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.
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.