All of these organizations contribute to the spread of Yoshinkan Aikido not only in Japan, but all around the world. Throughout the history of Yoshinkan Aikido, many prestigious people have visited Honbu Dojo. The current Emperor also visited in spending a long time meeting with Shioda Gozo Kancho privately and observing a special demonstration. There have also been many other famous visitors from around world who have enjoyed viewing Yoshinkan demonstrations. Gozo Shioda Sensei was born in
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He combined a lucid analysis of aikido theory with crisp technique and a liberal dash of humor. The observer of a Shioda aikido demonstration would almost invariably be caught up in the mood of the experience and ready to join an aikido dojo without the least bit of coaxing. Moreover, Shioda never failed to acknowledge his teacher Morihei Ueshiba and the fact that aikido evolved from the techniques of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu. The second son of a well-known pediatrician, Seiichi Shioda, Gozo was born in Tokyo on September 9, A small, sickly child, Shioda credited his very survival to the medical skills of his physician-father.
Young Gozo enjoyed a privileged upbringing, but at the same time was subject to the directives of his strong-willed father. Gozo Shioda in a dynamic screenshot from an early Yoshinkan Aikido film His fateful meeting with Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, came about in a rather unusual way.
When asked about her exemplary bearing, she gave credit to her aikijutsu teacher and suggested the schoolmaster observe a training session. Thoroughly impressed by what he saw at the nearby Ueshiba Dojo, Mr. Shioda at about age 20 On May 23, , the year-old Gozo appeared at the Ueshiba dojo to witness a demonstration.
Having a strong background in both kendo and judo, the confident young Shioda was skeptical of the clean, controlled techniques he saw performed. Since two guarantors were required to enter, his father and Mr. Abe provided introductions. At that time, there were about twenty live-in students at the Ueshiba dojo and they followed a rigorous schedule, with classes starting at five in the morning and ending at nine in the evening. It must have been highly stimulating for Shioda to become part of this dojo where so many skilled young martial artists trained and where numerous persons of high-social standing routinely appeared.
For this reason, he did not need to solicit students from among the general public, and the emphasis at the Kobukan was on the training and development of the live-in students. There were many more techniques; they were generally linear in appearance and were applied with great vigor. Also, many complex pinning techniques osaewaza were still practiced. As part of his preparations for the strenuous years ahead, he decided to withdraw from school for two years and devote himself fully to aikido training.
He continued practicing aikido as a student at Takushoku University, until his departure for military service in March Shioda spent most of the war years in China, starting as a secretary of General Shunroku Hata in Beijing, and had more than one close brush with death. A few months after his discharge from the Imperial Army in the fall of , Shioda spent several weeks of intensive training and farming at the home of Ueshiba who, during the early days of the war, had withdrawn to Iwama in Ibaragi Prefecture.
Still a young man, and with his master apparently in retirement Shioda then returned to Tokyo and, like most others, struggled to make ends meet in poverty-stricken Japan. This led to a request for him to teach aikido on a regular basis at various plant locations starting in He also gave demonstrations at numerous police departments during the early s.
In particular, Shoshiro Kudo, who was head of the Tomin Bank, came to the aid of the Yoshinkan and backed the construction of a dojo. The Tsukudo Hachiman facility was opened to the general public in From that modest beginning, Yoshinkan Aikido gradually spread all over Japan and to foreign countries, mainly the U.
It is presently the second largest aikido organization, with hundreds of member dojos in its world-wide network. The subject of how Yoshinkan Aikido became an entity separate from the Aikikai is not well understood. When Shioda started his aikido activities in earnest after the war, Morihei Ueshiba was still in retirement in Iwama and classes at the Aikikai dojo formerly the Kobukan were irregular and sparsely attended.
In fact, several families left homeless due to the bombing of Tokyo lived in the dojo. At one point, it was even used as a dance hall!
Thus, there never was a formal split between the two organizations, despite their rather different approaches to aikido. The two groups simply evolved independently while maintaining more or less cordial ties.
Shioda trained under O-Sensei when Ueshiba was in his fifties and at the peak of his powers. Therefore, the techniques he learned from the founder were rather different from those taught during the post-war years. People try to reach the highest levels without even paying their dues.
You have to master the very basics solidly, with your body, and then proceed to develop to the higher levels… Now we see nothing but copying or imitation without any grasp of the real thing…. Shioda demonstrating with a young Tsuneo Ando Sensei c.
Entrevista con Gozo Shioda por Stanley Pranin
His father, Shioda Seiichi was a prominent pediatrician and medical academic. It was Shioda Seiichi who encouraged his son to take up various forms of exercise. As a consequence, Shioda Gozo practiced kendo, gymnastics and then Judo as a youth. It was in the art of judo where Soke Shioda Gozo excelled, having reached the level of third dan by the time he had reached his mid-teens. The very next day, May 24, , the young Shioda joined the Kobukan and commenced his aikido career under Ueshiba Sensei. He left the Kobukan in when he had finished his university studies. The advent of the second World war prevented any practice of aikido.
Total Aikido: The Master Course
Gozo Shioda: “Aikido’s Little Giant” by Stanley Pranin