Is Aikido a Martial Art ?
I do try to avoid discussions on the writings of OSensei as each person quoting him have their own interpretation, which in turn suits their excuse for their take on Aikido. In the UK in the 1950s there was simply " Traditional Aikido " . I could never have imagined the variations that are on offer today.
The best source of information on Tadashi Abe Sensei would be Pierre Chasang from Paris, he is now 87 yrs old, he was the first student of Tadashi Abe in France in 1952. I met Chasang Sensei again about four years ago and he was still teaching.
I spoke with TK Chiba Shihan recently when we me at the old ` Hut Dojo ` . He said that Tadashi Abe Sensei was his hero, he added that Abe Sensei had trained as a one man suicide submariner, as he qualified the war ended, for the rest of his life he felt that he himself had been cheated or denied his true destiny.
Tadashi Abe was without doubt that hardest man I have ever met in my 74 yrs. He would carry a knife and when in a confrontation ( which was often ) he would take out the knife and offer it to his opponent, he said to me that a man without a weapon was not a challenge.
In 1967 he went back to Japan and visited the AikiKai Hombu, he was furious at what he saw being taught there as Aikido. Abe Sensei later returned and spoke loudly for all to hear, he first apologised to the ladies saying he meant them no offence as he then spoke """ This is not Aikido !! this is for women """
He then threw his AikiKai diploma's on the mat and walked out, never to return. There are some excellent photos of Tadashi Abe Sensei on the photo galleries at www.british-aikido.com