The Ellis School - an Overview.

While still instructing at the 'Hut' headquarters, Henry Ellis started his own club in Bracknell in 1962, and in the following years opened clubs in Slough, Chiswick, Blackfriers, and Earls Court.

The Basingstoke Aikido Club was founded in 1968 by Sensei Derek Eastman,

At these clubs, which were always collaborative in nature, Traditional Aikido was practiced - together with related Japanese Martial Arts.

In 1990, Aikido began becoming increasingly regulated in the U.K. requiring qualified instructors to be registered.
The Clubs of Sensei Ellis and Sensei Eastman were joined under one organisation, and the Ellis School of Traditional Aikido was officially formed. This became a member of the Martial Arts Commission, the governing body for all martial arts in the UK, (formed in 1977).

The British Aikido board, was also founded in 1977 and took over 'governing body' status from the M.A.C. in 1992. The Ellis School became a member of the B.A.B. at this time.

In March 2002, The Ellis School resigned from the B.A.B. for several reasons, principally around the 'Controversy' article written by Sensei Ellis. (This article is on this site via the 'Articles' page.)

There are Ellis School Dojo's in both England and the United States.

Today Aikido is instructed at the school in much the same way as it has always been; with strong emphasis on basic techniques, utilising attack and defence, along with the practice of the bayonet arts including: Knife, club, sword and staff.

The method of teaching utilizes the 'Forms' method, introduced by Sensei M.Noro in the 1960's. However, the technical application of techniques as taught by Sensei K.Abbe are kept as the essential basis of the Ellis School teachings. Due to the many different first generation Masters that both Sensei Ellis and Eastman have intensively studied under, we believe the Aikido of this school has a great diversity in its style.

The techniques of Aikido emphasise spiral and circular movements which harmonise with the direction and impetus of the attack, leading to control via projection (throwing), Immobilisation (holds), and Application (control by nerve holds and locks to joints).

The study of Ki is taught by the school as a flow of relaxed power and strength, through stability of posture in techniques, rather than by still or fixed meditation.

All practitioners after basic training is understood, are encouraged to form their own style to complement their own natural mental and physical approach.