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Tadashi Abe (阿部 正 Abe Tadashi ) (1926 - November 23, 1984) was the first aikido master to live and teach in the west. He is considered by O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his students as the "Happy Aikidoka" because he was always smiling when he trained. He began training in Aikido in Osaka in 1942 and went on to train directly under the founder of the art Morihei Ueshiba at Iwama as an uchideshi during World War II. In 1952, after graduating in law from Waseda University, he moved to France where he studied law at the Sorbonne and taught aikido as a 6th Dan representative of Aikikai Honbu. After seven years he returned to Japan.
Aikido had been introduced into France a year earlier by Minoru Mochizuki during a visit, but it was Tadashi Abe's teaching at the judo dojo of Mikonosuke Kawaishi where aikido was first taught on a regular basis in the west. During this time he made several trips to the UK to aid Kenshiro Abbe in a similar venture in that country.
Upon his return to Japan, Tadashi Abe was famously very vocal concerning the direction aikido had gone. He felt it had lost its roots and had become effeminate, and thus was no longer the same budō he had studied under Morihei Ueshiba. In his beginning years in aikido, Abe-sensei had been very keen on ascertaining the martial effectiveness of the art. He wrote two books on aikido in French language, and a scathing letter in critique of Koichi Tohei´s decision to break from the Aikikai and start his own Ki Society.
- "ABE, TADASHI". aikidojournal.com. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "TADASHI ABE SENSEI: Pioneer of Aikido in France and Europe". usadojo.com. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Pranin, Stanley (September 1986). "Reminiscences Of Minoru Mochizuki". aikidojournal. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
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