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 story.
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