Friday, 31 December 2010

Masahilo Nakazono Sensei 1918 ~ 1994

Visit My Aikido & Judo Video Site ~ Click -> Henry Ellis Aikido & Judo Videos A growing collection of early and modern Aikido and Judo videos..H Ellis - D Eastman - H Foster - K Chiba - M Nakazono - K Abbe - T Abe.


Masahilo Nakazono 7th dan AikiKai...Nakazono Sensei will always hold a special place in the hearts of British Aikido pioneers and their students. He was the first Japanese Aikido teacher to be invited to Britain to teach Aikido by the legendry Budo Master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei. Nakazono Sensei became a regular visitor to Britain before moving to the USA in 1970.
Before coming to Britain Nakazono Sensei was the AikiKai representative for Europe and North Africa. Sensei was based in both Paris and Marseilles.
Nakazono Sensei completely changed Aikido in the UK forever. His style of Aikido had changed from that of Abbe Sensei. Nakazono Sensei was instructed to regrade all 8 UK dan grades to the then present day AikiKai standards.


British Aikido Origins from 1955 - Narration & Movie Slide-Show by Henry Ellis ~ The Arrival of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Development of Budo in the UK.

Nakazono Sensei in Vietnam with Dang Phong Sensei.In the late fifties Nakazono Sensei left Japan. He became combat instructor for the police and paratroopers of the South Vietnamese army teaching Judo and Aikido. He then moved to Singapore where he opened a dojo in 1958.

The Masahilo Nakazono Family Memorial Shrine on Nakazono Sensei's Mexico Ranch.

Read Jiro Nakazono's Tribute to his father. Click here> Jiro Nakazono Tribute

My Teacher. Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono Sensei.

Nakazono Sensei was a very acomplished man in so many ways, the man I first met was a 7th dan in Aikido. Sensei was also a 6th dan Kodokan Judoka and also highly ranked in Kendo, which I saw devastatingly displayed against Tomio Otani the UK National Coach for Kendo, they both shared a ``friendly `` challenge, my good friend Tomio was totally overwhelmed. That was the man of Budo. Sensei was also a healer and acupuncturist,he had followed many generations of the Nakazono family tradition in natural healing...This long tradition is now continued by Sensei's son Jiro, in the name of ``Jei Atacama ``..For more information Visit > Jei Atacama Healing Centre
The high regard in which Nakazono Sensei was held in the UK was shown by the 50 year Memorial organised by myself and other Aikido pioneers in appreciation of a `man` we still old in such high esteem.

Henry Ellis
6th dan Aikikai Hombu.


Click Photos to Enlarge.

The Masahilo Nakazono Memorial Event 2007

Left:..The Brochure of the " Masahilo Nakazono Memorial Event 2007 "..The souvenir brochure is based on the 1963 Kenshiro Abbe National Championships held at the Royal Albert Hall London, where M Nakazono Sensei participated. A special memorial event was held in Neath, South Wales UK to recognise the contribution of Masahilo Nakazono Sensei to the promotion of British Aikido....During the early planning of the event we contacted Jiro Nakazono Sensei the second son of Nakazono Sensei who readily accepted our invitation to be our VIP guest instructor. From that day the friendship we had know for so long with Nakazono Sensei would now continue with his son Jiro Nakazono right.

                                                                                                       Jei Nakazono Sensei

Left: Jei Nakazono Sensei & Dang Phong Sensei pay tribute to the memory of Mikoto ` Masahilo ` Nakazono Sensei...Right:..The event was sold out as one can see from the group photo at the start of the event...It was a great event where I am sure that Nakazono Sensei was smiling on us that day...The last three British Aikido pioneers Haydn Foster ~ Henry Ellis ~ Derek Eastman taught along side Jei Nakazono Sensei & Phong Sensei.........

The Life of Nakazono Sensei ~ In French ~ Needs Translation. Masahilo Nakazono
Mutsuro "Masahilo" Nakazono Sensei 1968 Film M Nakazono 1968 Film
Mutsuro "Masahilo" Nakazono Sensei 1968 Film Nakazono Sensei Film Paris 1963

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Books by Mikoto ` Masahilo ` Nakazono Sensei.

Masahilo Nakazono Sensie has written several books as displayed below.The books can be purchased from " Kototama Books " of Sante Fe New Mexico USA. Email:


Aikido - Then and Now - 1955 - 2014

Henry Ellis - I am often asked the following question.

 " What is the difference between the Aikido of the 1950s and the Aikido of today ?"

1950s - This was a time when all kyu and dan grades were highly respected, simply because everyone knew that even the lowest grade had been honestly earned through blood sweat and tears, not like today, often given as a Christmas present by your own students, or ordered online from the inept British Aikido Boards website for a modest fee.

Students never handed out titles to their own teachers, such as Shihan - Grandmaster - Soke - Hanshi - Doctor - Professor and any others you can think of.  - Just imagine being at school and the kids informing the teacher that the class had jointly awarded him/her a PHD, now that would be worth six strokes of the cane on both hands in my school days.

Photo Left: Kenshiro Abbe teaching - Henry Ellis centre.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei taught that uke should always attack on balance - today it is more often a ukemi attack with uke being overly compliant and acrobatic. 

If you attack on balance, then the techniques have to be good to control the attacker - the nod of the head, and no touch throws would then be comical, sadly, many students show as much resistance as an unattached piece of string.

Importantly, it was a time when students did not grade their own teachers as so many do today.
It was also a time when there was no Aikido with ribbons, if anyone had been daft enough to come into the dojo with a bundle of coloured ribbons ?  they would have been found hanging by them from the Hut Dojo roof beams.  

It was a time when Aikido was a respected martial art, respected by all the other m/a.
If Abbe Sensei thought his teaching wasn't getting through - no words were spoken - Sensei would `tap` the offending body part with a crack of a Shiinai - this was a very successful method of teaching, it gained immediate attention, it would be a reminder and an indicator to the student what their problem was, no one ever complained - The Ki people would be in tears today.

It was a time when students would train hard, and the techniques would be strong and effective, everyone attacks a little different, therefore you cannot plan what your defense would be, the attacker makes your defense ( or not ) It was a time when people trained hard to understand the techniques - if, as so many do today, trying to scientifically analyze Aikido with engineering and physics, Aikido is natural movement, not for some,  for example, if a student asked Kenshiro Abbe or Mutsuro Nakazono anything of a technical nature, they were told to practice with an ` empty mind ` only a clear mind will adsorb the  knowledge.

Left: The 4th dan certificate presented to Kenshiro Abbe Sensei by Emperor Hirohito of Japan in the 1930s.


This was a time when Kenshiro Abbe sensei was the only 8th dan in the UK .

We now live in a different age, a crazy age, where 7th and 8th dans are like post-boxes, with at least one in almost every town and village in the UK, thanks to the inept - " BAB   -  you can grade yourself, or ask your students to grade you - and simply add ``British Aikido Board Approved ``. It is like ordering a doctorate online.

Aikido training In those early days by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and with alittle encouragement of a Shinai, the traing was very physical, building fitness, fighting spirit, and physical and mental strength, after the warm up, there was always a session of kicking and punching techniques, this was followed with push-ups, depending on grade, with between 20 for beginners and two hundred for dan grades of push-ups on the back of the wrists. 

It was also a time when all Aikido came under the respected `British Aikido Council` [BAC] overseen by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei.

In later years we would see the creation of the so-called governing body for Aikido, the ` British Aikido Board` [BAB] - a body that started with good heart and honest intentions, only to become a an overly bureaucratic body that would recognize its own grandmother as an ` approved ` Hanshi or dan grade,  an organisation that would later offer online dan grades for money.

The BAB would knowingly recognize well known fraudulent practitioners grades, publicly promote the offenders profile to its membership and the genral public. 

The BAB allow the endless use and abuse of `` BAB Approved `` for the promotion of self appointed titles of Shihan - Hanshi - Grandmaster - Professor - Doctor - Soke .

The British Aikido Board has now become a home for the homeless, the established organisations such as the JAC and the BAA, which are creditable organisations who are all associated with Japan HQ - these organisations have resigned from the BAB.

Aikido Dancing   -  Aikido Ribbon Dance  -  Nodding Aikido  - Fantasy Aikido - 

Times change, people change, and Aikido will change - but sadly it is not always for the better.

`The Aikido Controversy`

Admin - Henry Ellis

Co-author of Positive Aikido`