Hiroshi Tada was born on December 13th, 1929 and is the only living 9th Dan Aikido Aikikai holder. He entered Hombu Dojo in 1950 and doing aikido now for 67 years! He was just always there, he knows them all, and seen it all happened and changed with his own eyes.
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Nobuyuki Watanabe (July 25, 1930 – August 20, 2019) was born in the Miyazaki Prefecture. Sumo was the first Budo on his way and at secondary school, he started Judo. He also made Jukenjutsu but really liked and considered Judo to be the best martial art possible before he got thrown with the Shiho-Nage…
Shoji Nishio (December 5, 1927 – March 15, 2005) was an 8 Dan Aikikai Shihan. He was one of Morihei Ueshiba’s post-war-era students in the Hombu.
Etsuji Horii Sensei was born on May 4, 1964, in Osaka, Japan. He holds a rank of a 7 Dan in Aikikai and is a founder of the Aioikai Aikido Dojo in Sanda.
Ikuhiro Kubota was born on June 19, 1943, in Kashihara, Nara, Japan. He is 8th Dan Aikido Aikikai and one of the biggest masters of the time in Japan. His main teacher and aikido-friend is Hiroshi Tada.
Christian Tissier gave an interview for the SFR Sport Kombat which is a French TV channel about the Martial Arts, MMA and everything related. The interview is originally in French, Tissier’s native language and a translation to English is inside the post, hop in. The interview was taken by Lucie Bertaud.
Morihiro Saito (March 31, 1928 – May 13, 2002) was born in the Ibaraki prefecture, Japan. He practiсed Aikido for 56 years and been one of the few 9 Dan-holders in the Aikikai.
Seishiro Endo was born on September 6, 1942, in the Saku city, Nagano prefecture. He is an 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai Shihan now and one of those who learned from the O-Sensei directly.
Masatomi Ikeda (April 8, 1940 – June 21, 2021) was born in Tokyo, Japan. He was a Japanese Aikido teacher with a rank of 7th Dan Aikikai and a status of Shihan. Through the course of life, he also achieved the 4th Dan in Judo and had success in Sumo.
Yoshiaki Yokota Shihan was born in 1958. He was a Captain of the Judo Club in a Junior High School at the age of 12. He soon found more interest in Karate and joined an Aikido club in a High School.
Yasuo Kobayashi is a Japanese 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai Shihan. He is chief of the Aikido Kobayashi Dojo organization with more than 100 Dojos around the world.
Masatake Fujita (April 21, 1937 – May 28, 2014) – 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai. Was born in a town with the name Changchun, China. At that time territory was controlled by Japan and named Manchuria. His father was deeply in Budo and because of that Masatake’s interest was low until he personally met a founder during the student years.
Katsuaki Asai was learning aikido under the guidance of the Morihei Ueshiba himself. He was born on 18 February 1942 in Tokyo and joined Hombu Dojo in 1955 being just 13 years old. After 10 years of intensive training with O-Sensei, Katsuaki was already the 4th Dan and been giving aikido lessons at the Meiji University of Tokyo.
There are only a few direct O-Sensei disciples left alive and Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei is one of them. He holds a rank of the 8 Dan in Aikikai and is a teacher with a name known all over the world. This is one reason he is so respected and demanded. A bigger reason is his high aikido skill, unique style and colossal contribution to the Aikido.
Yoji Fujimoto (March 26, 1948 – February 20, 2012) was an 8 Dan Aikikai Shihan. At the age of 23, he moved to Italy and became a big part of the Aikido history in the country.