courses throughout the U.K. and other countries before returning to Japan in 1976.Chiba Sensei/Mrs Chiba made great personal sacrifices during this period in the early days.Later they moved to San Diego, where they now reside.
    Chiba Sensei reurned later to the U.K and continues to teach in the U.K.Imet him in Bangor Wales last week.
    Although my early life in Glasgow was hard [I was homeless on more than one occasion and lived in the poor house for a time ]and poverty was around I feel that the early days were great times.I had lots of good mates, great training partners-George Girvan in particular , Tom Pierce [Hiya Tom].I also owe a debt of gratitude to Koyo for advice and help in this period.
    In fact I now look back and consider everyone[my Judo /Aikido colleaugues ] with much gratitude and affection.These guys were instrumental in shaping my character.I would like to think I live down to their expectations [Just joking].
    The moral of the tale?No matter how hard you think things are in your life if the situation doesnt kill you , it makes you stronger.
  12. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Was Kenshiro Abe's demonstration in Glasgow? -at a judo club? Something must have grabbed your attention about the demo, to give you motivation to attend the other courses - which I imagine would not have been easy do so in the late 50s/early 60s - like public transport was not great, and driving double declutch cars for long distances would not have been commonplace back then.

    So you attended a demo, travelled to a few courses, and memorised what you could (no books/videos back then); and then executed the applications on 'ukes' who were debt collectors! It must have been quite a hit and miss affair back then, teaching Aikdo like that.
  13. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Between the late 50s to 1965 in the UK, I guess Aikido was not very structured - probably due to a lack of clear examples and an abscence of maybe really good ukes. Chiba Shihan brought that structure to UK Aikido and forged a group of capable ukes? - who could then go and instruct a wider populace?
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  14. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

    Whey hey!!!! I'm from Whitley Bay:cool::):cool:
  15. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Brigton - that curious wee place just before Celtic Park - where the Brigton Derry hung out. I remember returning through the east end of Glasgow in the early 70s after attending matches at Celtic Park, and Brigton was always quite a hurdle to go through, just to get to the relative 'safety' of Queen Street station. From what I remember back then, Duke Street, was in a terrible condition back then.

    So you went to a different dojo from koyo in those days? What were youre early Aikido experiences like back then?

    We did meet once at Dunfermline College of PE in Edinburgh, way back in 1980 - I had just started - maybe 2 or 3 weeks.
  16. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The demo was for a newspaper article and was held in Ibrox football ground. The ukes were black belts from the Ren Bu Kan.He later gave a class at the Ren Bu Kan but was reluctant to organise any type of seminar. I think he was afraid that budo would be treated incorrectly if brought out of Japan. Judoka were already placing most of their emphasis on competition doing weight lifting (maximum effect MINIMUM strength.)

    His introduction of aikido was at the HUT his judo club so most of the original aikidoka were judoka beforehand.

    The Ren Bu Kan was a deserted shop that they had just moved into and put straw and sand down covered by a tarpolin. I remember it was green (stolen from a tennents bear lorry) because our kits turned green.

    There was one book by Thomas Makayama (it is so rare that Stan Pranin of aiki journal asked to buy it) I gave him it as a gift.

    As you say it was hit and miss. The worst was when we decided to attempt kendo training making our own armour. The shinai were four pieces of bamboo tied together.

    First test cut took a lump of flesh of of the guys arm. The bamboo edges were rasor sharp.

    Yep a lot of trial and error in those days.

    And I did attend a couple of square goes with members of the Ren Bu Kan back in the day.

    Teaching aikido in that environment prepared me well fot receiving instruction from Chiba shihan who "made you teach yourself"
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  17. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The ONLY place you receive aikido instruction was at The Hut Abe school of Judo in Hillingdon.
    I attended numerous courses there and invited the instructor Ken Williams to give courses in Glasgow. We also managed to organise courses from Noro shihan and Tamura shihan in Glasgow. There was a thriving aikido community by the time Chiba shihan arrived and I was already a dan grade under Noro.

    However Chiba shihan gave the impression that our aikido lacked in some way (not effective enough) and had those he chose to be national coaches undergo special training.

    I personaly think that we had made the mistake of copying the smooth and gracefull movements of Noro shihan without emphasising the solid structure hidden beneath.

    below training in the HUT with Noro shihan. As you can see from the sweat clinging to my hakama..the training was strenuous however as I said I think I lacked the true understanding of what budo truly was.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  18. embra

    embra Valued Member

    What a place for a demo of Martial Arts! Actually on the pitch, or indoors in a changing room/warm-up room?

    I can see why Abbe was concerned with budo being abused/mistreated outside of Japan.

    Something at the demo, must have captured your imagination/interest, to motivate your visits to the Hut.
  19. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    It was at the edge of the pitch.

    The guys from the Ren Bu Kan were tough buggers and slightly crazy but Abbe sensei handled them like babies.

    I was a short **** (have to jump into a puddle twice to get one splash) so seeing something so effective without having to risk a monster strangle me unconcious was a gift from the gods.

    Kenshiro Abbe

    Attached Files:

  20. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Presumably Noro Shihan did have solidity and depth, but at the time, the perception that you (the Aikoka of the time) of Aikido was somewhat external, due to the isolation from many examples.

    I saw Noro Shihan along with many other Shihan and Kisshomaru Ueshiba at a huge seminar in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1985. Noro Shihan only gave a demo, but did not instruct at the seminar. What he demonstrated certainly looked nothing like the Aikido that I recognised at the time. One Aikidoka from Yorkshire (whose name escapes me now) told me that Noro Shihan was extremly effective, and not be deceived by the apparrently gracefull movements.

    Did Noro and Tamura Shihans speak any English at that time? - if not instruction must have been in Japanese - with or without translation into English - another hurdle to overcome.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009

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