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.
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We’ve met Morito Suganuma Shihan earlier on the site in a post with the warm-ups but he really deserves more… He was born on July 27, 1942, in Fukushima, Japan. He knew about the Aikido from an early age and heard about O-Sensei a few times but only at Asia University in Tokyo, he was able to join a Nobuyoshi Tamura‘s Aikido class. He continued at the Hombu Dojo, where future Sensei was surrounded by the greats with the Morihei Ueshiba as in charge.
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.
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.
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.