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Aikido During the Pre-War and Post-War Years

by Kazuhiko Ikeda

Aiki News #16 (January 1976)

The following article is the sixteenth in a series of seventeen articles dealing with the life of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Aiki News will publish the entire series of articles in monthly installments.

It was due to Admirals Takeshita and Yamamoto that many young officers enrolled in the Ueshiba Dojo. These young naval officers supported the elimination of political corruption and the restoration of Imperial rule. In addition to other admirals like Takahashi Sankichi, Shakutake, Hasunuma, names such as Sayonji Hachiro and Sameshima Keiko were to be found among the list of disciples in the dojo.

In 1930, Jigoro Kano (the Founder of Judo) paid a visit to the Ueshiba Dojo. Upon seeing Ueshiba’s technique Kano expressed the following: “I propagated Judo among the public during the Edo period by developing Taijutsu (empty-handed techniques) into Judo. In this way, ‘bujutsu’ (martial techniques) were converted into sport. It would have been virtually impossible to preserve budo (martial arts) in their original form. When I observed Aiki, I realized that it is the true budo. Therefore, I would like to enroll three of my most promising and talented disciples in your dojo. Please train them in Aikido.” Those selected to study Aikido from the Kodokan (Judo Headquarters) were Mochizuki Minoru, Nagaoka, Takeda and later Kenji Tomiki.

In 1932, the Aikido Headquarters was moved to Wakamatsu-cho and was called Aikido Hombu for the first time. There were about 30 uchideshi (live-in disciples) and among them was Gozo Shioda who established the Aikido Yoshinkai Dojo after the war. (Our previous statement involving Shioda’s 10th dan rank was erroneous. He is presently 9th dan. Hombu Dojo Chief Instructor Koichi Tohei is also 9th dan. Further, Shioda never claimed to be the successor to the Founder. Therefore, the author’s statement stands corrected.)

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