sensei ken williams

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sensei ken williams

Post  impi on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:01 am

Hi Dave,

Have you heard of Sensei Ken Williams who I beleive was Abbe sensei's top Judo and Aikido student. Have you seen him demonstrating and teaching? How do you rate him?

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:23 am

Yes I know Ken.. he used to have something he called "The Ki Federation of Great Britain"..

I know John Warfield and Ken didnt get on at all..

You have to remember that Kenshiro Abbe was many things to many people..

He was an 8th Dan at Judo
8th Dan at Ju-Jutsu
7th Dan at Aikido
6th Dan at Karate

and 9th Dan at his own Budo, which he termed Butokukai Defence...(this one was the stuff he taught the Warfields which became Goshinkwai Yawara)

Some people never knew he did other arts and stiill label him 'Judo' or 'Aikido' etc..

Yes Ken did do Aikido for a while with Abbe.. but didnt get invited to do the Budo/Butokukai Defence methods.. you had to be invited to train in that.. Williams never was..

personally I am not a big fan of Ken Williams methods, but not something I will go into on an open forum

hope that helps a bit

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  Stuart Rider on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:53 am

A good couple of websites about Kenshiro Abbe

www.kenshiroabbe.com

&

http://www.geocities.com/britishaikido

Mostly talk about his judo and aikido but some good stories there as well.

Dave, apart from the Warfields was there anyone else in the UK invited to train in Butokukai Defence?

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  impi on Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:53 am

Thanks for the information about the websites. Here is part of an article I found on the Abbe website about Ken. It seems that the aikido in those days was quite tough and also that Mr Williams studied with Abbe sensei for quite a long time, not the short time that dave mentioned. Anyway, here is the excerpt.....



"....Recollections of the Early Days of Aikido in Great Britain

By 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.

In the early days, the training was extremely difficult with the emphasis on very strenuous exercise. My students and I used to train four or five nights a week as well as Sunday mornings. After running for several miles, we would return to the mat and perform 200 push-ups on the backs of our wrists, which we then followed with general practice and a further two hours of hard practice. .."



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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:27 am

Sorry Impi .. I have just re-read my post and cant see where I said Williams trained with Abbe for a SHORT time?.. I said for a 'while', which is because I simply dont know exactly how long, never asked John Warfield, certainly never asked Abbe as I didnt know him that well..

Ken certainly did Aikido and Abbe did live with Uyenishi for a while (again I never asked how long) studying his Aikido..
I know in the early years that over 75% of new students to Uyeshiba packed in due to injuries etc..
early Aikido was designed to be tough.. but you have to look back to the Daito Ryu for that

I can only tell you what I was told and witnessed myself..

Abbe's BUDO/Butokukai Defence was about 30% Aiki Budo.. the rest was from other sources.

Stu.. Yes several were invited.. the Late Bill Woods being one of them.. However, and this is how it was told to me over a cuppa in John Warfield's house in Brynteg Varteg about 1975/6..

Most of those invited totalled about a dozen.. they were in the main Judo/Ju-Jutsu or Aiki-Jutsu men and ONE woman, a superb Aikido-ka named Mary Pybus, now sadly dead.. she had a grip like a starving crocodile!..

You HAD to be invited for 'special' training, and many werent .. simple as that... so that those who did Judo ONLY with Abbe talk about his Judo, those who did Aikido ONLY with Abbe talk his Aikido.. but there were only a handful invited to do his FULL system of Butokukai Defence Budo.. That is how it was told to me and I have no reasons to believe otherwise..

John and Gordon Warfield (and Colin as well back then), were originally Judo students of Bill Woods and met Abbe through him.. Abbe 'saw' something in the Warfields and eventually invited them to train in his 'special' classes..

There are many letters etc that can validate these claims.. most of which are owned now by John's widow Barbara, and Gordon's daughter Sian as Soke..
we are talking 50 years ago now remember .... I have seen all the letters including very unique ones from Abbe himself..

so I am giving you an informed opinion.. it all depends upon your sources.. most of what I know and/or believe came from teh two Warfield brothers John & Gordon dating from 1975 when I got my Goshinkwai 1st Dan, to 1990 when I left as a 4th Dan..

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  Stuart Rider on Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:42 am

Cheers Dave.
Do you know if all of these dozen go on to teach the Butokukai methods or were they encouraged to create from what they were taught as the Warfields did?

Also do you know what the difference is, if any, between Butokukai Defence Budo and Kyushindo?

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:13 am

Taking your last question FIRST

Kyushindo was/is a PHILOSOPHY of Abbe's .. not a style.. a lot of people make that mistake.. it was a set of ideals and concepts etc.. there is actually strictly speaking no such thing as a Kyushindo TECHNIQUE per se.. but there are techniques that fit in with the Kyushindo philosophy.. buts thats probably splitting hairs

The ones I DO know something about from the 'dirty dozen.. a few did teach Butokukai defence.. Bill Woods certainly did, but behind closed doors...
Robin O'Tani (Matsutatsu Otani's son and a superb old style judoka) also did, not sure if he still does

The late Norman Grundy .. (someone should make a film about this guy.. he was an incredible man).. from Scarborough.. certainly did teach the 'good stuff'. I met Norm a couple of times.. what a bloody character
And I think 'Spud' Murphy from Seamer Budo Club (nr Scarborough) also did

thats the end of my scant knowledge about the dozen or so

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  Stuart Rider on Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:27 am

Was it Norman Grundy that Gordon went and trained with or am i getting confused with someone else?

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:24 am

Yes it was and Spud Murphy.. they were both trained by (mainly) Masutasu O'Tani but also by Abbe..
There was a great old Budo club in Seamer which is a couple of miles from Scarborough that did Judo, Ju-Jutsu, Aikido and Karate..

When Gordon was transferred in his job to Scarborough-ish areas, he asked Abbe could he recommend anyone teaching in that area worth going to train with.. Abbe recommended O'Tani and gave Gordon a letter of introduction.. Gordon trained for quite a few years up in North Yorkshire, which is both where he met his wife Kath, and also met and trained under O'Tani and wth Norman Grundy and Spud Murphy.

as an interesting 'aside' the time Gordon spent with O'Tani influenced his version of Goshinkwai as well...
we (the students) all noticed the differences between John's and Gordon's teaching.. to the degree that some chose ONLY one or the other.. I must say I was more a JOHN Warfield student than a Gordon one... but whenever Gordon took the mat, I always enjoyed his methods.

Gordon was VERY complimentary of Norman Grundy as indeed was John.. I met him, but he was an oldish man then so I never saw a great deal of what he did.. but his reputation was awesome.. nice chap to talk to though

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  Stuart Rider on Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:45 am

Thanks mate, you know i enjoy learning about the old days.

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:52 am

You would enjoy hearing more about Norman Grundy... he's almost hard to believe.. he led a very inetresting life indeed.

I'll have to fill you in withwhat I know about him one day mate

take care

Dave

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  colinsub4 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:40 pm

Just to let you guys know, I'm Norman Grundys grandson and my father Roger has just been apoointed 8th Dan and President of Budo martial arts club

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Re: sensei ken williams

Post  David Turton on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:27 am

be very proud of that fact mate .. Norman Grundy was one hell of a man

my regards and respects to your father

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