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.
Mitsugi Saotome Shihan is one of the few former OSensei’s uchi-deshi’s still alive. He saw with his eyes all those things we read about. Sensei fully devoted himself to the Aikido and Ueshiba’s and you will learn why inside.
Miyamoto Musashi (1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezo, was an expert Japanese Swordsman, Ronin, and an author of the Book of Five Rings.
Kazuo Chiba (February 5, 1940 – June 5, 2015) – has been an 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai teacher. He learned directly from the Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. Dedicated life to Budo where 50 years were about the Aikido in the first place.
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.
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.
Kenji Shimizu is one of the last direct students of the O-Sensei. He made his own school and named it Tendoryu Aikido after the death of a founder.
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.
Seiichi Sugano (17 December 1939 – 29 August 2010) was a Japanese Aikido instructor who held an 8 Dan in Aikikai. Learned from the O-Sensei directly.
Mitsunari Kanai (April 15, 1939 – March 28, 2004) was one of the last live-in students trained by the O-Sensei. 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai Shihan, Iaido teacher and a founder of the New England Aikikai.
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.
Rinjiro Shirata (March 29, 1912 – May 29, 1993) was a 9 Dan Aikido Aikikai Shihan also known as the Kobukan Prodigy because of the strong body.
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.
Koichi Kashiwaya is a Koichi Tohei’s disciple, 8th Dan in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido and an Okuden in Ki Training. He was appointed as a Chief Instructor for the Ki Society USA by Tohei Sensei himself.
Philip Lee Shihan has a 7th Dan in Aikido Aikikai Shihan based in Singapore. He’s a founder of the Aikido Shinju-Kai organization which is the largest one in the territories of the Malaysian countries.
Nobuo Takase is a 7th Dan Aikikai Shihan and a Technical Director of Aikido in New Zealand. He is a head-instructor in Aikido Shinryukan with headquarters in Auckland.
Yukio Kawahara (August 14, 1940 – June 2, 2011) – was an 8 Dan Japanese Aikido Shihan and official representative of the Aikikai in Canada.