Abbe Sensei was All Japan Judo Champion at the age
of 18, prior to World War II. He told me that he was
rather arrogant at that time, having achieved fame so
young. Anyway, it was during a train journey in Japan
that he first met O'Sensei. Abbe didn't know who he
was and he reacted to Ueshiba Sensei looking at him,
saying: "What are you staring at, old man?"
Ueshiba replied: "I know who you are", to
which Abbe modestly retored: "Everyone knows me,
I am Kenshiro Abbe, Champion of All Japan". O'Sensei
then introduced himself as the Founder of Aikido, and
was told by Abbe that he didn't look strong enough to
be a Martial Arts Master. O'Sensei then offered Abbe
his little finger, and said: "But young man, you
look very strong indeed. Please break my finger".
Abbe at first declined, but eventually accepted the
challenge, presumably to shut the old man up. Abbe Sensei
told me that, as he took hold of the old man's finger
and tried to break it, he found himselfon the floor
of the carriage and totally immobilised. Whilst on the
floor Abbe asked the Founder for permission to study
under him. This is my understanding of Abbe Sebsei's
Finally, Henry, do you have any advice that you would
like to offer to Aikido practitioners?
I would urge them to vist other clubs and look at other
methods. You don't have to like everyone's Aikido, but
if you can take away a little for each dojo you vist,
it will make your own Aikido complete. Also I would
like to say stay clear or 'fairy' Aikido remember ,
it's a Martial Art and must work.