Ryuji Shirakawa was born on 4th September 1980 and started aikido at 15 years. He lived in Kobayashi’s Dojo as an uchi-deshi, traveled to Germany to learn under Katsuaki Asai Sensei, lived in Calgary Aikikai, Canada as an uchi-deshi. But let’s make it fare right from the start…
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.
Yukimitsu Kobayashi was born on 15 April 1960. He is a 7 Dan Aikido Aikikai Hombu Dojo Shihan.
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.
Tsuruzo Miyamoto was born on March 30, 1953, on the island of Kyushu, Japan. He is an 8 Dan and one of the most respected Hombu Shihans at the moment.
Yoko Okamoto holds a rank of a 6th Dan in Aikido Aikikai, a status of Shihan. She is the most respected female-Sensei in Aikido and is very important in Japan.
An interview was taken on June 9, 2018, during a seminar with the Shihan at Chisinau, Moldova. Hiroyuki Sakurai held 6 Dan at the time. During the 2020 Kagamibiraki ceremony, Sensei received 7th Dan from the Aikikai.
Joe Thambu was born on 24 March 1961 in Seremban, Malaysia. He’s an 8 Dan Yoshinkan Aikido Shihan. A student of Gozo Shioda and Aikido Shudokan founder in Australia.
Ulf Evenas Shihan was born on 3 November 1946 in Trollhattan, Sweden. His Budo way began with a Kyokushin Karate but soon after, in 1968, he switched to Aikido which he studied under Carl Hansson in Gothenburg who had a background in Judo, Ju-Jitsu.
Minoru Kanetsuka (December 8, 1939 – March 8, 2019) was the official representative of the Aikikai in the United Kingdom since 1978. He had a big influence on Aikido in the West Europe as a Japanese master teaching the art abroad.
Steven Seagal is a well-known actor, producer, screenwriter, musician… Ukraine Bans Steven Seagal Over ‘National Security’, Steven Seagal asked to teach Aikido to Serbia’s special police forces, Steven Seagal granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin, Is Steven Seagal actually a police officer? Is Steven Seagal actually a martial artist? There are a lot of interesting and not much-known facts about his life and especially from the Aikido perspective.
Patrick Cassidy is a 6th dan Aikikai Aikido instructor. He is a founder and a Dojo-Cho at Aikido Montreux in Switzerland.
Haruo Matsuoka was Steven Seagal‘s most important student for more than 20 years. He followed Steven to the USA from Japan, participated in the movies, was a Chief Instructor in Steven Seagal’s Tenshin Dojo in Los Angeles for 8 years…
Shoji Seki Shihan was born on 6 March 1950 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. While he was a student in a Musashi Institute of Technology in Tokyo a group of the aikidokas was giving a demonstration and in 1969 Shoji joined.
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.
Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei (February 17, 1938 – January 15, 2023) was one of the direct O-Sensei disciples and the 8 Dan Aikikai holders. His name is known all over the world for his high aikido skill, unique style, and colossal contribution to aikido as a martial art.
Hiroshi Isoyama was born in 1937. In June 1949 he joined the Iwama Dojo to learn Aikido under the Morihei Ueshiba. Training under O-Sensei continued for around 20 years of his life and is the main part of Hiroshi Isoyama’s knowledge about the martial arts philosophy which he still transmits to the world.