Nonetheless the BJC had a stronger membership (20,000 – 30,000) than the BJA, the failure after ten years to get his students recognized had caused Abbe Sensei political isolation leading to sickness which motivated his move back to Japan in 1964. However, for Hombu Dojo (then under the direction of Kisshomaru Ueshiba) Abbe Sensei was the official representative of British Aikido and therefore on his request for a teacher from the |Aikido Foundation to head the Aikido portion of his organisation, the British Aikido Council (BAC), there had been no reason to question the situation.
Apart from the political situation inherited from the Judo world, Chiba Sensei was faced with further problems from the AIkido world. In particular the BAC was headed by Ken Williams who did not know Chiba Sensei. Moreover, the BAC had Nakazono Sensei who was living in Paris, France as a technical advisory upon the request of Kenshiro Abbe. This relationship was not known of by Hombu Dojo and though Chiba Sensei had met him previously at Hombu Dojo, he had never seen him in the Aikido community and was not aware he was a teacher. Furthermore, Nakazono Sensei was a close friend of Tadashi Abe, who had been uchideshi under O’Sensei before the war and had taught aikido in France, subsequently assisting the BAC on the request of Kenshiro Abbe.
It was this role which Nakazono Sensei had inherited. Chiba Sensei had been closely associated with Tadashi Abe Sensei and admired him greatly, he had even co-signed the contract with the BJC. Furthermore, Masamichi Noro, another former uchideshi and direct senior to Chiba Sensei, was also living and teaching in France and assisting Nakazono Sensei and Ken Williams with the BAC. Unfortunately Nakazono Sensei was deeply offended that he had not been consulted by Kenshiro Abbe as the head of the BAC and consequently Nakazono Sensei and Ken Williams decided to pull away from the BAC along with the entire membership to form the Renown Aikido Society.
The result was that since the BJC was paying Chiba Sensei a (modest) monthly salary plus all the expenses in bring him to the UK, but was drawing no income from him, as he had been unable to teach since arrival, the organisation was losing money.
To be continued…